OX Delivers secures £1.2m for affordable clean transport for Africa

OX Delivers, a UK-based e-mobility startup, has been awarded a £1.2 million funding grant from the Energy Catalyst to support the production of its next-generation, cost-effective all-electric OX4 truck.

This grant will contribute to establishing a sustainable energy infrastructure in Rwanda, benefiting the electric vehicles (EVs) of OX Delivers.

Currently, OX Delivers is revolutionising transport in Rwanda with its affordable transport-as-a-service model, significantly impacting the lives of thousands. The company aims to extend its services across the Global South, beginning with the African continent. For under $1, OX Delivers enables customers to transport goods to market over challenging terrain, typical of the Global South, quickly and sustainably. This service allows farmers and traders to reach larger markets, fostering economic and social growth within these communities.

Energy Catalyst, a programme by Innovate UK, supports essential innovation that promotes job creation, economic growth, and an inclusive clean energy transition in Africa, Asia, and the Indo-Pacific.

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.”

The transport-as-a-service model of OX Delivers charges customers based on the amount of space they use, calculated on a kilogram-per-kilometre basis, accessible through an app or a toll-free number. Since its inception, OX has supported over 4,000 customers, including smallholder farmers and traders, with 80% being repeat customers.

The original OX Truck, designed by Professor Gordon Murray in 2016, was notable for being the world’s first flat-pack truck and the first vehicle designed specifically for Africa in forty years. The OX team has since improved the design, resulting in the OX4, the first electric truck purpose-designed for the Global South, offering a cost-effective solution for transport services across the continent.

Davis revealed that the construction of the third-generation OX4 truck will commence in March, incorporating significant upgrades based on field experiences and customer feedback. The OX4 will feature improved design aspects for better driving position and visibility, chassis enhancements, and a proprietary vehicle control unit for efficient electric powertrain management. Details on the OX4's full technical specifications will be disclosed shortly.

A dedicated team of 20 professionals at OX Delivers' headquarters in Leamington Spa, UK, are finalising the OX4 truck's plans. The initial units will be built in March, with delivery in knock-down kit form for local assembly. Beyond the Energy Catalyst grant, OX Delivers has received funding from the UK government, USAID, and angel investors, amounting to approximately $10 million in equity.

With the upcoming launch of the OX4 truck, OX Delivers is poised to expand its impact throughout East Africa and beyond, aiming to reach three billion people in developing countries who lack access to affordable, sustainable transport.