Australian-founded but now California-based SEA Electric has reported a massive order for 1,150 electric trucks, the largest in its history.
The sizeable fleet of Hino M5 EVs will be fitted with Sea Electric patented electric truck powertrains, and will be delivered to GATR EV, which operates in Iowa and Minnesota in the US as part of GATR Truck Centers.
SEA Electric says the order followed a recent display of one of its Hino M5 EVs at a truck expo in California, featuring a 120a power system that suits 6-8 tonne trucks.
According to SEA’s VP of sales and marketing Nick Casas, it is the company’s first order above 1,000 units. Importantly, it has been ordered by a company that operates in a state that does not offer purchase incentives for switching to electric zero-emissions transport.
“This is our first four-digit order, and it comes in a non-incentive state, which proves that commercial EV solutions can expand in areas with no incentives, while all corners of the market are seeking premium EV solutions,” said Casas in a statement.
GATR will use the trucks in its partnership with Merchants Fleet, a logistics solutions company that has services throughout North America and which has made a commitment to electrification of transport, having committed $US2 billion ($A2.66 billion) towards ensuring 50% of its private fleet are electric by 2025, and 50% of its partner’s are by 2030.
SEA Electric will supply the first 40 trucks in the huge order by the end of 2021, and will deliver the remaining vehicles in 2022.
“This deal is the culmination of years of research, development and growth, and proves that SEA Electric is on track to be number one when it comes to electrifying fleets across the world,” said Mike Menyhart, president of SEA Electric in the Americas.
SEA Electric’s latest order is especially significant in light of the fact that Volvo Trucks recently reported its largest-ever order, taken from Northern European shipping and logistic company DFDS. That order was only a tenth of the new SEA ELectric, with just 100 in total.
SEA Electric offers a range of heavy-duty electric trucks solutions, including electric cherry pickers, garbage trucks and tipper trucks – very simply, anything that can be fitted to a heavy-duty truck platform. It recently also announced an electric platform for a truck small enough for those with only a car licence can drive.
The company has a considerable presence in the US, where electrification of transport has become a policy focus under the Biden administration, including a target for 50% EV sales by 2030, and electrification of the entire US government fleet.
The company recently raised $US42 million ($A55 million) towards further expansion, with Canada’s Exro technologies leading the funding round to join as a strategic partner. A possible listing on a US stock exchange may ensue.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.