Robert Falck, founder and CEO
In many ways, 2021 was Einride’s biggest year ever. We celebrated our five year anniversary and all the milestones we’ve accomplished in the last half decade: the launch of the first Einride Pod, the world’s first autonomous drive on a public road, setting a speed record at the Top Gear track, and more.
In May, we closed our largest investment round yet, bringing on new investors from around the world that are interested in driving this change in the industry and beyond. We received awards for our innovations, from Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies to the TIME 100 Best Inventions of the year. And we launched our business in the U.S., the world’s largest transport market and one that is ripe for a massive transformation.
But when we look back at this year in five years’ time, we’ll remember this point not as a marker on the timeline, but as the start of something transformational. We are sitting on the brink of generational change, and the opportunities in front of us will benefit all of humankind. With all that in mind, here are the themes, accomplishments, and moments that shaped our team and the industry this past year.
Electrification is fashionable. Let’s make it permanent.
Electric vehicles are here to stay. The consumer market is adopting them at record pace, showing over a 40% year-over-year increase for the last decade, and manufacturers are trying to keep up with demand. Many automakers are committing to making their entire product portfolios electric, and truck manufacturers are making progress as well, our deal with Daimler Trucks being a clear indication.
With our customers Oatly and Lidl in Sweden, we have been operating intelligent electric freight since October of last year, reducing emissions by 94% compared to diesel and proving the business case for electric freight with industry-leading on-time delivery rates. And with new partners like GE Appliances in the U.S., we are putting autonomous vehicles on the ground alongside our electric trucks. The business case already exists and we are leading the way.
Going into the next year, the conditions for electrification only stand to improve. The U.S. government has committed $7.5 billion to develop charging infrastructure across the country, and many nations worldwide are following suit. By committing to ending fossil fuel subsidies, we can accelerate this transition.
With thousands of zero-emission trucks on the road in the coming years - coordinated by an intelligent freight platform like Saga - the transformation to more sustainable transport will be significant.
Technology is transforming the way we work
The year has shown us that much of the way we work is ripe for change. The unemployment rate in the U.S. is remaining flat, as people choose not to return to jobs with poor working conditions and pay.
But technology gives us the opportunity to flip the script. A global shortage of truckers can be solved with the introduction of a new type of work alongside traditional long-haul trucking: remote operation.
With our demonstration of the remote operation technology at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year, we gave attendees in England the chance to oversee and operate an Einride Pod in Sweden in real time, from over 1,200 kilometers away.
We also introduced the world’s first Einride Pod Operator, Tiffany. Her expertise in the freight industry and her excitement to develop this profession will help us craft trucking’s newest career path, and get us well on our way to creating 2,000 new jobs in the U.S. in the first five years of operation.
The potential of technology to transform the way we work is nearly limitless, we just need the courage to embrace it.
The best days of humankind are ahead of us
It’s often easy to feel powerless in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. But if you take one thing away from this year, it should be this: our best days are still to come.
Time and time again, humanity has proven that it is possible to make massive leaps in innovation in a short amount of time. With what we know now, the solutions to these global environmental and labor problems are being developed at record pace, and those who are trying to make the change are proving that it can be made if we’re all willing to get on board.
The past year has largely defined us as a company, but the next year and beyond will define us as a community. So if you see an opportunity to make a positive change, take it. History is made by those who refuse to wait and see.