Chelmsford tech company develops ‘world’s greenest truck’

PUBLISHED: 17:05 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:27 21 June 2018

Tevva Motors

Tevva Motors


Rising to the challenge to reduce vehicle emissions for the sake of our environment, a Chelmsford-based automotive technology company has developed ‘the world’s greenest truck’ — the first to travel hundreds of miles on clean energy alone | Words: Nicky Adams

About 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are pumped out by transport – cars, trains, ships, planes, and particularly lorries and large vans. The burning of fossil fuels to power engines pollutes the atmosphere and contributes to global warming on an alarming scale.

No surprise then that the race is on to devise trucks that run on clean energy. While billionaire tech innovator Elon Musk is hitting the headlines in the US with his ideas of revolutionising the world’s transport, from his headquarters right here in Essex, Israeli-born automotive technician Asher Bennett’s company, Tevva Motors, is quietly developing technologies designed to get electric trucks on roads around the globe. With great success!

“A truck’s number one job is to deliver,” explains Asher. “Truck operators want to be kinder to the environment, but electric trucks will never catch on until they can drive distances diesel trucks can drive. At the moment, electric trucks are being used, but just for short journeys; the big impact will only be made if trucks use green energy for the long journeys.”

Tevva MotorsTevva Motors

But electric vehicles can only keep moving for as long as they have battery life. “I drive an electric car and it’s hard to find somewhere to charge it, even in London,” says Asher.

“It’s unrealistic for truck drivers to stop every few hours for a couple of hours to charge and that’s why my company has developed a new system that increases the life of a vehicle’s battery while it is in motion, so it can travel on green energy much, much further – making it the most environmentally-friendly truck technology in the world.”

With Tevva’s genius “range extender technology”, 7.5 to 14 tonne trucks can maximize their battery life and travel hundreds and hundreds of miles without plugging back in to the mains, rather than the standard 30 or 40 miles.

Tevva MotorsTevva Motors

“We say our trucks will always get you back to base,” says Asher. “You’ll never be stranded with no battery. Drivers can even forget to charge overnight and the truck will still go out and drive more than 100 miles the next day.”

Unique software, developed by Asher’s team of experienced automotive and electric vehicle specialists at Tevva’s Chelmsford technical centre, predicts the truck’s energy requirements for a day on the road.

It then optimises the vehicle’s performance to ensure that as much of the distance as possible is powered by electricity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% — which exceeds even the most stringent air quality standards.

Tevva MotorsTevva Motors

Tevva’s technology can be fitted to new vehicles as well as old and, after four years of testing, is now ready to hit the streets. A fleet of trucks for the courier delivery service UPS is currently lined up in Tevva’s garage, each waiting to be fitted with two lithium ion batteries and the all-important range extender, which will make sure each truck drives greener for longer.

The fleets of several other large companies, including DHL and Whitbread, are next in the queue.

“The system is modular and every component is designed and built here in Chelmsford,” says Asher. “Each module has its own computer, which connects to every part of the vehicle and manages it for safety, longevity and control.

Tevva MotorsTevva Motors

“A cloud-based system makes all the decisions about the battery and the range extender from afar, and puts it all together, so as you’re driving along it’s making all those autonomous decisions that allow the vehicle to drive at maximum efficiency.”

The inspiration for this solution came from Asher’s first career back in Israel, as an officer on British-built, diesel-electric submarines, which are propelled by a battery and an electric motor, complete with diesel engines to re-charge the batteries, and governed by a pre-planned energy management system.

With the idea of translating this technology to trucks, Asher relocated to the UK six years ago on an Entrepreneur’s Visa, teamed up with an engineering partner and founded his company in Essex.

Tevva MotorsTevva Motors

“This county has a good automotive eco-system,” says Asher. “It’s not hard to find talented and skilled engineers here.”

Tevva’s workforce has doubled twice in the past year, and is set to double again in the next few months, with new contracts flooding in as Asher’s technology starts to come to the attention of major truck operators, and also the British government.

Asher was among a delegation of 50 UK business representatives who accompanied Prime Minister Theresa May on her landmark trade visit to China earlier this year to promote the new golden era of UK-China trade relations.

Tevva MotorsTevva Motors

“The invitation from the Prime Minister’s Office was unexpected,” says Asher. “Certainly, we are at the forefront of what the UK wants for new technology in the automotive space. China is an exciting market to be in, so we would definitely be looking to develop partnerships there.”

Tevva is also looking for partners in the US, continental Europe and India for business development or production, now the initial stage of development and production is complete.

“Our work needs a level of localisation to adapt to the regulations and design culture in each market,” expands Asher.

Tevva MotorsTevva Motors

“Our modular technology means we can be flexible – for example, engines in American trucks tend to be upfront, but in Europe the driver sits on the engine and the front is flat. Indian trucks have a completely different layout.

“Our technology is such that we can work with those different types of designs. And, as the cleanest solution in the world, we can easily exceed the environmental regulations in each country.”

Proof then that Tevva, based in Chelmsford, is definitely going places. In fact it’s going global. “We need a larger base now, but we won’t move far,” assures Asher.

“We’re well-funded, we’re growing, we have great technology, but we still have a start-up mentality. We have a good team here and every member of it really matters.

“People here are proud to work on the most advanced technology – and not just to produce another vehicle that harms our planet.”


Follow Essex Life on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Essex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Essex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Essex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Fri, 17:09

Escape to the Chateau star Angel Adoree is currently reaping the benefits of her incredible vision and drive to build an overseas wedding and lifestyle business from scratch with husband Dick Strawbridge. Here she tells Essex Life about series five of the hit Channel 4 show and how a strong Essex work ethic helped her dream so big | Words: Denise Marshall

Read more
Wed, 13:28

Hannah Salisbury from the Essex Record Office tells the story of an exciting project that is taking memories on tour around the county

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

Whether you know him for his madcap antics, his reality TV appearances or his unique voice, Essex boy Joe Pasquale has earned his place as one of the nation’s favourite entertainers. Kate Everett caught up with Joe to hear what’s next in his 30-year showbiz career

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

With the help of finance expert and writer Philip Beresford, Essex Life reveals the 2018 Essex Life Richest 50

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Epping is so much more than the last stop on the Central Line. Petra Hornsby meets the volunteers helping to preserve one of Epping’s most treasured and enduring treasures – its forest

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The agricultural heritage of the county cannot be underestimated. Here Stephanie Mackentyre visits three farms that have been feeding Essex for generations

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Paycocke’s House and Gardens, now owned by The National Trust, is one of the county’s most precious historic sites and 2018 marks 500 years since the death of the man who gave the house its name. Ruth McKegney tells the tale of this Coggeshall jewel

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Southend has given the great and the good fabulous days of fun beside the seaside for generations, and they keep coming! Petra Hornsby tells the tale of one newcomer who has fallen in love with Southend through a comedy connection with Laurel and Hardy

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Neil Oliver is perhaps best known for his role as the presenter of the BBC’s Coast series, but he is about to embark on a quite different tour of the UK, calling in at Southend. Kate Everett found out more

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Essex-raised TV personality Andy Day has been a favourite on BBC children’s channel CBeebies for over 12 years. Now he’s branched into music, touring nationwide with his family-friendly band, Andy and the Odd Socks. Here he tells Denise Marshall about his Glastonbury debut, fighting bullying and becoming a father

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search