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Onshape puts OX Delivers on track to deliver low-emission transport breakthrough

4 December 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Onshape puts OX Delivers on track to deliver low-emission transport breakthrough
Ox Delivers in action

An automotive start-up that has been dubbed ‘the Uber for global farmers’ is designing its range of electric trucks by tapping into the power of software company PTC’s Onshape software.

Founded in 2020, Warwick-based OX Delivers designs electric trucks that can withstand the developing world’s harshest environments.

The Warwick company’s purpose-built low-emission vehicles, developed using PTC’s cloud-native design platform with built-in PDM, will offer small rural farmers a highly reliable, cost-effective way to get perishable crops to market on time.

Successful fundraise for EV logistics business OX Delivers means African expansion

Dependable transportation can mean the difference between earning enough cash to plant the next crop or economic disaster as goods rot by the road before ever reaching a buyer.

The start-up is currently running a pilot project in Rwanda, offering local businesses a chance to buy space on a truck to move their goods to their customers.

All the feedback from the drivers and users in this trial is being sent back to OX Deliver’s 13-strong engineering team in Leamington Spa.

The team will use that data to create a vehicle that is robust, environmentally friendly, and delivers a positive ergonomic experience for the user.

Kristiana Hamilton, Engineer at OX Delivers, said: “There has already been so much design and prototyping work done to get us to where we are today, with an electric prototype currently running in Rwanda.

“However, we are very much still at the development phase as we move to create a unique low-emission truck that is fit for purpose and can be easily assembled overseas.”

She continued: “Adopting Onshape as our core design platform has been a gamechanger for the team. It’s intuitive, easy-to-use, and the ability to iterate in real time has cut lead times and ensures we can meet our ‘sprint’ strategy on new designs.

“We’re only a small engineering unit compared to much larger businesses, so often work across different areas of the vehicle. Clarity of information, plus the ability to do basic simulation can eliminate any costly modifications quickly, and we can easily add in on-the-ground feedback to our modelling.”

Work on the new chassis for the next vehicle iteration is the current focus of OX Delivers. This will see it move from a front wheel drive to a rear wheel drive, a necessary change for the Rwandan market.

This work takes place alongside other ‘sprints’ to develop a more driver-friendly cab and to refine the suspension so the vehicle can withstand dirt track roads, verges, and steep hills.

Importantly, Onshape enables collaboration, which is critical for OX Delivers. The team is now using custom features (designed by other Onshape users) to add more functionality and to create physical models for testing.

Kristiana went on to add: “We work with a very close-knit supply chain, including the likes of Potenza, Penso, and Dana Incorporated. Collaborating on the design of the chassis with Penso means we need them to have access to our drawings and to be able to access our platform.

“Onshape makes this easy to achieve, with the sharing of information sent securely in the cloud. Furthermore, as we get closer to the final OX Truck, we’ll be able to use its built-in PDM capability to manage the growing bill of materials.

“For a start-up business, the technology is affordable and gives you big organisation security and functionality.”

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Jon Hirschtick, EVP at PTC said: “OX Delivers is transforming the way emerging countries transport goods, delivering better lives and opportunities for local people.

“It is another fantastic UK innovation on a global scale, and we are delighted that OX Delivers is utilising Onshape to overcome some of the natural design challenges that occur when you are building a bespoke vehicle to deliver sustainable transport in harsh environments.”

Onshape, a cloud-native CAD tool with built-in PDM, helps companies design better products faster, eliminates bottlenecks earlier and streamlines collaboration – all while giving users the freedom to work from any device.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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