A company intent on revolutionising the road haulage business is poised to complete its final trials in the next few months, before launching “the world’s greenest trucks” in the UK.
Tevva’s sales and marketing director David Thackray is under no illusion that he is working on a project that is not just urgent for the company, but for global health. No pressure there, then.
The forthright Yorkshireman, who now calls Surrey his home, pulls no punches in stating the case for zero-emission transport: “In 1975, climate science showed that there were 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There are now 409 – and rising. We have managed to cut CO2 in some areas, but overall it is still climbing and it’s urgent that we do something to reduce it.”
Despite this dramatic message, David remains confident that the “climatic Armageddon” will not happen. “Humans are awesome under pressure. Something will be done to find a way”, he says with a winning smile.
Certainly Tevva is doing its bit to help provide a solution, with the development of battery-powered trucks at its Chelmsford factory.
The company is the brainchild of Israeli Asher Bennett, who came to the UK in 2012 piloting a business called Evida Power, which manufactured battery systems. He saw a French company with whom it had a major contract go bust shortly afterwards, leaving him to pick up the pieces of his dream of breaking into zero-emission transport.
He soon realised that the road haulage industry was uncharted territory in this field and decided to concentrate on developing electric-powered lorries.
David, an expert in marketing, research and business development, but with a long family history in the transport industry, came on the scene in 2016 when he was asked by a friend to “run a ruler” over Asher’s company, to see if it was worth supporting financially. He liked what he saw – a passionate entrepreneur moving into a new, niche market – but realised Tevva was desperately in need of someone to raise its profile.
“I was driving home, thinking what sort of person Asher needed to take his company to the next level when I realised that person was me! I went back to him and he gave me the job, with full flexibility to do it the way I wanted to.”
Since then, David’s life has been a whirlwind of travel, talks to logistics companies and investors, to ensure Tevva is on track to launch its trials with the “right” operators in a matter of months.
David is excited at the prospect and raring to go. He is convinced the technology used in Asher’s trucks – lithium ion batteries with a tiny diesel, petrol, gas (or any other fuel) -powered “range extender” for peace of mind on longer journeys – is revolutionary and will change the way lorry operators work for ever.
Tevva trucks will be offered on a full repair and maintenance lease, promising at least 100 zero-emission miles a day, at a saving of about 30p per mile – making them cheaper overall from the first month.