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OX Delivers secures funding to provide ‘clean transport’ for Africa

Posted on 24 Feb 2024 and read 470 times
OX Delivers secures funding to provide ‘clean transport’ for AfricaOX Delivers, a UK-based e-mobility start-up, has received a £1.2 million funding grant from Energy Catalyst — an Innovate UK programme that funds ‘innovation required to create jobs, spur economic growth, and drive an inclusive clean energy transition across Africa, Asia, and Indo-Pacific communities’. This grant will help the company get its next-generation, affordable, all-electric OX4 truck ready for production; it will also help fund the development of a sustainable energy infrastructure in Rwanda from which OX Delivers’ EV trucks will benefit.

OX Delivers is already providing ‘reliable, affordable transport-as-a-service’, and the company says it is dedicated to expanding the rollout of its offering ‘across the Global South, starting on the African continent’. “For less than $1, an OX Delivers’ customer can transport a sack of goods to market across poor roads which are typical in the Global South, completing the task in a matter of hours instead of days by foot or bicycle. The OX Delivers transport-as-a-service model enables farmers and traders to access larger markets further from home, where prices are higher and new opportunities are available, thereby creating a self-reinforcing cycle of economic and social growth within local communities.”

Simon Davis, OX Delivers’ founder and CEO, added: “We are delighted to not only receive funding from Energy Catalyst but also have the OX Delivers transport-as-a-service model validated as part of the solution required to deliver clean energy, advance economic growth, and transform lives in the Global South.”

Affordable transport

He added: “We will leverage this grant to demonstrate the benefits of a low-carbon energy ‘charge-point’ infrastructure and provide rural communities with affordable transport. This will support the electrification of two of our current depots to create ‘flagship projects’ that will further strengthen the OX Delivers business case.

“With our business model, customers pay only for the space they need on a kilogram-per-kilometre basis, and the service is easily accessible via an app or toll-free number. Since its launch, OX has seen strong demand and is now supporting more than 4,000 customers, including smallholder farmers and traders, with 80% of orders coming from repeat customers.

“The original OX Truck, designed by Professor Gordon Murray in 2016, was the world’s first flat-pack truck and the first vehicle designed specifically for Africa in forty years. OX Delivers will start building the third-generation OX4 truck this March, and our 20-strong design, engineering and production team have been finalising the plans for the OX4 truck at our global headquarters in Leamington Spa. The vehicles will be delivered in knock-down kit format for assembly in local markets.”