Interview with Linnéa Kornehed, Co-founder of Einride
By rethinking road freight from scratch, Einride has developed a solution that has the potential to revolutionize transport by being both cost competitive and sustainable. Einride’s solution is a Freight Mobility Platform that can run autonomous, all-electric vehicles, coordinated by what is best likened to an intelligent “operative system” for road freight. Einride’s AET system includes an order management platform, a fleet management platform, self-driving and remote-control technology, and vehicles.
Please tell us about Einride? What inspired you to build it?
LK: Einride is a Swedish tech company founded in 2016 by Robert Falck, Linnéa Kornehed and Filip Lilja. The company is developing a freight mobility platform designed for electric and autonomous transport and shipping.
Einride’s Freight Mobility platform includes order management, fleet management, autonomous and remote-control technology that work seamlessly with Einride’s vehicles.
We started Einride because we wanted to change the transport industry and make the future of transport more sustainable. Today’s transport industry faces major sustainability challenges as one year road transport emits + 7% of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Our solution can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from heavy transport by 90 percent, while reducing costs drastically.
How big is the freight market and the self-driving vehicles industry?
LK: The global freight market is a $ 2,000 billion opportunity. Global road freight sales is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 3-4% between 2017-2025.
Our target markets (market shares) are the US market: 350 USD bn (17.5%) and the Europe market: $210 bn (10.5%). There is also an additional market potential through “internal supply chains” i.e. in-house logistic systems managed by companies worth est. $40 bn
How could your startup soon disrupt the transportation industry? What capabilities are enabled by your technology?
LK: By rethinking road freight from scratch, we have developed a solution that has the potential to revolutionize transport by being both cost competitive and sustainable.
What sets us apart from other companies that are working with autonomous technology for trucks is partly that we invest in electric drive and partly that we design our vehicles from the ground up – Einrides pod is specifically designed for electric driving and autonomous and, for example, has no cab.
Remove the driver’s cab and you get a smaller, lighter and more flexible vehicle that is optimized for electric propulsion. For example, you can slow charge the batteries, making them last longer, because you don’t have to think about a driver sitting idle by. You can also drive 24/7 because you don’t have to think about a driver that needs to rest or take breaks.
What are the main challenges that your company faces when trying to revolutionize this “stagnant ecosystem”?
LK: There are both technical and regulatory challenges, but technology and legislation are developing rapidly. In the long run, the big challenge will probably be the acceptance of the public to co-operate with robot trucks on the roads. There we have an important task – to prove that our solution is safe and contributes to a better society, among other things through reduced emissions.
How is the start-up ecosystem different in Sweden compared to the U.S?
LK: The start-up ecosystem in Stockholm and Sweden have drastically changed in the last couple of years. Sweden has a long tradition of engineering and automotive from companies like Volvo and Scania. Combining that with the new tech scene in Sweden with companies like Spotify, Skype, iZettle and Klarna there are great opportunities for start-ups. After Silicon Valley, Stockholm is known for being the “unicorn factory” producing most unicorns per capita after Silicon Valley.
There are not many women who are the founders of fast growing companies. What advice do you have for young women who are trying to establish themselves professionally and build their own businesses?
LK: First of all, it takes time so don’t give up. In the beginning the challenge is really to trust yourselves and your gut – don’t change your mind too often because of what everyone else thinks. The company will go through many different phases and you need to grow and adapt to those changes quickly.