Electric-powered trailer startup lands new funding

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by Emily Atkins

Range Energy has received a new infusion of cash to support development of its powered electric trailers.

Range is developing an electric heavy-duty trailer that can hook up to any tow vehicle and improve fuel efficiency. The company says its trailer can improve fuel efficiency by up to 40 percent for fleet owners.

Range Energy’s electrified trailers can reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent.

The trailer has an electric powertrain in the rear axles that reduces the amount of work the conventional diesel truck towing it will have to do. They are also compatible with electric trucks and hook up using standard equipment.

A smart kingpin unit measures the load the trailer is placing on the truck. It controls the electric motors which provide propulsion assistance. The powertrain reduces the load on the truck’s engine under acceleration and recaptures energy using regenerative braking.

The trailer will have a modular, scalable battery that can be adjusted depending on the usage. Range says that the trailer will function as a normal trailer if not charged.

The US$8M in seed capital Range has received from UP Partners, R7, and Yamaha Motor Ventures will go towards continuing development and obtaining regulatory approvals.

The company recently completed its software and hardware interface validation prototypes. It says the units will be on the market in 2023.

“Range was founded on the vision that cleaner, safer, and more efficient towing is attainable today. Our powered trailers seamlessly meet fleet owners’ short- and long-term decarbonization goals by easing the transition to electrification, while mitigating the risks of economic penalties associated with emerging mandates,” said Ali Javidan, CEO and founder, Range Energy.

“Given our team’s extensive battery and powertrain experience, we are uniquely positioned to successfully bring powered trailers to market quickly and efficiently. We’re excited to be a first-mover in this market and most significantly, to accelerate commercial transportation’s trajectory towards its zero emissions goals.”

Range Energy was founded in 2021 by a team with EV industry expertise from Tesla, Zoox, Honda, and more. It is based in Mountain View, California.