Einride Founder Robert Falck on His Moral Obligation to Electrify Autonomous Trucking

Robert Falck used to work in a Russian transportation industry during the day and ran a nightclub guest list business at night. He also collects ancient books and once predicted that Gao Xingjian, a Chinese novelist, would receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born and raised on a farm, although he holds degrees in finance, economics, and mechanical engineering. No, this is not a game of two truths and a lie; rather, they are fragments from the life of a serial entrepreneur with a grudge against the world’s trucking industry carbon emissions. Falck, who is now the CEO and founder of the Swedish autonomous freight business Einride, formerly worked at Volvo GTO Powertrain as the director of production engineering assembly.

During his three-and-a-half years there, he learnt how to mass-produce heavy-duty cars and helped develop and invest in other businesses. Einride is his sixth firm, which he launched in 2016. Einride is a three-pronged company. It has one of Europe’s largest fleets of electric trucks, but its major product is its electric autonomous pods, self-driving freight vehicles without a front cab, and no space for a human operator. The firm also offers Saga, an IoT system that runs across its fleet and aids the company and its shipping partners in optimizing routes, managing fleets, and electrifying them.

Einride began operations in the United States this month, with ambitions to run its pods, vehicles, and operating system with partners such as GE Appliances, Bridgestone, and Oatly. The business raised $110 million in May to assist support its development in the United States, increasing its total capital to $150 million. We met down with Falck to discuss Einride’s revenue-growth plan, the necessity for autonomous cars to build on electric platforms, and why entrepreneurs the key to the future.

Robert Falck: Working at Volvo, which makes diesel engines, gearboxes, and trucks, taught me about the industry’s issues and that I have a moral duty to help I mean the heavy freight transportation business for 7% to 8% of world CO2 emissions, and the engines that I worked to develop an account for only 1% of global CO2 emissions. 

That is how big of an influence my prior position had, and I understood I was contributing to the issue. Starting a business is not precisely a good idea. You are either insane or, if you are in it for the money, you will not make it since there are many easier methods to generate money. 

However, I believe that CO2 emissions are the greatest problem facing our generation. It is also intriguing how secondary failure takes on new meaning when you know you are doing it for the right reasons.

A serial entrepreneur has been described as you. Are you committed to Einride for the long haul, or are you already planning your next venture? I believe that entrepreneurship provides joy to all entrepreneurs. In addition, I am definitely more of an entrepreneur and business builder than a manager or administrator. I am not the kind to sit around and maintain the status quo. It is not my cup of tea.

So, will your future business focus on CO2 emissions, but on a new industry? Many conventional sectors are poised for upheaval, which will challenge and transform society at its core. The key motivation is that there is a great demand for sustainability on a worldwide scale.

I believe that most of the firms that will transform or rescue the earth will founded in the next five to ten years and that some of the more conventional sections of the economy have a lot of potential. Many of the key plays, from transportation and the automotive industry to real estate, are still up for grabs. Energy smart grids and how we arrange energy generation; I suppose, will be another one.