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ELECTRIC drivetrains developed in Australia have been given a high-voltage charge with SEA Electric successfully raising $US42 million ($A54 million) to fund further pilot programs with truck operators and, this year, to become a listed public company in the US.

Starting in Australia in 2012, SEA now is based in Los Angeles and has operations in five countries.

SEA president and founder Tony Fairweather said completion of the funding – which was oversubscribed – would accelerate the company’s sales efforts.

He said that this year will see a major shift in the way developed markets facilitate uptake of commercial electric vehicles and “the unstoppable momentum will build year-after-year.”

SEA Electric partners with commercial vehicle OEMs, dealers, operators and body builders to provide EV trucks.

Mr Fairweather said the company expects to deliver more than 1000 EV commercial vehicles this year and is forecast to have more than 15,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2023.

SEA-Drive 120b Power-System

One of SEA’s new shareholders is Canadian technology and electric motor development company Exro Technologies.

Mr Fairweather said work with Exro would help to optimise the use of batteries in a second-life application.

“The collaboration with Exro will focus on using electric truck batteries for energy storage applications,” he said.

“Exro and SEA Electric will co-develop Exro’s Battery Control System (BCS) for operational validation and take the next step toward leadership in power electronics for mobility and energy management.”

The financing was arranged through shareholders, investors and partners including Exro, exclusive financial advisor Eight Capital and international law firm Vinson and Elkins.

Mr Fairweather confirmed the company will also be exploring options to seek a public listing in the United States this year.

Ford F-59 EV with SEA-Drive 120b

SEA Electric was founded in Australia in 2012 with its first EV model – its proprietary electric power-system technology (known as SEA-Drive) for urban delivery and distribution fleets – launched in 2017.

In 2018 Isuzu Australia began pilot testing SEA Electric EVs. The company opened its Melbourne facility later in 2018, then expanded to New Zealand in 2019 and opened in Los Angeles in January 2020.

It showed its first SEA Hino EV delivery truck in California in May 2020 and signed with Toyota Indonesia in December 2020 to design and build a Toyota Innova EV prototype.

It will launch its first SEA Hino Australian SKD assembled EV truck, the SEA Hino 300, in May this year at the Brisbane Truck Show.

The company works in seven countries including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa. It has accumulated more than one million miles of independently OEM-tested and in-service international operation.

The company’s global sales, aftersales and engineering are represented in all subsidiaries, whilst North America has the largest upfitting capacity for SEA Electric at more than 30,000 units per annum.

By Neil Dowling

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