The commercial EV developer has plans to scale further and offer upgraded software packages
Being responsible pays off in B.C. With rebates for your next vehicle being of the electric variety, it’s a good time for enterprises to plug in and put the pedal to the metal.
To that end, commercial EV developer 7 Generation Capital just closed $8 million in Series A funding led by Quebec venture capital firm Fonds de solidarité FTQ and multinational tech firm Siemens Financial Services.
The startup—which has its roots in Vancouver and 18 team members across Montreal and Toronto—guides medium and heavy duty fleet operators through the process of electrifying some (or all) of their vehicles in a bid to meet net-zero goals. It’s been helping fleets with installation, operation, maintenance and leasing for electric vehicles and chargers since 2020, according to 7Gen CEO and co-founder Frans Tjallingii.
“It was actually a Vancouver-based operator of tourism buses that wanted to electrify their fleet,” he says of the inspiration behind his EV-as-a-service business. “By working with fleets, we're looking at fleet renewal. If you have 10 vehicles, you might be replacing one every year, or if you have 100 you might be replacing 10. Does it make more sense for you to go electric? I would say for fleets that do up to 200-300km a day, who have some time to charge overnight, in B.C. and Quebec primarily, it makes a lot of sense to electrify.”
With up to $100,000 (or 33 percent of purchase price) incentives to go electric in B.C., there’s little reason for businesses to hold back. The proof is in the pudding as startups like 7Gen start to scale fast with support from big corporations in putting more electric vehicles and chargers on the road.
Value-aligned investors like Siemens (which has foundational experience with e-mobility and chargers) and FTQ (which has investments in 3,400 companies) understand what it’s like to make change on the ground, to be in the field handling client operations. Their support for electric fleets is likely to translate into operational scaling for 7Gen as it integrates upgraded software packages for better assessment and optimization before deployment.
“Ultimately, medium and heavy-duty fleets (which is our focus) on a per-effort-spend give us the best return because they're doing many more kilometres than the light vehicles that people would generally use,” Tjallingii explains. A truck is on the road everyday—in electrifying that, the impact in terms of greenhouse gasses reduced and emissions on the road is huge.
“And also, for fleet operators, they save money—operating costs go down, energy costs go down and especially in those provinces where some of the upfront costs are being provided with incentives to be able to offset that, it really makes sense for fleet operators to move over to electric. It gives us a more efficient economy while working towards our zero emission goals.”