Even though supply chain issues continue to rampage through the global automotive industry, electric and hydrogen truck maker Tevva has been slightly less impacted than others.
The company’s chief executive Asher Bennett said its low capex manufacturing model has allowed it to “be a bit more flexible.”
“If there are issues around the supply chain, we’re solving them one by one,” he told City A.M. “Because we’re not building a very large giga-factory-size facility, our production capabilities [can be] flexible.”
Tevva’s production is quite small in size compared with what traditional car makers such as Stellantis or Ford could manufacture.
The company will in fact start working this year on its first larger production line at its London Distribution Park factory, which is based just outside the London Thames Freeport.
After a year-long trial with UPS, Tevva will manufacture more than 200 trucks this year, ramping up production of its latest model from 2023 onwards.
“When it’s running at full capacity we’ll be at 3,000 trucks a year and we’re expecting to reach that level towards the end of next year,” Bennett explained. “[But] we’re gonna go beyond that, as our intention is to have a facility in Europe, followed by facilities in the US.”
Bennett appears to be aiming in the right direction as the company made the headlines in November when it raised $57bn by way of private placement from new and existing investors, bringing the total to $90m.
Bharat Forge deal
More recently, Tevva signed a deal with Indian manufacturer Bharat Forge as part of a £1bn business partnership forged by the UK and Indian governments.
Under the deal, Tevva will receive £50m in funding to expand its UK factory and create 500 new jobs.
“We have a very good relationship with them and we are continuing to build up the relationship and get into other collaborations and partnerships, developing our trucks also with an eye to their home market,” Bennett continued.
Intercontinental expansions and a ramped up production would not be possible without Tevva’s understanding of trucks and their issues.
Understanding that electric trucks can’t rely on charging when going out for deliveries, Tevva designed its trucks with a small reserve of hydrogen to boost range extension.
“The range extender is on the truck but it’s not necessarily meant to be used, it’s there to remove any risk [of trucks running out of battery],” he said.
“By removing all the risks, there will be days that absolutely you will need to turn on the range extender and that allows you to get back to the depot or do that longer range.
“And that’s great, that’s what it’s meant for.”