Out-Tesla-ing Tesla

Xos Trucks (Formerly Thor Trucks)

Xos Trucks, formerly known as Thor Trucks, is a commercial electric mobility company focused on helping vehicle fleets of all sizes go electric. The two 25-year-old founders built the company’s first prototype—a fully electric class 8 semi-truck—in just six months. 

The Challenge

It was rumored that Tesla was going to announce its own semi-truck in November 2017, the same month Xos Trucks was planning its launch from stealth.

The Formula

Rather than being intimidated, we rose to the challenge and decided to use the buzz around Tesla to heighten the stakes and propel Xos’s unveiling to the front of media consciousness. We pitched an exclusive to a Bloomberg reporter known for his coverage of Elon Musk and Tesla and secured an in-depth article and accompanying video profiling the company. We also worked with a trade reporter at to bring the news to Xos’s customer base. 

In order to continue momentum after the launch, we decided to keep Xos top of mind for customers and partners by putting the company’s founders on conference stages all over the world. We identified the top global events in technology, automotive, logistics, and sustainability, and crafted storylines to fit each podium’s thesis. In 2018, we secured speaking appearances for Xos Trucks at more than 20 events including the DELIVER Summit, considered the “Davos of logistics and e-commerce.” 

To highlight the beautiful design of Xos’s semi-truck, we applied to top design, innovation, and green-tech awards. Xos won the Commercial Vehicle Category of the Automotive Brand Contest, an internationally recognized award with past winners including Porsche and Hyundai. The company also won TIME’s Best Invention 2018 and Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas in the energy category just months after coming out of stealth.

The Results

On launch day, Xos’s long-form feature story was Bloomberg’s second most read article and the video went viral on YouTube, reaching one million views. Xos was also featured in multiple Bloomberg broadcasts that week. Soon after the Bloomberg article published, Xos’s story on went live and was soon picked up by dozens of other trade outlets. Photos of Xos’s semi-truck were even featured in articles about Tesla’s announcement. 

In total, we saw nearly 300 pieces of coverage in over 25 countries, and Xos Trucks secured meetings with top-tier suppliers, manufacturers, fleet managers, distributors, and investors to begin discussing partnerships.

Viral video
launch articles

“CEO Dakota Semler says he is confident that partnering with established manufacturers with truck-building expertise can help it beat the competition to market. ‘We want to get our electric trucks out in the world to make a difference now, not 10 years down the road,’ he says.”

“A start-up called Thor Trucks plans to beat Tesla to market with its electric truck, the ET-One. The Los Angeles-based company aims to have its vehicles in production in 2019, according to co-founders Giordano Sordoni and Dakota Semler.”

“Transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. ‘I wanted to do something that was a force of social and environmental change but also had an economic incentive behind it,’ says Sordoni, who suffered from asthma as a child. ‘When we’re successful, we’ll not only be a sustainable business, but also be giving back to the environment and communities when people don’t have to breathe in diesel fumes.'”

“Thor Trucks has attracted the interest of green trucking technology veterans.

‘Thor Trucks is a very dedicated group of folks that are serious about being a player in this market,” said John Boesel, chief executive of the clean transportation nonprofit Calstart. “They’ve worked hard to develop a product that meets the needs of the fleets.'”