Orange EV
An Orange EV terminal tractor on the assembly line.

Orange EV scales up zero-emission trucking solutions

Aug. 17, 2022
With more than 450 electric Class 8 vehicles in use across the continent, the oldest heavy-duty EV OEM has a new round of funding to expand its sustainability offerings.

Terminal tractor OEM Orange EV closed a $35 million institutional funding round to support and accelerate the growth of the first U.S. manufacturer to deploy all-electric Class 8 vehicles successfully.

The investment, led by S2G Ventures and CCI, a Henry Crown and Co. affiliate, will allow Orange EV to scale its manufacturing to meet demand increases for zero-emission vehicles. The OEM also plans to develop new technologies to increase the company’s Class 8 commercial vehicle segment share.

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Founded in 2012, Orange EV is on its third generation of all-electric yard tractors, which it first manufactured in 2015. More than 450 Orange EV heavy-duty electric yard trucks operate in 130 fleets across 28 states, Canada, and the Caribbean.

“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's co-founder, president, and CTO. “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 customer's operations while providing them significant savings.”

The company focuses on Class 8 yard trucks, used to move trailers and containers in distribution centers, manufacturing plants, warehouses, rail intermodal, ports, and other facilities where goods movement is mission critical. Fleets such as Albertsons Cos., which has about 20 Orange EV trucks in use, have made Orange EV part of its sustainability goals and driver retention.

“We have received positive feedback from our drivers, saying that they prefer the modern technology of the BEV yard spotters,” Tim Burke, Albertsons’ VP of transportation, told FleetOwner. “They like that these EV terminal tractors improve uptime, do not require fueling, and there’s less preventive maintenance. They also appreciate that they are quiet, cool, and odorless.”

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Orange EV reports more than 98% average uptime and a lower total cost of ownership among its fleet customers. The previous Orange EV models have a 10-year expected life and ROI within four years. 

"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," said Stephan Feilhauer, managing director of clean energy at S2G Ventures. “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. 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.” 

A 2022 North American Council for Freight Efficiency study on commercial electric vehicles found that terminal tractors are one of the best paths for Class 8 tractor conversion to battery-electric vehicles. Orange EV said its yard trucks can prevent more than 1,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per truck over a 15-year lifespan.

“We acknowledge that electrification can be difficult, especially in the Class 8 market,” said Mike Roeth, NACFE’s executive director. “But right now, the electrification of terminal tractors makes sense and is a good place for fleets to begin their electrification journey.”

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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