LEIDEN, 20th SEPTEMBER 2021: Fairtree Elevant Ventures, a European growth equity fund based in the Netherlands, has announced its investment into Maxwell and Spark, a green energy business producing the first commercial battery electric truck refrigeration system in the world, along with a range of lithium-ion batteries for materials handling equipment, as well as industrial static power systems.

Headed by Dr Clinton Bemont, the Maxwell and Spark team has been creating innovative lithium-ion solutions since 2012. Maxwell and Spark designs and manufactures lithium-ion systems that empower their industrial users to transition away from inefficient, dirty energy, to lower-cost, cleaner, intelligent alternatives. Maxwell and Spark systems replace legacy diesel and lead-acid industrial systems, radically transforming its operators’ emissions footprints, while also reducing costs.

With the support of Elevant Ventures, Maxwell and Spark is now launching in Europe. Their initial product line includes lithium-ion battery powered electric systems for refrigerated trucking (reefers), along with lithium-ion electric systems for forklifts. Maxwell and Spark have now established their European office in the Netherlands, along with an office in South Africa and agents in the US and Australia.

CEO of Maxwell and Spark, Dr. Clinton Bemont, says “Our lithium-ion battery powered electric systems for refrigerated trucking (reefers) are hugely exciting, designed to replace legacy diesel and lead-acid systems and radically transforming the emissions footprint of operators. Replacing just one diesel transport refrigeration systems with a lithium-ion battery powered system over the course of a year in the EU, has the equivalent effect on particulate emissions of removing up to 150 cars from the road.”

Continues Bemont, “In 2016 we began investigating the viability of lithium-ion transport refrigeration systems, we built and tested our first prototype in 2017, and in 2018 sold and installed our first Fridge.Li. That first unit will soon have been running for four years, while saving ~1.5kg of carbon emissions over every hour of runtime and has shown the lowest maintenance time and costs in the fleet. In terms of energy, our Fridge.Li model saves on average ~94% of the running costs versus an equivalent diesel system, with the initial capital outlay being only marginally more in most cases. The exhaustive data that has been collected via our comprehensive and free-to-use telematics system across the rapidly expanding Fridge.Li fleet over the last several years, combined with the practical lessons gained and end-user feedback, leads us to believe that we build the best adapted and most reliable, practical and cost effective li-ion fridges in the world today. Maxwell and Spark now offer two transport refrigeration ranges, one focused on rigid trucks and the other on trailers, with multiple models and options in each.”

Continues Bemont, “Depending on the charging source, our lithium-ion transport refrigeration systems reduce working carbon emissions by 60-100%. They also reduce the lifetime cost of ownership by 40-60%. Over and above saving customers’ money, the battery delivers superior functional performance using innovative technology, proven in demanding markets with a range of leading global logistics customers.”

Already in high demand, Maxwell and Spark is scaling up distribution of its products in Europe and the US, with funding and support provided by Elevant Ventures. With an estimated 1 million diesel fridges on the roads in Europe alone, the potential for growth is considerable.

Speaking on the partnership David Evans, Managing Director of Fairtree Elevant Ventures, says that they look forward to supporting Maxwell and Spark on this journey with its industry-leading technology transforming cold-chain logistics operations and eliminating emissions, all while making a positive impact on its customers’ bottom line.

“This is truly an exciting chapter for the business, with a talented team, large customer demand and the ability to make a significant impact,” continues Evans, “and it aligns perfectly with our values of helping to build remarkable, enduring businesses that change the world for the better by using technology, changing consumer behaviours and meeting sustainability demands.”