History is made!

The first cab-less, electric truck – Einride’s T-pod – has driven on a public road! The ground-breaking event took place at DB Schenker’s facility in Jönköping, Sweden. The T-pod will be used to transport goods between a warehouse and terminal at the facility.

This 26-t electric truck has a top speed of 85 km/h, although initially it’s running at only 5 km/h. It has a range of 200 km and it is powered by a 200 kWh battery. While it operates without a driver, it can be supervised and remotely operated by a human being. That person can be hundreds of kilometres away.

No cab means the vehicle is smaller and lighter. Accordingly it offers increased loading capacity, lower production costs, lower operating costs and optimised energy consumption.

Much like so many other people, Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker, believes that autonomous trucks will become increasingly important for the logistics sector. “Together with Einride, we have now introduced autonomous, fully electric trucks to a continuous flow on a public road – a milestone in the transition to the transport system of tomorrow,” he noted.

Robert Falck, CEO and founder of Einride, described the event as a “milestone in Einride’s history”.

“Autonomous, electric vehicles have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from road-freight transport by up to 90 percent. I can’t begin to describe how proud I am of our team that made this happen in collaboration with our great partner and customer DB Schenker,” he commented.

This is not the first time that Swedish startup Einride and logistics firm DB Schenker have cooperated along these lines. Last year, the companies introduced a T-pod at a DB Schenker facility in Jönköping, Sweden. It was the first commercial installation of its kind in the world. That T-pod was not legally able to operate on public roads.

In March this year, however, the Swedish Transport Agency ruled that the T-pod could operate on public roads, and it issued the companies with a permit allowing the vehicle to drive on a public road within an industrial area – between a warehouse and a terminal. The permit is valid until December 31, 2020.

My friends call me a glomad (a global nomad lest you don’t get it). That’s a particularly apt word, because I am always trawling all corners of the globe, looking for stories. As a result, I have slept in some seriously strange places – on a bed of ice in the Arctic circle, on the floor in a traditional Japanese hotel, on the sand dunes in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan … and even on the floor of a Thai cargo ship. Mostly however I tend to sleep on aircraft (if I had a dog, he would bark at me when I eventually come home). I am passionate about trucks, cars, travel, food, wine, people and hugs – so I write about all these things. Except the hugs.

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