State backs up Belgian e-van builder Addax’s capital injection
Addax Motors, a small Belgian manufacturer of custom-designed electric vans for last-mile deliveries or city and leisure utility e-vans, is getting a capital injection of €8 million to expand further in Europe. The Belgian State comes on board via the Federal Holding and Investment Company, joining consultancy firm Resultance and a non-disclosed family investor.
Addax, founded by the West-Flemish Carrette family, produces in Deerlijk (near Courtrai) three types of customizable electric vans of its own design: the MT10, MT15, and a newly added MT15n model. The purely electric vans offer a range from 80 to 134 km and can be configured as chassis cabin, flatbed van, (combo) tripper, (cooled) cargo van, or equipped with a tipper container.
Independent car lease company
The company was founded in 2016 by the Carrette family. Patrick Carrette is a well-known figure in the Belgian automotive scene as a Ford dealer initially, setting up Westlease in 1977, which later became Belgium’s biggest independent leasing company with a fleet of 5 200 cars. The latter was sold ‘right under the nose of ALD’ to the Dutch Van Mossel holding in June 2018.
Today, Addax is active in twelve EU countries, and its e-vans are particularly popular with cities and villages, post services, last-mile deliveries, and holiday parks, says commercial director Daniel Kedzierski. The latter, the former Barco Brasil Ltda. managing director is a major shareholder, with CEO Jean-Charles Carrette (son of Patrick) and his two brothers-in-law.
Expanding European business
Addax gets €10 million – €8 million as a capital raise and a €2 million bank loan – to expand its business in Europe. Currently, with e-commerce and delivery booming as never before, caused by the corona pandemic, there is an enormous demand for sustainable vans, says Jean-Charles Carrette.
Even finding enough classic delivery vans is becoming extremely difficult these days for the courier companies. “Every attempt to get delivery vans today is in vain,” Belgian GLS CEO Luc De Schrijver said in the newspaper De Standaard.
Bpost had to commission 1 500 extra vans, and others like PostNL, DPD, and GLS had to find subcontractors to stand in. Some have to hire extra vans from classic rental companies to get the job done.
Compact and light-weight
Addax just introduced its latest model – the MT15n – with an optimized range of 134 km (WLTP). Contrary to private EV owners who tend to spend lots of money to have a battery delivering a range they seldom need, business users are more aware of their vehicles’ actual needs. And according to Addax, 80 to 120 km will accommodate most of them in the domains their vans are used.
Addax specializes in compact, customizable, two-seater e-vans with a 3,5 cubic meters’ load capacity and 1 000 kg load. The MT15n, for instance, is 3 590 mm long and 1 390 mm wide, weighing only 886 kg as a bare chassis-cabin. It has a 12 kW (120 Nm) electric motor and a 14,4 kWh battery offering a maximum speed of 70 km/hour and a range of 120 km at least.
Initially, in 2016, Addax Motors started by importing electric vehicles from Spain and France. According to Jean-Charles Carrette, problems with the quality and the service made them decide to develop their own e-vans. Eventually, production was set up with SML in Limburg and transferred later to a new factory at the former Ravel Textiles site in Deerlijk, along the E17.