Einride, a Swedish heavy EV and truck autonomy startup, is marking its official launch in the Benelux market this week and, eyeing revenue on the horizon, has even got itself a A-list partnership, with the world's largest brewhouse AB InBev.
Teaming up with AB InBev will generate opportunities to carry renowned alcoholic beverage brands like Budweiser and Beck's, using six of Einride's low-carbon electric, connected freight trucks.
Aiming to save 500 CO2 tonnes/year from leaking into our atmosphere, the new partnership kicks off early 2023 with an initial phase that will see the six trucks deployed around Leuven and Brussels, supporting AB InBev's 2040 net zero commitment.
Philippe Seminck, AB InBev logistics director for Benelux and France, said: "We only invest in non-diesel transport and are going for zero in our emissions.
"As we are starting the broad deployment of electric vehicles for city deliveries next year, the partnership with Einride for electric heavy duty transportation on the middle mile is the next step in our green logistics strategy."
Described as a "first-of-its-kind" shipping ecosystem, Einride has won market traction in the US and Sweden with its core heavy-duty electric transport vehicles, billed as offering a 90% greenhouse emissions abatement.
Joining hands with AB InBev is seen as allowing Einride to establish a flourishing Benelux presence, with plans to add further Belgian, Dutch and Luxembourg customers. The startup is also expanding elsewhere in Europe, into Germany and Norway with other big freight carriers like Electrolux and GE Appliances.
Further ahead, Einride also has next-gen freight vehicle innovations in its pipeline. These include freight pods that would run without a driver's cabin, either by remote control or through fully autonomous driving software.
Einride founder and CEO Robert Falck describes Benelux as Europe's "beating heart", and the ideal landing pad to "drive change" across the EU's common market. Freight trucks pass through Benelux as an artery into several northern European markets, and the deal also comes in the wake of strong innovation data from the region from Belgian VC Antler, which showed a 50% reduction in time-to-unicorn for Benelux-located startups.
"In the last ten years, the union has cut greenhouse gas emissions in every sector but transport, which has only increased, with road freight transport remaining by far the biggest emitter," Falck said.
A big part of getting this far has been nailing down the software. Einride says its freight mobility software, Einride Saga, appeals to freight shippers due to features that streamline management electric autonomous and fleets, for example with geolocational/costs data on charging and connectivity networks.