EDP, through EDP Ventures, has just invested 500,000 euros in a Portuguese startup that helps freight truck drivers to optimize their journeys, saving time between journeys and, above all, saving fuel, which takes up about 40% of the transport companies' budgets.
Fuelsave is developing a solution that collects electronic data from each truck and analyzes it, which aids in discovering the different driving parameters that have an impact on fuel consumption. This way, and without increasing the time of each trip, freight companies can reduce their main expense while increasing driving safety. The solution developed by the company has a pending patent application for its differentiating aspect compared to what already exists on the market.
Though the use of a device installed on the trucks and a cell phone or tablet, drivers have constant and personalized support when traveling. Fuelsave began developing this solution in 2018 and currently has pilot projects on more than 100 vehicles of various national freight carriers. The first results point to an average fuel saving rate of 20%.
As such, Fuelsave is positioned as a stand-alone platform for managing the company's fleets more efficiently, and taking a fundamental step toward making autonomous driving a reality in the truck segment.
"The transport sector still has too much weight in CO2 emissions, and freight is a big part of this problem. Therefore, in line with EDP's commitment to sustainable mobility, we believe that development of smart driving solutions that significantly reduce fossil fuel consumption is part of the future. Fuelsave has made a remarkable journey in this field, but the work it is doing in semi-autonomous and autonomous driving is also exciting, and we believe that it will be the future. Therefore, it has a very attractive business perspective, in line with EDP's strategy," says Luís Manuel, administrator of EDP Inovação.
In the future, the company intends to help autonomous driving companies develop their technologies more efficiently and safely, using the platform that is being developed by Fuelsave.
"We are focusing on changing the landscape of urban and transport mobility that will take place over the coming decades: solving problems such as reducing fuel consumption and emissions, as well as safer, more automated driving. In this sense, our vision fits in with EDP's strategic pillars. Since it is a platform with broad access to the national and international markets, EDP will enable us to leverage our business and the technology we have been developing. EDP's participation in this investment round confirmed the success of our work and facilitated the entry of more investment that strategically, in this embryonic phase, makes a lot of sense to Fuelsave," says Luis Mendes, Fuelsave director.
Évora's startup participated in the acceleration of Building Global Inovators (BGI), a program developed by ISCTE and supported, among others, by the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT). Fuelsave has more than a dozen employees and was chosen to receive funding from Alentejo2020, a community funding plan that supports the economic development of companies in its region. With this investment round led by EDP Ventures, Fuelsave will be preparing to enter the commercial phase with a product tailored to the needs and budgets of freight companies, regardless of their size.