Tell us a bit about your business? When were you founded, where are you based and how many people do you employ?
Tevva Motors Ltd, established in 2013, is a world leader in the development and production of technologies that have the capability to electrify almost any medium duty (7.5t-14t) commercial vehicles today. Based in Chelmsford, Essex and with a workforce of around 60 people, it boasts a range of unique, easily deployable proprietary technologies. These technologies comprise products and software systems that provide the ability to switch to pure electric battery power, optimise power, minimise fleet running, repair and maintenance costs eliminating range anxiety via its game-changing range extender.
Not many automotive businesses can say that the inspiration for their existence began under miles of icy water. But that is where Tevva founder Asher Bennett first conceived the idea of an electric truck technology company. In a former life, Asher was an officer on submarines and he realised that the diesel-electric hybrid technology used was a perfect solution for the medium duty, urban distribution industry, which faces similar challenges of range, payload and cost efficiency.
The electrification of the medium duty, urban delivery industry is all but inevitable, given UK government’s ambition and EU Parliament regulations. However, the scale, economics and timeframe for achieving this is still largely unclear across the commercial vehicle OEM sector.
Perhaps most importantly, Tevva’s offering is available immediately and has already been proven to be entirely viable thanks to existing in-service vehicles taken on by global logistics giants such as UPS, Kuehne + Nagel and CEVA Logistics. The certainty of these technologies and the real-world proof that it works means that the future of electrification is already here.
What does the business do?
Tevva is a true pioneer in the back-to-base, urban distribution commercial vehicle sector. Since its inception in 2013, the company has developed a range of products, software and technologies that can be integrated into any OEM vehicles. These proven technologies are available immediately and offer economic, commercial and environmental benefits for fleets, operators and OEMs alike. At the heart of Tevva’s unique offering are its four-core proprietary technical innovations. These are patented and protected technologies that deliver superior performance with no compromise on cost, range or payload.
Tevva Power is our battery module and packs, which meets the rigorous safety standard of UNECE Reg 100 Rev2 Part 2, as well as our bespoke battery management system. This governs the flow of energy back into the battery under regenerative braking, how the battery is discharged under load and how it is recharged and balanced between shifts – this is the key to battery cell longevity and therefore operational economics.
Tevva Drive is our intuitive drive system. Our e-motor takes inputs from the driver and translates that input into seamless and accurate torque delivery at the wheels, with high energy efficiency, reliability and safety. This makes for an intuitive driving experience for the operator that is both less tiring and easy to master
Tevva Link is our embedded, cloud-based control system that is cleverly connected to the vehicle’s communication network; the Vehicle Control Unit allows for bi-directional data transfer and works autonomously to control Tevva Drive and Power technologies onboard. The Predictive Range Extension Management System software ensures optimal energy usage and constantly monitors the vehicle and the environment it is in to maximise use of the Rex range extender. Because this is all done autonomously, there is less pressure on the driver to make decisions. Tevva Link captures all vehicle data to provide detailed performance diagnostics; this telemetry allows fleet managers to not only see where their vehicles are, but also to view dozens of other information points. This allows for proactive planning and predictive action in case of any potential vehicle issues and for pre-emptive maintenance
Tevva ReX is an optional range extender which is autonomously controlled to engage pure electric mode when the vehicle is in an urban area, Clean Air Zone or ULEZ, meaning that electric only power is deployed where it is most required. Tevva ReX is engaged only where necessary and when the vehicle is in a non-urban environment in order to eliminate range anxiety for back-to-base operations with out-of-town depots or warehouses. The PREMS system ensures that battery power is maximised, meaning that no capacity is wasted.
How is business? What’s the outlook for the year ahead?
We have eTrucks in service with UPS, Fedex, Kuehne+Nagel and various other customers. We are rolling out vehicles with many customers. The need for electrification of the CV market is growing and we are working with a great number of bodies and organisations – such as ALICE, CALSTART and TDA to accelerate the adoption of the technologies we provide. We expect to produce in the order of 100-150 vehicles next year, but at least 1,000 in 2021, double that in 2022, and double again in 2023.
What are the big issues or technological advances that fill you with positivity?
This is always a little difficult to predict.
The logistic companies are already setting the pace, often by making their own investments and commitments to emerging electric commercial vehicle manufacturers – as in the case of Amazon and Rivian, and UPS and Arrival.
This will put further pressure on the OEM’s to move more quickly or face the same dilemma that the passenger car industry is facing with the success of Tesla. Other logistics companies are going to need to react to the moves made by Amazon and UPS to stay competitive on a delivery cost per mile basis.
We predict that future deliveries will be made predominately by electric commercial vehicles.
The logistics companies will utilise vehicle platforms that are different and appropriate to each stage of the delivery process – low speed electric vehicles for inner city last mile for example.
New distribution models will emerge- there will be a greater level of consolidation and shared last mile deliveries to specific streets, hydrogen will also play a greater role in extra urban and long-haul transport.
Tevva Motors CEO, Robin Mackie