The Uber for global farmers

An automotive startup is designing a range of electric trucks using PTC’s Onshape software.

OX Delivers, established in 2020 and based in Warwick, focuses on crafting electric trucks suitable for challenging conditions in the developing world.

The company's electric vehicles, crafted with the assistance of PTC’s Cloud-native design platform that includes built-in PDM, aim to provide rural farmers with a reliable and cost-efficient means of transporting perishable crops to market promptly.

Reliable transportation is crucial for farmers, as it can be the difference between financial stability and loss due to crops spoiling before reaching the market.

The startup is conducting a pilot project in Rwanda, giving local businesses the opportunity to transport their goods using their trucks.

Feedback from this trial is being gathered by OX Deliver’s engineering team in Leamington Spa, consisting of 13 members. The team will utilise this data to enhance the vehicle’s robustness, environmental sustainability, and user experience.

Kristiana Hamilton, an Engineer at OX Delivers, commented: “There has already been significant progress in design and prototyping, leading to an electric prototype currently operational in Rwanda.

“We are still in the development stage, working towards creating a unique low-emission truck that is effective and easily assembled overseas.”

Hamilton also noted the impact of adopting Onshape as their primary design platform: “Onshape has significantly improved our design process. Its user-friendliness and real-time iteration capabilities have reduced lead times and supported our new design approach.

“Despite being a smaller engineering team, we efficiently manage various aspects of the vehicle design. Onshape’s clarity and simulation features help avoid expensive modifications and integrate immediate feedback into our models.”

OX Delivers is currently working on a new chassis for their next vehicle model, transitioning from front wheel drive to rear wheel drive, a change tailored for the Rwandan market.

The company is also focusing on developing a more user-friendly driver's cab and refining the suspension to better navigate challenging terrain.

Onshape’s collaborative features have been vital for OX Delivers. The team uses custom features from other Onshape users to enhance functionality and create physical models for testing.

Hamilton added: “Our collaboration extends to our supply chain partners like Potenza, Penso, and Dana Incorporated. Using Onshape, we easily share and access design information securely in the Cloud.

“As we progress towards the final OX Truck design, Onshape’s built-in PDM will be instrumental in managing our expanding bill of materials.

“For a startup, this technology is cost-effective and offers the security and functionality of a larger organisation.”

Jon Hirschtick, EVP at PTC, said: “OX Delivers is changing how goods are transported in emerging countries, improving lives and opportunities for locals.

“This is a significant UK innovation on an international scale, and we are pleased that OX Delivers is using Onshape to address the unique design challenges of creating a custom vehicle for sustainable transportation in demanding environments.”

Onshape, a Cloud-native CAD tool with built-in PDM, enables companies to design more efficiently, resolve bottlenecks earlier, and enhance collaboration, all while allowing users to work from any device.

PTC’s software is utilised by various companies, including notable innovators like DHL, Garmin, Ocado Technology, and Withings.