Smart Transport

PragmaCharge launches pay-as-you-go truck electrification service

Truck charging at PragmaCharge hub

An end-to-end truck electrification service that includes the deployment of multiple 350kW chargers at strategic transport and logistics hubs has been launched by PragmaCharge.

The new firm, which is backed by prominent industry leaders and specialised investors in cleantech, logistics, and digitisation businesses, is offering commercial fleet operators access to battery electric truck leasing, maintenance, and charging services.

With a mission to decarbonise HGV operations in the UK, its electric trucking-as-a-service approach will offer a logistics hub-focused approach to charging points.

The company has been co-founded by logistics and digitisation specialist, Nikhil Amin, who worked in the senior management team at Amazon UK.

He helped scale Amazon’s external shipping services, built a business -to-business (B2B) procurement marketplace for SMEs, and launched robotics warehouse operations in the UK.

Formerly an engineering officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF), Amin will be chief operating officer (COO) at PragmaCharge.

Amin said: “Together as a founding group we have an exciting opportunity to help decarbonise heavy goods transportation through the services and platform we are building at PragmaCharge.

“Our solution is designed with our customers and their customers’ needs in mind, helping them to navigate through the steps required for fleet electrification, and ultimately towards net-zero emissions transportation.”

Asked about how many charging hubs PragmaCharge expects to deploy, he added: “As the business is only launching today, we are not yet in a position to announce any infrastructure launch dates, however, negotiations are ongoing as we look to secure charging points across the UK’s most critical logistics infrastructure hubs.”

Cleantech industry leader and co-founder of PragmaCharge, Anil Srivastava, heads up the new firm as chief executive officer (CEO). He was previously at Leclanché, one of Europe’s leading battery manufacturers.

Srivastava said: “Our solution is design-optimised to offer lower total cost of ownership for electric trucks and deliver a stress-free experience for fleet owners as they embark on the journey of electrification.

“I am excited about our mission to help decarbonise the commercial transport sector.

“I am looking forward to working with the highly accomplished board and Nikhil Amin, chief operations officer, who brings in vital experience in logistics, operations management, and digital businesses.”

Commercial fleet owners are increasingly under pressure from their customers to find a quicker path to net-zero emissions.

However, decarbonising operations is perceived to be complex and costly, with initial capital outlay for electric trucks and depot charging infrastructure making too expensive, says PragmaCharge.

Furthermore, it argues that range anxiety, given lack of public charging infrastructure suitable for medium and heavy-duty trucks - and the assumed loss of productivity through charging during core driver operating hours - all add to the barriers to electrification.

PragmaCharge says it wants to address the cost barrier through its pay-as-you-go leasing model and tackle infrastructure concerns through an initial deployment of multiple 350kW chargers at strategic transport and logistics hubs, which will be upgraded to megawatt chargers in 2024.

This, it says, will help reduce full battery charging times to approximately 45 minutes - in-line with the mandatory driver rest period.

PragmaCharge is offering its suite of services from its cloud-based fleet management software platform.

They include, pay-as-you-go leasing deals, run-time analytics to enable fleet owners to select battery electric trucks (BETs) that are optimised for their fleet use-cases; fleet performance and analytics for continuous operations cost optimisation; OEM predictive and corrective maintenance agreements; and tiered bookable charging slots at PragmaCharge-Hubs.

Henry Lawson, a director of PragmaCharge, said: “Our fleet management software platform and the business model is scalable to address multiple use-cases within the commercial transport sector.”

Electrification of the haulage industry is expected to accelerate in the coming years.

Manufacturers have announced 70 new models of electric trucks to be launched in 2024, as the industry seeks to meet tightening regulatory standards.

EU rules demand a 30% reduction in medium and heavy-duty vehicle CO2 emissions by 2030. In the UK, the sale of new diesel and petrol medium and heavy-duty vehicles will be banned from 2040.

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