Flipturn, an electric-vehicle operations startup, announced $4.5 million in seed funding to help it expand its new platform that makes it easier for companies to manage fleets of electric commercial vehicles.
“This is a much-needed piece to the new EV equation to bring all the data to one place and make things much easier to manage fleets,” Brad Bayne, vice president of strategic initiatives at 4 Gen Logistics and an HDT Truck Innovator, told Heavy Duty Trucking.
Bayne is one of the fleet managers Flipturn has been working with to develop and test its Flipturn Connect platform.
Fleets that adopt electric vehicles, such as 4Gen Logistics, face operational challenges involving vehicle range, charging infrastructure, and energy costs. Dispatchers now need visibility into range when sending vehicles out on routes and need to account for fueling that takes hours, not minutes.
Flipturn said those challenges are easier to address using its new Flipturn Connect. This is a unified EV fleet operations platform providing cross-system visibility across fleets’ vehicles, chargers, and related systems. With Flipturn, fleet operators can:
- Monitor location and state-of-charge for all vehicles, track the availability and status of all chargers, and stay aware of critical issues, all from a central dashboard.
- Set charging schedules automatically to make sure vehicles are ready to go for their next trip, while also minimizing electricity costs through charger power management.
- Analyze kWh per mile and cost per mile across vehicles and trips, coach drivers on ways to increase efficiency using historical data, and identify ways to decrease energy usage.
- Configure custom alerts for when a vehicle is low on energy, when a charging session has ended, and more.
Flipturn is commercially available today. Bayne told HDT 4Gen has been using the platform for several months after working with Flipturn during its development.
4 Gen, the sister company of Arizona-based Duncan and Son Lines, drays containers from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to Arizona and other southwestern states. The company has pledged to become the first North American motor carrier to own an all-zero-emission drayage fleet by 2025. That’s 10 years before the regulations will require it.
It started out with three battery-electric BYD trucks. Late last year, 4 Gen added a Volvo VNR Electric as part of the Volvo LIGHTS demonstration project. In March, its 20 battery-electric Kenworth T680E started to arrive, and there are 40 more Volvo VNR Electrics in the works, for a total of 64 planned by the end of the year.
Real-World Development and Testing
Bayne told HDT he’s been impressed by how nimble Flipturn is in the product development and has enjoyed providing them feedback from an EV fleet perspective.
“I see this being a great platform for all EV fleet managers,” he said.
The data Flipturn provides will be critical to manage the day in real time, Bayne explained, and will help drive more efficient operation of its new fleet of battery-electric trucks. Key performance indicator data provided through the platform helps the company reduce costs while improving operations.
“Their platform brings a good portion of the telematics data, real-time state of charge data as trucks are working, real-time charger/charging data as trucks are plugged in, along with some great operational and financial reporting.”
Flipturn has raised $4.5 million in seed funding led by venture capital firm Accel with support from Comma Capital, Background Capital, and over 30 additional angel investors. With the new funds, the company said, it will build out its product and go-to-market team, so that it can expand access to Flipturn Connect and accelerate product development.
Daniel Levine, partner with Accel, said in a statement: “Flipturn has the team, product, and vision necessary to bring EV fleets into the mainstream. As businesses adapt to regulatory requirements and seek cost-efficient alternatives in the long term that don't rely on fossil fuel, Flipturn is poised to be the backbone of this transformation and forever change the century-old trucking industry.”