Harbinger EV startup medium trucks NAIAS 2022

Harbinger EV truck

Jack Schroeder | Harbinger

A brand new Los Angeles-based electrical automobile startup based by veterans of Canoo and QuantumScape mentioned Wednesday it is getting ready to shake up the medium-duty truck market with a ready-to-build electrical truck platform coming subsequent yr.

The firm, referred to as Harbinger, has developed two EV platforms it says are optimized for medium-duty trucks resembling supply vans. The platforms use motors and different expertise developed in-house particularly to fulfill the wants of a market section the place trucks are anticipated to be in service for as much as 20 years – far longer than the common passenger automobile.

It’s a market section that – to this point, a minimum of – hasn’t been well-served by the industrywide transfer to electrical automobiles, CEO John Harris mentioned.

“The companies out at the bookends, in the light-duty and heavy-duty space, are historically highly vertically integrated,” Harris informed CNBC in an interview. “When we look at the medium-duty industry, it’s completely different.”

Harris mentioned that medium-duty trucks, which fall between light-duty pickups and heavy-duty semitrucks, are typically extremely specialised. Those trucks, which may vary from dump trucks to supply vans, are sometimes constructed to order for fleets by firms referred to as upfitters, utilizing chassis from any of a number of established automobile makers.

It’s an ecosystem that hasn’t modified a lot within the final 50 years, Harris mentioned. That’s why Harbinger is tailoring its merchandise to work inside that current medium-duty ecosystem. The firm is getting ready two absolutely electrical truck chassis that can be prepared for upfitters to tailor to their industrial clients’ wants – at a value that, Harris mentioned, can be similar to current internal-combustion choices.

Harbinger EV truck

Jack Schroeder | Harbinger

Harbinger’s merchandise will embody a “cab chassis” much like these constructed by firms like Ford Motor, however electrical. Upfitters use cab chassis, which include a passenger compartment, to construct field trucks, tow trucks and different equally sized automobiles.

Harbinger can even provide a “strip chassis,” with no cab for the driving force, that may function a basis for automobiles like supply vans. Harris famous that not like current strip-chassis choices, Harbinger’s will not require upfitters to work round an internal-combustion engine – permitting for extra cargo room and a extra comfy atmosphere for the automobile’s driver.

And as a result of they’re anticipated to serve for as much as 20 years, each of Harbinger’s chassis will embody the {hardware} and redundant programs wanted for autonomous driving. Harbinger, although, has no plans to develop its personal self-driving software program in-house.

What is not clear but is how the corporate plans to fabricate its chassis. Harbinger’s headquarters has tooling and gear to construct prototypes, and may produce electrical motors and associated elements, but it surely’s not outfitted to construct full chassis at scale.

Harris informed CNBC that Harbinger has chosen a producing associate and can announce particulars quickly. Harbinger at present expects to make its first deliveries in late 2023 and to start quantity manufacturing in 2024, he mentioned.

Harbinger was based in July 2021 by Harris, who labored at EV startups Faraday Future and Xos Trucks; Phillip Weicker, who serves as Harbinger’s chief expertise officer and labored at QuantumScape and Canoo, the place he was a cofounder; and Will Eberts, chief working officer, who labored with Harris at Faraday Future and with Weicker at Canoo.

The firm acquired early funding from Tiger Global Management and “other highly specialized investors with deep experience” in electrical automobiles, Harris mentioned.

Harbinger plans to indicate off its EV truck chassis on the North American International Auto Show in Detroit later this week.


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