Singapore-based startup Singauto Technology is set to introduce its fully electric refrigerated truck model in China, aiming to break into the competitive electric vehicle (EV) market. The company has completed an initial funding round of $20 million and will unveil its first EV cold storage truck at an event in Beijing. The Chinese EV market is the world’s largest, and Singauto hopes to secure a lucrative niche by offering a viable cold storage electric vehicle.
The cold-chain logistics market in China is dominated by internal combustion vehicles due to concerns about limited range for electric versions caused by the power consumption of refrigeration. Singauto believes that as China’s EV industry becomes more efficient and with the implementation of favorable policies such as restrictions on internal combustion engine trucks in major cities, the demand for pure electric vehicles will grow.
The company has already received 20,000 pre-orders for its new truck, the S1, and plans to target the fast-growing market for EVs in Southeast Asia. The S1 will feature an 85 kilowatt-hour battery supplied by China’s CATL, providing a range of 270 km (168 miles) when fully loaded. Singauto aims to achieve profitability with sales of 30,000 trucks and has outsourced the design, engineering, and manufacturing of the vehicle to Shanghai Launch Automotive Technology.
Unlike legacy carmakers, China’s EV industry has significantly reduced the time to develop new vehicles, with the S1 taking only 15 to 18 months to develop from scratch. Singauto believes its focused approach on the cold-chain logistics segment gives it a competitive advantage over mass-market EV manufacturers that have been engaged in a price war impacting profitability. Singauto’s investors include Cynergy Global Investment and TuSimple.