$5 million in funding for Australian electric truck OEM

Victoria-based manufacturer, SEA Electric, will ramp up its conversion of medium-duty trucks and commercial vans to electric vehicles, using $5 million in finance though the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.

SEA Electric has developed three electric drive systems models that can be fitted to commercial vehicles to allow them to be converted to a 100 per cent electric operation. The technology can be applied to businesses performing express freight, general delivery, and waste collection duties around Australia.

The first road-ready SEA vehicle is a locally developed ten-tonne rigid truck with an estimated range of just under 200km per charge that was delivered to Kings Transport in July.

Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) transaction lead, Melanie Madders, said the fund would help SEA Electric purchase components and scale up its manufacturing business to meet growing customer demand.

“Electric vehicles are a very exciting part of our clean energy transition, and offer significant potential to reduce our overall carbon emissions,” Madders said.

“Emissions from light vehicles already make up as much as 10 per cent of Australia's total emissions, with overall transport activity expected to continue to grow in the future. The development of cost-effective ways to transition commercial vehicles to lower emissions technologies is paramount for cutting national carbon emissions.”

SEA Electric will be offering three models in Australia going forward, an electric light van called E4V, a nine to 11-tonne rigid named EV10 and a 12 to 15-tonne rigid sold as the EV10.

SEA Executive Chairman, Tony Fairweather, welcomed the support of the Clean Energy Innovation Fund in allowing the company to accelerate the deployment of its innovative technology.

“Australia has the potential to become a global leader in the rapidly emerging electric vehicle industry, and this finance will help SEA Electric be part of that revolution,” Fairweather said.

“Vans and medium-duty trucks are suited to electric vehicle technology because businesses using them typically have relatively fixed and known route distances and vehicles return to base overnight, which allows for recharging.

“With ongoing decreases in the cost of lithium batteries, our electric drive systems are becoming increasingly cost competitive with equivalent petrol or diesel engines, which means that businesses using these vans and trucks can consider 100 per cent electric vehicles on a commercial basis as well as for their environmental benefits.”

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