In the late 19th century, our cities were overly congested with hundreds of thousands of horses, dropping manure at a rate of 24 pounds a day, per horse. When the world’s first international urban planning conference was held in 1898, it was dominated by discussion of the increasingly worrisome and dangerous manure situation. In the best-selling book SuperFreakonomics, the authors describe the waste lining the streets as “banks of snow.” The march of progress had created an environmental disaster. “The world had seemingly reached the point where its largest cities could not survive without the horse but couldn’t survive with it, either,” the authors write.
As we know, the combustion engine came along to save the day and by the beginning of the 20th century, “clean” gas-powered vehicles had completely replaced the horse. Unfortunately, as we also know too well, the march of progress has again put us in a precarious position with the environment. The combustion engine may have solved the manure problem, but it’s now one of the main causes of our current environmental calamity.
We founded Xos Trucks four years ago to tackle this problem. Understanding that about 65 percent of all trucks on the road travel daily routes of 150 miles or less, Xos has focused its products and solutions on last-mile delivery vehicles, which are huge emitters of greenhouse gasses. Each truck emits a whopping 61,000 lbs of C02 into the atmosphere per year.
To transform last-mile delivery into an efficient and sustainable zero-emissions operation, logistics networks desperately need reliable and affordable electric delivery vehicles. Customers increasingly demand convenience, which has spawned new delivery services for food and other consumer goods. The need to transform last-mile delivery has become even more urgent in our pandemic-stricken world.
Xos is one of the only electric truck companies with vehicles making deliveries today (for customers such as UPS and Loomis), so our inboxes have been filling up with inquiries about our products and solutions. It’s an extremely exciting time for the EV industry. Just like those manufacturing combustion engines at the end of the 19th century, we’re on the frontlines of change.
It’s with this excitement we announce today that Xos Trucks closed a $20 million fundraise earlier this year. This capital will help us meet the growing demand for our current products and help us bring new products in the pipeline to market. Our board has expanded to include Rodolfo Elias Dieck of Proeza Ventures, focused exclusively on funding high-growth mobility startups, and Mark Lampert of BUILD Capital Group and former Daimler executive. We’ve also been busy expanding our executive team, hiring Rob Ferber as our CTO and Kingsley Afemikhe as our CFO. These new members of the Xos family, along with dozens of other recent hires, accelerate our growth and put more trucks on the roads faster.
When industries switched from horses to combustion engines to drive commerce, manufacturers kept one thing from the old world: they continued to measure engine power outputs in terms of horsepower. And while we can certainly continue to use horsepower to measure our electric motors, at Xos, we prefer to use kilowatts. Let’s leave all the horses — the manure and the exhaust fumes — in the past where they belong and keep our eye on the brighter, cleaner, more sustainable present.
Author: Dakota Semler