Startup Merger Partners Eye Class 8 Truck Launch by 2027

Production of Smaller Truck to Start in Arizona in 2025-26
Tevva truck
A Tevva hydrogen electric truck on the road. Tevva is based in England, and ElectraMeccanica is based in Canada. (Tevva)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

Proposed merger partners ElectraMeccanica and Tevva plan to launch a Class 8 hybrid electric and hydrogen-powered truck in the United States in 2027, ElectraMeccanica CEO Susan Docherty said.

The 19-metric-ton or 41,888-pound truck will be built in Mesa, Ariz., at an existing 235,000-square-foot ElectraMeccanica facility and will evolve from a 7.5-ton truck that U.K.-headquartered Tevva currently manufactures.

Deliveries of Tevva’s 7.5-ton battery-electric truck began earlier in 2023 in the U.K., and the larger model will have three hydrogen tanks to extend the vehicle’s range.

The existing model uses an Iveco cab and chassis. The partners will be looking for American suppliers of cabs and chassis for the glider trucks, Docherty told Transport Topics, adding that the pool of potential candidates was large.

Susan Docherty


Docherty also sees a growing pool of component and hydrogen suppliers as attractive. Arizona is attracting a lot of suppliers, she said, and there will be even more by the time the company begins production. Also, “the hydrogen market will be a lot more mature by the time ElectraMeccanica’s dual fuel trucks reach the market,” she said.

Before the launch of the 19-ton truck in the U.S., the partners — which unveiled plans to merge on Aug. 15 — expect to begin deliveries in the U.K. and continental Europe in late 2026, she said.

Manufacturing of the 7.5-ton truck is scheduled to start in the U.S. in late 2025 or in 2026, said Docherty, who has held her position since December 2022. Docherty previously spent three decades with General Motors, including launching the Chevy Volt in Europe.

The Mesa plant will not need to be refitted for production of the smaller model and then the larger model, said Docherty.

ElectraMeccanica logo

Tevva manufactures the smaller 7.5-ton truck at a plant in southeast England. In 2024, the company will begin offering left- and right-hand drive models in the U.K. and in continental Europe. Road testing of the current model began in 2017 in the U.K.

Tilbury, England-based Tevva’s total cost of ownership for its existing product is slightly below that of its diesel rivals in the U.K., Docherty said, adding that fleet owners in the U.K. had been attracted by the lower maintenance cost, the lower energy costs and less driver fatigue.

Tevva already had ambitions to build a manufacturing plant in its homeland, in continental Europe and in the U.S. before the proposed merger, Docherty said, adding that its management team also wanted to go public.

Tevva truck graphic

The planned 19-ton truck from Tevva and ElectraMeccanica. Note the batteries in yellow and the hydrogen tanks in black. (Tevva)

ElectraMeccanica teamed up with Tevva after the Burnaby, British Columbia-headquartered company’s original electric vehicle plans went awry. Previously, ElectraMeccanica focused on a one-seat, two-door, three-wheel electric micromobility vehicle — the Solo.

The Solo was manufactured under contract in China. ElectraMeccanica wanted to shift manufacturing to Mesa from China. ElectraMeccanica could not make the Solo economically viable when manufacturing was mostly in China because of extremely high tariffs, Docherty said.

However, in February, ElectraMeccanica had to withdraw the Solo due to a power propulsion issue, and by April, when it could not resolve the battery problem, the company had to buy back all its vehicles.

ElectraMeccanica had to pivot. “The management team at ElectraMeccanica are firm believers in electric mobility solutions,” she said, adding, “We needed to step back and see if there was a better solution for us.”

Tevva facility

A Tevva manufacturing facility. (Tevva)

Docherty and her team looked at over 100 options. “ElectraMeccanica wanted to look into a partner where one plus one could become a hundred,” she said. Docherty had a shortlist of four targets.

Tevva, she said, was attractive because it was a fellow startup, the values of its management team chimed with those of ElectraMeccanica, the company was seeking a dual-energy solution for electrifying medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and it had a dedicated plant where production had already started.

“The electrical vehicle space is not for the faint of heart,” Docherty said, adding that designing and manufacturing were both difficult, but so too was the battle to educate customers.

The merger of ElectraMeccanica and Tevva is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023. At closing of the transaction, the merged entity will operate as Tevva Inc. and be listed on NASDAQ. ElectraMeccanica shareholders will own 23.5% of the combined company, and Tevva shareholders will own 76.5%.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing below or go here for more info: