Electric truck manufacturer Orange EV has raised $35 million in funding to accelerate the company’s growth in the face of swelling demand for battery-powered commercial vehicles.
The round was led by S2G Ventures and CCI, an affiliate of Henry Crown and Co., which said the investment will allow Orange EV to scale up its manufacturing, deliver vehicles to new markets, and develop new technologies.
Kansas City, Missouri-based Orange EV says it is the manufacturer with the most heavy-duty, zero-emission trucks in operation in the U.S. The firm has sold more than 450 heavy-duty electric yard trucks now operating in 130 fleets across 28 states, Canada, and the Caribbean.
The company’s focus to date has been on Class 8 yard trucks, which are used to move trailers and containers in distribution centers, manufacturing plants, warehouses, rail intermodals, ports, and other facilities. In one recent deal, Orange EV in May sold Penske Truck Leasing an unspecified number of those vehicles.
Orange EV said demand for electric vehicles has grown as the cost of fuel continues to rise and more businesses around the world set ambitious goals for eliminating fossil fuels.
An example of that trend came in July from the U.S. Postal Service, which boosted the portion of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in its planned fleet of next generation delivery vehicles (NGDVs) planned to replace the aging generation of current mail trucks. USPS had originally ordered just 10% BEVs out of the up to 165,000 delivery trucks it plans to order from automaker Oshkosh Defense, but now says at least 50% of them will be electric. Under the new plan, USPS will buy 34,500 commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles to supplement the purpose-built NGDV order, including as many BEVs as are commercially available. The new fleet of trucks is scheduled to start servicing postal routes in late 2023.
"S2G Ventures is investing in the transition to the clean energy, low-carbon economy and we are excited for the positive impact Orange EV will make. The company has led the industry ever since its first truck was released in 2015 and now has the security to truly innovate and exert its leadership role in this market for a long time to come," Stephan Feilhauer, managing director for Clean Energy at S2G Ventures, said in a release. "Orange EV’s trucks have a lower total cost of ownership than diesel, give their customers a tangible way to lower their carbon footprint, and dramatically improve their drivers’ experience, while also saving money along the way—this is what a successful energy transition looks like.”