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Harbinger EV startup medium vehicles NAIAS 2022

Harbinger EV truck

Jack Schroeder | Harbinger

A brand new Los Angeles-based electrical automobile startup based by veterans of Canoo and QuantumScape mentioned Wednesday it is making ready to shake up the medium-duty truck market with a ready-to-build electrical truck platform coming subsequent yr.

The corporate, known as Harbinger, has developed two EV platforms it says are optimized for medium-duty vehicles comparable to supply vans. The platforms use motors and different know-how developed in-house particularly to fulfill the wants of a market section the place vehicles are anticipated to be in service for as much as 20 years – far longer than the common passenger automotive.

It is a market section that – up to now, at the very least – hasn’t been well-served by the industrywide transfer to electrical autos, CEO John Harris mentioned.

“The businesses out on the bookends, within the light-duty and heavy-duty house, are traditionally extremely vertically built-in,” Harris advised CNBC in an interview. “Once we take a look at the medium-duty trade, it is utterly completely different.”

Harris mentioned that medium-duty vehicles, which fall between light-duty pickups and heavy-duty semitrucks, are usually extremely specialised. These vehicles, which might vary from dump vehicles to supply vans, are usually constructed to order for fleets by firms known as upfitters, utilizing chassis from any of a number of established automobile makers.

It is an ecosystem that hasn’t modified a lot within the final 50 years, Harris mentioned. That is why Harbinger is tailoring its merchandise to work inside that current medium-duty ecosystem. The corporate is making ready two totally electrical truck chassis that will likely be prepared for upfitters to tailor to their industrial prospects’ wants – at a price that, Harris mentioned, will likely be akin to current internal-combustion choices.

Harbinger EV truck

Jack Schroeder | Harbinger

Harbinger’s merchandise will embody a “cab chassis” much like these constructed by firms like Ford Motor, however electrical. Upfitters use cab chassis, which include a passenger compartment, to construct field vehicles, tow vehicles and different equally sized autos.

Harbinger will even provide a “strip chassis,” and not using a cab for the driving force, that may function a basis for autos like supply vans. Harris famous that in contrast to current strip-chassis choices, Harbinger’s will not require upfitters to work round an internal-combustion engine – permitting for extra cargo room and a extra snug atmosphere for the automobile’s driver.

And since they’re anticipated to serve for as much as 20 years, each of Harbinger’s chassis will embody the {hardware} and redundant techniques wanted for autonomous driving. Harbinger, although, has no plans to develop its personal self-driving software program in-house.

What is not clear but is how the corporate plans to fabricate its chassis. Harbinger’s headquarters has tooling and tools to construct prototypes, and might produce electrical motors and associated elements, but it surely’s not geared up to construct full chassis at scale.

Harris advised CNBC that Harbinger has chosen a producing associate and can announce particulars quickly. Harbinger at the moment expects to make its first deliveries in late 2023 and to start quantity manufacturing in 2024, he mentioned.

Harbinger was based in July 2021 by Harris, who labored at EV startups Faraday Future and Xos Trucks; Phillip Weicker, who serves as Harbinger’s chief know-how officer and labored at QuantumScape and Canoo, the place he was a cofounder; and Will Eberts, chief working officer, who labored with Harris at Faraday Future and with Weicker at Canoo.

The corporate obtained early funding from Tiger International Administration and “different extremely specialised traders with deep expertise” in electrical autos, Harris mentioned.

Harbinger plans to point out off its EV truck chassis on the North American Worldwide Auto Present in Detroit later this week.

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