The startup’s RA fleet trailer electrification platform can improve conventional truck fuel economy by over 36%, according to recent tests, or extend electric-truck battery range, and is now eligible for point-of-sale incentives up to $80,000/unit through a California Air Resources Board program.
Improvements in engine fuel delivery, transmissions, and cab aerodynamics have helped semi-truck manufacturers significantly reduce fuel consumption in recent years. To go even further on less fuel, companies have also developed new add-on technologies to reduce aerodynamic drag such as trailer side skirts, wheel covers, and trailer tails (or rear fairings). Given the relatively new offerings, it would be easy to assume there are no more significant improvements to make to a typical Class 8 tractor-trailer combination.
Enter Range Energy, a startup founded in 2021 and based in Mountain View, CA, which has developed an electric trailer axle system for the heavy-duty truck market, essentially transforming a trailer into a part of a semi truck’s powertrain. The company launched in September 2022 with $8 million in seed capital and first debuted its electric drive technology for 53-ft semi-trailers at this year’s Advanced Clean Transportation Expo. It is led by a team with deep EV industry expertise from Tesla, Zoox, and Honda, and backed by investors including UP Partners, R7 Partners, and Yamaha
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