Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


FREEWAY Report Summary

Project ID: 672389

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FREEWAY (FREEWAY : safely and effortless commute in an urban environment)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

It is not a bike, it is not a scooter, it is a lot better, it's FREEWAY : a new revolutionary means of transportation allowing to safely and effortlessly commute in an urban environment.
Protected by a worldwide patent, FREEWAY is a small and clean scooter, on three wheels.

FREEWAY is unique since it is very light, 14kg, with 2 front wheels for stability and safety, a back wheel that includes the electric engine, and it is fitted with latest generation batteries. FREEWAY may be folded and unfolded within seconds. When folded, it can be carried along, on its two front wheels like a suitcase.
Therefore, FREEWAY may be kept with you at all time and is perfectly suitable for intermodal mobility.

FREEWAY is an hybrid type of bike with no equivalent product on the market ; nevertheless, its market is already very broad. The most direct competition of FREEWAYcommes from electric bikes, with a good market growth rate that should be 9,1% over 2013-2020 period, to reach a market of 1,9 millions in Europe.

The main objective of FREEWAY business innovation project is the transfer of a new innovative and competitive solution seizing European sector opportunities with the view of providing profitability and growth.

The specific objectives will be to provide technological and economic viability of FREEWAY electro mobility concept in order to develop a market strategy ensuring Europe wide market uptake, support growth and self-sufficiency at mid-term and participate to Europe bike industry leadership.

In addition, Freeway business innovation project will address urban environmental and mobility defies by offering the market with an innovative electric powered vehicle which is more light, more practical, more safe and secure and more trendy for the users, thus, improving users' quality of life with an innovation offering a door-to-door environmentally-efficient mobility that will quickly and successfully break into European market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

2015-06-01 - Explore collaboration and/or Investment
Meeting: R Parienti, M. Josserand, M. Barro. After introduction of both companies, an investment in Freeway is discussed. M. Barro is a share-holder of several companies in electric bikes and electric scooters, also synergies between the companies are explored. No agreement seems achievable in terms of investments. Freeway will explore a possible collaboration with XOR-motors.
2015-06-04 - Fix of breakdown after testing
Meeting : M. Josserand, H. Bindi. During testing, when riding Freeway downhill, the right front bracket support bracket as a result of a loose screw. A solution is found. To make new parts in steel instead of aluminum. It is decided to change both the right and left support

2015-06-08 - Explore possible subcontracting to Xor-motors
Meeting : R. Parienti, M. Josserand, F. Marion (Xor). After description of Xor-Motors and its capabilities a review of the Freeway Prototype 2 was made. Xor-Motors demonstrates capabilities in mechanical engineering and value engineering, electric engines and batteries. Xor-motors has worked with a number of subcontractors in the world that may be very useful to Freeway. Freeway asks Xor-motors to make a proposal for the finalization of the design (prototype 3) and value engineering.

2015-06-11 – Fix of saddle folding system
Meeting : M. Josserand, H. Bindi. After about 30 strong pulling on the cable of the saddle folding system, the cable becomes loose. Although it is a bicycle steel cable, the measurement shows that the cable is about 1cm longer than originally. Discussion is open on the reason for that elongation. Since the bicycle cables are designed for strong mechanical pulling stress, the reason has to be different. It is believed that when the cable is around the saddle rotation system, when a strong pulling is made on the cable, the cable structure is probably damage: the cable is a well structured mesh of wires and the side pressure probably breaks this well organized mesh. Carma to explore other solutions such as strips instead of cables or small climbing ropes.

2015-06-15- Xor proposal to Freeway
Meeting : R. Parienti, M. Josserand, F. Marion. The proposal is discussed at length. Freeway requires Xor to amend the proposal on three points: A more accurate description of the scope of work and deliverables; A definition of the payment milestones; A significant price reduction.

2015-06-16 - Prototype 2 Design review
Meeting : JC Leclaire, R Parienti. Review of the prototype 2 design to try to identify and correct potential flaws. Detailed design improvement solutions were discussed. 5 points are identified, and a solution suggested: (1) The forward wheel structure: 2 solutions will be analyzed more thoroughly; (2) The Steering shaft folding system: a solution closer to the casing will be investigated; (3) The saddle shaft folding system: a solution than prevents the cable from being submitted to transverse pressure will be investigate; (4) The saddle needs a complete redesign; (5) The volume in the casing needs to be analyzed for optimization.

2015-06-22 - Prototype 2 Design review
Meeting : JC Leclaire, R Parienti. Review of the proposal to simplify the design of the forward wheel structure and of the steering bar folding system and correct potential flaws. Detailed designs for each solutions were discussed. 2 solutions were found:
- The forward wheel structure was redesigned with a symmetrical axis. This solution does not have to use sprocket and gear system near the wheels on the prototype 2. With this solution we reduce the number of parts, and it becomes much more efficient with no more backlash in the gear.
- A new lock steering column system was designed as well. It is double forks mechanic placed in the column steering system with rolling bearing. Theses forks make easier the folding system of the steering column. These forks as well avoid backlash in the column steering.
We are still looking for solution for :
- The saddle shaft folding system: a solution that prevents the cable from being submitted to transverse pressure will be investigated
- The saddle needs a complete redesign
The volume in the casing needs to be analyzed for optimization.

