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Einride: 2024 CNBC Disruptor 50

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Founders: Robert Falck (CEO), Linnéa Kornehed-Falck, Filip Lilja
Launched: 2016
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
Funding:
$652.3 million
Valuation: N/A
Key technologies:
Artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, machine learning
Industry:
Automotive
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 1 (No. 13 in 2023)

In the U.S., the consumer EV market is most notable lately for its struggles, with adoption rates undercutting expectations and major automakers pulling back from initial EV investment goals. People don’t as often discuss EV trucks, or when they do, it’s to poke Elon Musk’s Cybertruck or point to the Ford F-150 Lightning as an example of the EV market falling short of the hype. But often missed in the story is the freight trucking market, where EVs are a big part of the future.

Up to 90% of world trade is done on the road today, equating to 2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions, accounting for over 7% of annual global emissions. Nearly three out of every four bulk goods in Europe and in the U.S. are transported by truckers and their heavy-duty vehicles, often at only 20% of cargo capacity.

Some of the oldest players in the trucking market, such as Mack Trucks, founded in 1900, are getting serious about EVs. There is also an entirely new business model for the transition. Einride is leading the adoption of EV technology by deploying electric and autonomous heavy-duty vehicles and an intelligent freight operating system, Einride Saga. It operates one of the largest fleets of heavy duty electric trucks servicing Global Fortune 500 companies across eight markets. 

It makes money by charging shippers a monthly fee, which includes Einride’s software solutions, access to electric and autonomous vehicles, operational support, and charging infrastructure, a critical EV infrastructure area into which it recently expanded. 

More coverage of the 2024 CNBC Disruptor 50

In November 2023, Einride opened its first Smartcharger Station in Rosersberg, Sweden, in partnership with infrastructure developer and investor Polar Structure. That’s a partnership model designed to make charging economic and that Einride is now piloting in the U.S., with an EV charging station opened near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in March among the largest charging sites for heavy-duty freight in North America. 

Einride partnerships with shippers include PepsiCo operations in the U.K., global logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen at the Port of Savannah, a 300-EV fleet with Mars, and cross-border operations with Heineken. In May of last year, it also signed a preliminary deal with the United Arab Emirates to deploy the Einride ecosystem, including 2,000 electric vehicles, 200 autonomous vehicles and eight charging stations. In November of last year, Einride launched full-time operations for its autonomous vehicle in a partnership with GE Appliances.

The Biden administration wants 100% of new medium and heavy-duty truck sales to be EV by 2040. New emissions standards for trucks are adding incentives to move sooner. But the big rig market has a long way to go. Last year, only 100,000 new zero-emission heavy-duty EVs were produced.

Einride CEO and founder Robert Falck told CNBC last year that as much as 50% of the $4 trillion freight market can transition today to electric trucks on a cost-effective basis. Other experts say it will take at least a few years for the economics to evolve. Mattias Holmberg, an analyst at DNB Markets based in Einride’s home market of Sweden, recently told CNBC that two critical factors, battery technology and charging infrastructure, will be key. “I would say we are still a few years away from reaching that break-even point where it makes fully economical sense to make the switch,” Holmberg said.

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