OX Delivers secures £1.2 million UK Energy Catalyst grant funding to further strategic roll-out of affordable clean transport for Africa

OX Delivers, UK-based emobility start-up, has received a £1.2 million funding grant from Energy Catalyst as the company readies its next-generation affordable all-electric OX4 truck for production.

The £1.2 million Energy Catalyst grant will fund the development of a sustainable energy infrastructure in Rwanda from which OX Delivers EV trucks will benefit from. 

OX Delivers is already providing reliable, affordable transport-as-a-service and transforming the lives of thousands of people in Rwanda. The company is dedicated to expanding the rollout of its transport-as-a-service offering across the Global South, starting on the African continent.

For less than $1, an OX Delivers customer can transport a sack of goods to market across poor roads which are typical in the Global South. Efficiently and sustainably completing the task in a matter of hours instead of days by foot or bicycle, the OX Delivers transport-as-a-service model enables farmers and traders to access larger markets further from home, where prices are higher and new opportunities are available. This creates a self-reinforcing cycle of economic and social growth within local communities across the Global South.

Energy Catalyst, an Innovate UK programme, funds critical innovation required to create jobs, spur economic growth, and drive an inclusive clean energy transition across Africa, Asia, and Indo-Pacific communities.

Simon Davis, Founder & CEO of OX Delivers commented: “We are delighted to not only receive funding from Energy Catalyst but also have the OX Delivers transport-as-a-service model validated as part of the solution required to deliver clean energy, advance economic growth and transform lives in the Global South.”

“We will leverage this grant to demonstrate the benefits of a low-carbon energy 'charge-point' infrastructure and provide rural communities with affordable transport. This will support the electrification of two of our current depots to create flagship projects which will further strengthen the OX Delivers business case.” 

With OX Delivers’ unique transport-as-a-service business model, customers pay only for the space they need on a kilogram-per-kilometre basis. The service is easily accessible via an app or toll-free number. Since its launch, OX has seen strong demand and is now supporting more than 4000 customers including smallholder farmers and traders, with 80% of orders coming from repeat customers.

The original OX Truck, designed by Professor Gordon Murray in 2016, was the world’s first flat-pack truck and the first vehicle designed specifically for Africa in forty years. The OX team has continuously advanced the truck design, evolving it into the first purpose-designed electric truck for the Global South. It is ten times cheaper to run than existing alternatives and will transform transport services across the continent.

“OX Delivers will start building the third generation OX4 truck in March. Based on learnings in the field and customer feedback, the OX4 is our most advanced truck to date and features a range of major upgrades.” explained Davis.

The OX4 features design updates such as improved driving position and greater operator visibility as well as chassis improvements. OX Delivers has also developed a proprietary vehicle control unit enabling the creation of advanced software for more efficient control of the electric powertrain. Full technical details of the OX4 will be announced in due course.

A 20-strong design, engineering and production team are finalising the plans for the OX4 truck at the OX Delivers global headquarters in Leamington Spa in the UK. The build process of the first examples will commence in March, prior to delivery in knock-down kit format for assembly in local markets.

In addition to the Energy Catalyst funding, OX Delivers has secured grants from the UK government and USAID through various programmes such as the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Innovate UK. In addition to grant funding, OX Delivers has garnered support from angel investors who have collectively invested around $10 million in equity.

With the introduction of the OX4 truck later this year, OX Delivers will continue scaling its impact across East Africa and beyond, targeting three billion people in developing countries without access to affordable, sustainable transport.