Electric vehicle startup Harbinger, founded by Canoo and QuantumScape veterans, aims to disrupt the medium-duty truck market

Electric vehicle startup Harbinger, founded by Canoo and QuantumScape veterans, aims to disrupt the medium-duty truck market

Harbinger electric truck

Jack Schröder | Presage

A new Los Angeles-based electric vehicle startup founded by Canoo and QuantumScape veterans said Wednesday it is gearing up to disrupt the medium-duty truck market with a ready-to-build electric truck platform coming soon. next year.

The company, called Harbinger, has developed two electric vehicle platforms that it claims are optimized for medium-duty trucks such as delivery vans. The platforms use engines and other technologies developed in-house specifically to meet the needs of a market segment where trucks are expected to be in service for up to 20 years, far longer than the average passenger car .

It’s a market segment that — until now, at least — hasn’t been well served by the industry-wide shift to electric vehicles, CEO John Harris said.

“Companies at the ends of the books, in the light and heavy space, are historically very vertically integrated,” Harris told CNBC in an interview. “When we look at the middleweight industry, it’s completely different.”

Harris said medium-duty trucks, which fall between light pickups and heavy-duty tractor-trailers, are generally highly specialized. These trucks, which can range from dump trucks to delivery vans, are typically built to order for fleets by companies called upfitters, using chassis from one of several established vehicle manufacturers.

It’s an ecosystem that hasn’t changed much in the past 50 years, Harris said. That’s why Harbinger is tailoring its products to work within this existing middleweight ecosystem. The company is preparing two all-electric truck chassis that will be ready for upfitters to adapt to the needs of their commercial customers – at a cost that Harris says will be comparable to existing internal combustion options.

Harbinger electric truck

Jack Schröder | Presage

Harbinger’s products will include a “cab chassis” similar to those built by companies like Ford Motor, but electric. Upfitters use cab chassis, which come with a passenger compartment, to build box trucks, tow trucks, and other similar-sized vehicles.

Harbinger will also offer a “strip chassis”, without a driver’s cab, which can serve as the basis for vehicles such as delivery vans. Harris noted that unlike existing strip chassis options, Harbinger will not require upfitters to work around an internal combustion engine, allowing for more cargo space and a more comfortable environment for the vehicle’s driver. .

And because they’re meant to serve up to 20 years, Harbinger’s two chassis will include the redundant hardware and systems needed for autonomous driving. Harbinger, however, has no plans to develop its own self-driving software in-house.

What’s still unclear is how the company plans to manufacture its chassis. Harbinger’s headquarters has the tools and equipment to build prototypes and can produce electric motors and related parts, but it is not equipped to build full-scale chassis.

Harris told CNBC that Harbinger has selected a manufacturing partner and will announce details soon. Harbinger currently expects to make first deliveries in late 2023 and begin volume production in 2024, he said.

Harbinger was founded in July 2021 by Harris, who worked at EV startups Faraday Future and Xos Trucks; Phillip Weicker, who is chief technology officer at Harbinger and has worked at QuantumScape and Canoo, where he was a co-founder; and Will Eberts, chief operating officer, who worked with Harris at Faraday Future and with Weicker at Canoo.

The company received early stage funding from Tiger Global Management and “other highly specialized investors with deep experience” in electric vehicles, Harris said.

Harbinger plans to show off its electric truck chassis at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit later this week.

#Electric #vehicle #startup #Harbinger #founded #Canoo #QuantumScape #veterans #aims #disrupt #mediumduty #truck #market

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.