Nasdaq listed VivoPower has announced a US$250 million (A$330 million) distribution deal with Australian company GB Auto to distribute the company’s Tembo branded all-electric ute conversion kits in Australia.
Tembo offers number of electric conversion kits for a range of four-wheel drive and ute models, including the Toyota Land Cruiser and Hilux, and has specifically targeted the kits for use in the resources sector.
GB Auto has secured a seven year contract to act as the exclusive Australian distributor of the Tembo conversion kits, and expects to sell at least 2,000 kits in the first four years of the contract. The companies expect sales would amount to around US$250 million (A$330 million), representing a substantial push into the electric ute market in Australia.
GB Auto has an established presence in the Australian heavy-vehicle market, offering a range of mining vehicles and specialised maintenance services, and has already been offering the Tembo conversion kits in the Australian market under a previous distribution deal. GB Auto said that it would invest in expanding its Australian facilities to accommodate the growth in orders.
Both companies will be looking to tap into a growing market of major resources companies looking to cut emissions in their mining activities, as well as helping to reduce demand for costly diesel fuels.
The Tembo kits feature a minimum range of 50 km off-road and 100 km on-road, but these values can be doubled or tripled depending on the final configuration of the vehicle.
A demonstration of Tembo’s electric ute’s potential attracted a huge amount of attention last year, coming shortly after the Morrison government criticised the pro-electric vehicle policies of the Labor party ahead of the 2019 federal election, as ‘coming after tradie’s utes’.
The deal also extends to the distribution on Tembo’s supporting products, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure, battery storage systems, and renewable energy and microgrid equipment.
VivoPower CEO Kevin Chin said that the partnership with GB Auto would provide access to a large Australian market to supply vehicles to the resources sector.
“We are very pleased to be entering this partnership with GB Auto Australia given their established track record and reputation with their customers, who comprise some of the world’s pre-eminent mining houses,” Chin added.
GB Auto CEO Graeme Bensley said that the deal to supply the all-electric utes in the Australian market would help meet strong local demand.
“We are very excited to partner with VivoPower in relation to their [sustainable energy solutions (SES)] offering, incorporating Tembo electric vehicles,” Graeme said. “SES are ideally suited to the requirements of our mining sector customers. We are witnessing strong demand from these customers for EV and are confident of the strong long term growth outlook.”