Sure, they aren't as sexy as a Tesla, and they don't get the press columns of long-haul trucking, but so-called yard trucks are an interesting subset of vehicles that benefit disproportionally from being electric. Orange EV just raised a truck-load of cash to electrify one of the easiest-to-electrify corners of the logistics pipelines: the trucks that are commonly used to move trailers and containers in distribution centers, plants, warehouses, rail intermodals, ports, and other facilities where goods movement is mission critical.
The company has been around for a hot minute. Based in Kansas City, MO, it launched its very first electric yard truck back in 2015 and has been innovating ever since.
“Orange EV’s mission is to deliver electric vehicles that are better than legacy diesel ones in every way — for the earth, people, and the business bottom line,” said Kurt Neutgens, Orange EV co-founder and CTO in a statement to TechCrunch. “With this funding, Orange EV will be able to further scale its impact through continued investment in manufacturing to meet the demand that is outstripping our current facilities, as well as advance R&D to develop and deliver other products, which will further improve our customers' operations while providing them significant savings.”
It's the perfect storm for EVs; the trucks have incredible torque, are quiet, don't blast a bunch of diesel fumes in dockworkers' faces, and need essentially no maintenance. There's also no fear of range anxiety: The trucks spend most of their lives in a two-mile radius of home base, which means they can be charged overnight and on lunch breaks, and if it runs low on juice, you can cruise over to the charging station and get a top-up.
The company today announced it closed a $35 million round of funding led by S2G Ventures and CCI. The money will be used to support and accelerate the company’s growth.