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CleanTechnica

CEO Matt LeDucq responds to questions about electrifying truck fleets at ports for CleanTechnica.

San Francisco-based Forum Mobility provides heavy-duty fleet electrification programs to decarbonize fossil-fuel truck fleets. The startup recently secured $7.5 million in seed funding, which was co-led by Obvious Ventures and Homecoming Capital.

The news about electric vehicles typically focuses on EVs for consumers such as the Tesla models, the Ford Mach-E, Jaguar I-Pace, Chevy Bolt, Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron, and so on. This news naturally generates more interest because most of us are not driving heavy-duty cargo trucks at ports, tractor trailers, or buses, but replacing very large diesel trucks with zero emissions vehicles is an essential piece of the sustainable transportation puzzle.

The news about electric vehicles typically focuses on EVs for consumers such as the Tesla models, the Ford Mach-E, Jaguar I-Pace, Chevy Bolt, Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron, and so on. This news naturally generates more interest because most of us are not driving heavy-duty cargo trucks at ports, tractor trailers, or buses, but replacing very large diesel trucks with zero emissions vehicles is an essential piece of the sustainable transportation puzzle.

Heavy-duty diesel trucks used at ports to move cargo generate air pollution that is harmful to people and contributes to climate change. Replacing these vehicles with zero emissions trucks will improve unhealthy air quality in and around ports.

Matt LeDucq, Forum Mobility’s CEO, answered some questions about electrifying truck fleets at ports for CleanTechnica.

Why is it important to decarbonize ports?

Ports and their adjacent communities have some of the worst air quality in the United States. Additionally, the transition to electric zero emission vehicles will result in lower costs as well. We can clean up the communities and deliver goods at a lower cost over time.

What are some of the most common health problems caused by port emissions in communities near ports?

A good article is here: “Expansion at the adjacent ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the largest port complex in the country, has resulted in an increasing contribution to the region’s air pollution. Air emissions from ships, yard equipment, railroads, and trucks account for about 10% of the daily particulate matter, 24% of nitrogen oxides, and 73% of the daily sulfur oxides in the entire Los Angeles air basin.”

A good report is here (PDF): “Nearly every item in our daily lives — our clothing, furniture, cleaning supplies, office supplies, electronics, food — was at some point transported across the world’s oceans onboard a container ship, as ap – proximately 90% of global trade is trans – ported on oceangoing vessels. (1) As a result, international shipping is a major green – house gas contributor, accounting for 3% of global emissions.”

What will you do with the latest funding round?

This funding round will allow us to staff up, get pilots on the road, and continue to refine and develop our products.

Who are, or will be your customers?

Our customers will run the gamut from independent operators to large fleets. We are committed to helping the smallest of fleets convert to electric zero emission economically.

Is it possible for ports to install their own solar power arrays to charge their own electric vehicles?

The power needed to electrify is massive and power at the ports will not be sufficient to electrify the movement of our goods. The scale of the undertaking is larger than anyone realizes.

Forum Mobility Raises $7.5 Million Seed Funding to Fuel Expansion

SAN FRANCISCO – December 1, 2021 – Forum Mobility, a zero-emission fleet and infrastructure provider, announced today it has raised $7.5 million in seed funding to build its operations, broaden its team, and further product development. The round was co-led by Obvious Ventures and Homecoming Capital, with additional funding provided by Edison International (NYSE: EIX) and Overture VC. Funds will initially target the electrification of the movement of goods in and around the ports of California.

“Our vision is to work with category-creating entrepreneurs that are decarbonizing the economy and electrifying all modes of transportation,” remarked Andrew Beebe, Managing Director at Obvious Ventures. “We invested in Forum Mobility because they share the same ambition.”

Pat Arnold of Homecoming Capital commented, “After nearly a year of searching for a team that can usher in a new era of clean heavy-duty trucking, we are confident that we found that in Forum Mobility. Forum’s platform will help governments meet their transportation emissions goals while providing a solution that is both more economical for fleet operators and healthier for our communities.”

“There is so much to be excited about with Forum Mobility,” said Shomik Dutta, Managing Partner at Overture VC. “This team will help decarbonize port-related heavy-duty trucking, provide low-cost green transition financing to small business owners, and help us innovate on a just transition for communities and business owners affected by climate.”

Forum Mobility’s leaders have a proven track record over decades executing complex energy infrastructure projects. The combined team has managed $20B in renewables transactions, with expertise in infrastructure development, engineering, financing, and operations.

Matt LeDucq, CEO of Forum Mobility stated, “Forum Mobility is implementing one of the most ambitious heavy-duty fleet electrification programs in the United States, offering excellent customer experience at a lower cost per mile than combustion engines. Our comprehensive, vertically integrated solution delivers a seamless transition for small and large fleet operators, ensuring rapid conversion to a zero-emission future.”

In the United States, trucks represent 4% of all vehicles, but generate 25% of CO2, so decarbonization of the mobility space has clear CO2 reduction benefits while significantly reducing air pollution that disproportionately effects the communities in and around the ports. Additionally, California has put forth aggressive mandates and incentives to decarbonize heavy duty trucking over the next several years. By removing barriers and simplifying the transition to an all-electric fleet, Forum Mobility will enable corporations transporting goods to reach their zero-carbon goals quicker, thereby reducing the impacts of climate change. With an initial focus on the movement of goods in and around California ports, Forum Mobility’s solution will help California deliver on one of the state’s top priorities for emissions reduction and environmental justice.

