Transportation is the sector with the largest CO2 emissions, accounting for 37% of total CO2 emissions from end-use sectors globally. A crucial strategy for the reduction of those emissions is the electrification of transportation. In that regard it is exciting to see Tesla dramatically increasing their production volume and Rivian starting to ship. Still these new vehicles amount to a drop in the bucket compared to the globally active fleet of internal combustion cars and trucks. Also producing a completely new vehicle takes time and comes with its own set of emissions. One compelling alternative is to retrofit existing vehicles instead. When done at scale this approach dramatically reduces the time, cost and carbon footprint of electrification.
We are therefore excited to announce our investment in Egypt-based Shift EV (this marks USV’s first MENA/Africa investment). Shift EV has developed an industrial process they call electrofitting: in the space of a few hours, Shift turns an internal combustion vehicle into an electric one. To make this possible Shift has developed its own battery pack as well as a proprietary process for replacing the existing engine. Shift’s initial focus is the rapidly growing last mile delivery segment in Cairo but the company will be rapidly branching out from there to other regional markets. Electrofitting is especially attractive in these geographies where vehicles stay on the road longer and affordability is is a prerequisite for adoption
For a fleet owner the value proposition is super compelling: 30% or more in immediate Opex savings through a combination of reduced fuel and maintenance cost. Shift turns this into a no risk proposition by guaranteeing a cost/mile model, with the batteries offered as a subscription. Shift offers a full electrification solution: charging, maintenance and monitoring, under one subscription, with the goal of plug & play fleet electrification. The transformation goes far beyond the mode of propulsion: fleets go from a carbon-intensive, complex-to-manage set of assets to a decarbonized zero-upfront service, much akin to the transformation from on-prem computing with upfront software licenses to metered SaaS/cloud computing.
This is a massive global opportunity pursued by a compelling team, led by Aly Eltayeb. Shift is actively hiring for a number of roles both in Egypt and remotely.