Josh Fisher I FleetOwner
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Einride is digitizing freight to grow electric, autonomous, sustainable solutions

June 14, 2023
Einride's freight ecosystem uses AI to optimize electric vehicle transportation. Combining data from vehicles, trailers, drivers, and charging infrastructure is helping the Swedish company make headway with U.S. companies.

Einride is trying to change how the world moves goods. The Sweden-based company with a growing U.S. presence combines battery-electric power with automation and data to develop freight’s future.

The company’s futuristic-looking equipment became a tourist attraction in New York City last week when it parked an electric truck and a cab-less Autonomous Electric Transport vehicle on West 23rd Street in Chelsea, where passersby stopped to take pictures with the electric freight movers.

While some companies focused on the future of transportation are taking more measured approaches, Einride’s leaders told FleetOwner that it is ready to move the freight world into the future now.

See also: Calstart reports breakthrough growth for ZETs. What does that mean for fleets?

“The thesis we’re running at Einride is that the market today is highly underutilized,” Niklas Reinedahl, the company’s North America GM, said during an interview before his company opened up a one-day show for customers and other industry leaders. “You need digital capabilities to overcome that challenge to become a more utilized, high-performing ecosystem overall. And going electric and going autonomous demands digital capabilities.”

Building out a freight ecosystem

Einride's freight ecosystem is based on a grid system—including vehicles, trailers, drivers, and charging infrastructure—planned, optimized, and monitored using the Einride Saga platform. That platform uses artificial intelligence to look at all aspects of freight transportation to help shippers shift to electric power.

 Reinedahl explained that the Einride grid simplifies long-distance freight logistics, removes industry inefficiencies, and adds smart freight transfers to prevent delays in goods caused by battery recharges or driver changes. The system is responsible for all logistical touchpoints, including software, charging infrastructure, and maintenance, he added. 

Here in the U.S., Einride is working to move goods for GE Appliances with its electric tractors and cab-less transport vehicles. 

See also: GE Appliances folds EV and AV tech into fleet operations

Harry Chase, senior director of central materials at GE Appliances, told FleetOwner that the data he's receiving from his EV operations with Einride are invaluable. For example, his company uses the CO2 calculators in Einride Saga to see the emissions benefits that are part of GE Appliances' sustainability goals. And he is using other data to see what routes are working best and what needs adjustments. 

"We're driving for sustainability," he said. "I think with the electric trucks we get such a bang for our buck. These short routes have been our big CO2 emitters because they're stuck in traffic or idling a lot. So we really are already seeing some better benefits from electric trucks."

Using data to reduce emissions 

Another Einride customer in the U.S. is Oatly Group AB, the maker of non-dairy oat milk, which is trying to shift its ground transportation operations to be 100% sustainable by 2029. Last year, Oatly acquired five Einride electric trucks, along with Einride Saga services, which include setting up charging infrastructure and connectivity services.

Einride manages Oatly's electrified fleet, which operates out of factories in Ogden, Utah, and Millville, New Jersey. Einride has been working within Oatly's operations in Sweden since 2020.

Reinedahl said he likes to work directly with shippers such as Oatly to properly understand their freight footprint. "What we want to understand is: Where do you produce? Where do you have your distribution centers? Where do you have warehouses? Where do you have your retail nodes? And how much goods are you moving?" he explained. "The reason we find it so interesting to understand the freight footprint is that we can apply our basic operational algorithms that we do in the Saga platform to understand what's in scope for electric today from an operational perspective."

That helps Einride decide where a company should start its electrification journey. "By engaging in this more exponential way, we can more effectively understand how to plan for infrastructure and in what time so we can kind of be ahead of the curve," he added.

Oatly's five Einride-connected trucks are estimated to reduce 880,000 lb. of CO2 in their first year of operation when compared to diesel trucks on the same routes, which would be an 87% reduction in carbon emissions compared to diesel trucks.

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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