“The transition to zero emissions trucks is a work-in-progress,” said Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Director at the Port of Long Beach. “Forum Mobility has developed a model that could get us there faster, while delivering an ESG Triple Bottom Line.”

“Edison International supports carefully chosen startups because we want to enable the best ideas and technologies to help California and the United States meet their carbon neutrality goals,” said Sergej Mahnovski, Edison International Managing Director of Strategy, Technology, and Innovation. “Since 2016, the transportation sector has replaced the electric power sector as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. To mitigate climate change and improve air quality, we must continue to accelerate transportation electrification and fleet conversion as one of the most effective ways to remove greenhouse gas emitting vehicles from the road.”

About Forum Mobility
Forum Mobility is dedicated to building a clean energy ecosystem that delivers value to companies transporting goods, while promoting a sustainable zero-carbon future. Forum Mobility’s transformative heavy-duty fleet electrification solution includes the infrastructure, trucks and technology needed to service the movement of goods in and around ports as well as meet fast-approaching emissions mandates. For more information, please visit www.forummobility.com.

About Obvious Ventures
Obvious is a venture capital firm investing in entrepreneurs reimagining every sector of the economy through a world positive lens. Since launching in 2014, Obvious has backed over 80 purpose-led companies using technology to create a smarter, healthier, more sustainable world. Obvious, one of the first firms in the world to become B Corp Certified, is a multi-stage investor with over $600M AUM. For more head to www.obvious.com.

About Homecoming Capital
Homecoming Capital is a climate-focused firm that invests in businesses that decarbonize the economy as they grow. Homecoming’s investments span North America and Europe and support businesses driving decarbonization of the energy, transportation, industrial, and agricultural sectors. For more information, please visit www.homecomingcapital.com.

About Overture VC
Overture is a new climate-focused venture fund that invests in visionary founders who are building the world’s sustainable economy. Overture specializes in helping climate startups navigate government and regulatory complexity. For more, please visit www.overture.eco.

About Edison International
Edison International (NYSE: EIX) is one of the nation’s largest electric utility holding companies, providing clean and reliable energy and energy services through its independent companies. Headquartered in Rosemead, California, Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison Company, a utility that delivers electricity to 15 million people across Southern, Central and Coastal California. Edison International is also the parent company of Edison Energy, a global energy advisory company delivering comprehensive, data-driven energy solutions to commercial and industrial users to meet their cost, sustainability and risk goals.

Media Contact:
Ellen Backus
For Forum Mobility PR
ellen@cleanterrateam.com
612.616.2991

PAST EVENTS

Join our CEO Matt LeDucq for a panel discussion

100% Zero Emissions by 2035: Electrifying Drayage Fleets
December 9, 1:55pm

The second-annual Transportation Electrification Partnership Summit, a hybrid virtual / in-person event, brings together policymakers, industry leaders, startups, experts and academics to discuss transportation electrification and zero emissions goods movement in Los Angeles. Forum Mobility CEO Matt LeDucq will be participating in a panel discussion entitled “100% Zero Emissions by 2035: Electrifying Drayage Fleets” this Thursday, December 9 at 1:55pm. Click on the link below to register!

IN THE NEWS

Commercial Carrier Journal

Heavy-duty electric infrastructure provider gets $7.5M in funding

Forum Mobility, a zero-emission fleet and infrastructure provider, announced today it has raised $7.5 million in seed funding to build its operations, broaden its team, and further product development.

The round was co-led by Obvious Ventures and Homecoming Capital, with additional funding provided by Edison International (NYSE: EIX) and Overture VC. Funds will initially target the electrification of the movement of goods in and around the ports of California.

“Forum Mobility is implementing one of the most ambitious heavy-duty fleet electrification programs in the United States, offering excellent customer experience at a lower cost per mile than combustion engines. Our comprehensive, vertically integrated solution delivers a seamless transition for small and large fleet operators, ensuring rapid conversion to a zero-emission future.”

Commercial Carrier Journal
December 9, 2021
Impact Alpha
Venture Capital Journal

Forum Mobility inks $7.5m seed

Forum Mobility, a zero-emission fleet and infrastructure provder, has raised $7.5 million in seed funding.

Venture Capital Journal
December 7, 2021

Venture Deals

Forum Mobility, a SF, Calif.-based fleet and infrastructure provider, raised $7.5 million in seed funding co-led by Obvious Ventures and Homecoming Capital and was joined by investors including Edison International and Overture VC.

Fortune
December 2, 2021

Venture Capital Deals

Forum Mobility, a SF-based zero-emission fleet and infrastructure provider, raised $7.5 million in seed funding co-led by Obvious Ventures and Homecoming Capital.

Axios
December 2, 2021

Silicon Valley Business Journal Mid-Week Start-Up and Investor News

Forum Mobility Inc., San Francisco, $7.5 million: Obvious Ventures and Homecoming Capital co-led the seed round for this company that’s developing a service to help operators of heavy-duty logistical trucks transition to electricpowered vehicles. Edison International and Overture VC also participated.

Silicon Valley Business Journal
December 1, 2021

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