2015-07-03 - Prototype 2 Design review
Meeting: R Parienti, Fabrice Noro ING Star. Review of the proposal to simplify the battery system, the motor and all the electrical way command and control. ING star has taken away the two prototypes to repair them a put on it new motorization, battery system and the battery charger. Freeway SAS is waiting for a proposal.

2015-07-06 - Prototype Mechanic
Meeting : R Parienti, Jean REO, Jean Claude LECLAIRE (designer). What are all the mechanical problems to be solved?
What are the ways of a future collaboration? Explanation for the delay to finish the study for the third prototype? Proposal of the studies for Freeway. MR Jean REO will make a proposal if he agrees at the term of working conditions in a few days. Jean Claude Leclaire and Michel Josserand are still working on the definition plan.

2015-07-08 – EEN Coaching services 1rst meeting
Meeting : Raoul Parienti, Michel Josserand, David Parienti, Nadège Bouget CCI Nice. Review of the needs of Freeway and their SAS to have coach services from EEN.
Michel suggests to look for a coach that could help to find outsourcing industrial partner for Motor and Battery and specialist for north country’s communication and POS (point of sales) display.
Raoul suggests to look for a coach that could help on security standard about cycle in Europe.
The suggestion for a coach specialist in Human Resources Management and intellectual propriety management were refused by Freeway SAS.
In reason to find a mechanical engineer for Freeway Development, Nadège Bouget explained “ARDAN” plan with CCI and Pôle Emploi to find one and have less fees.
Freeway had explained all their needs for coaching. Freeway will probably use the “ARDAN” plan.

2015-07-08 (PM) - Investment for Freeway SAS
Meeting: M Josserand, R Parienti, C Fassone, M Villecroze ACG management. Freeway was introduced by a new business plan with the Grant Agreement. ACG Management asks about feasibility studies and industrialization of Freeway. They asked for delay and objectives of sales.
The objective for Freeway was to obtain an investment of 700 000 euros to complete the UE’s subvention. M. Villecroze had a good opinion of the project for Freeway and for the sales. He seems to support the project. He will explain the Freeway in. Marc Villecroze will ask at his stakeholder their opinion to invest at Freeway SAS.

2015-07-10 - Studies for Freeway and make the third prototype
Meeting: Raoul Parienti, Michel Josserand, David Parienti, JeanClaude Leclaire, Jerome Clement Osem international. Studies for Freeway and make the third prototype. What are all the mechanical problems to be solved?
What are the ways of a future collaboration? Osem International asked what are the delay to finish the study and make the third Prototype ? What does Freeway is a specific product. Osem international explain their network to industrialize Freeway in Romania?
Osem international agrees to work with Mr Leclaire and their mechanical engineers. Freeway SAS will send their plan of Freeway to analyze the best price for the rest of work.

2015-07-15 - Investment for Freeway SAS
Meeting : Freeway SAS : R Parienti, M Josserand, MC EDEVELOPMENT S.A Jean François Roche.
Freeway was introduced by a new business plan with the Grant Agreement. Jean François Roche seems interested by Freeway to finance this project.
Jean François Roche asked how is managed Freeway SAS subsidiary company and its parent company RPH SA. Mr Roche had a good opinion of the project for Freeway. He is waiting documentation about the articles of association to analyze links RPH SA and Freeway SAS.

2015-07-22 (AM) - Design and manufacturing of prototype 3
Meeting: Boxer: Henriette CEO & Castaigne PM Freeway : Josserand & Leclaire. Detailed presentation of prototype 2 and evolution that will be implemented for prototype 3. Presentation of Boxer Design capabilities: customization of upper range motorbikes and electric scooters. Boxer Design seems to have the capabilities to complete the design of prototype 3 and manufacture it. Boxer design also claims to have the sourcing channels for the propulsion system.

2015-07-22 (PM) - Manufacturing of prototype 3
Meeting: ERPO : Mercié CEO, Bouquet Engineering, M. Josserand, JC Leclaire. Exchange on ERPO capabilities for manufacturing of Freeway prototype. It appeared that ERPO capabilities are limited to mechanical manufacturing and that cannot be in charge of the prototype manufacturing. Good company for manufacturing of mechanical parts for prototypes

2015-07-23 - Battery Management software
Meeting: Céline Grondin (Sales Director), M. Josserand. Exchange on the SII capabilities in battery management software. Since their experience is limited to smartphone battery management software, both parties agreed that there is no potential for collaboration.

2015-07-23 - Quotation for prototype 3
Meeting: Veso : David Hardy Freeway : M. Josserand, JC Leclaire. Company focused on new organic fiber structure design such as linen and bamboo fibers. Discussion on the comparison with fiberglass and carbon composites. Linen fiber composite are more appropriate when structural damping is required. A number of parts may be designed using linen fiber such as main frame, saddle support, handling bar, casings… Wheels may be more difficult due to side stress when bumping into an obstacle for instance. Veso may be contacted again when the design of prototype 3 will be close to final.

2015-07-23 – Battery Management software
Meeting: Caroline Grondin (SSII- Sales Director- and Michel Josserand (Freeway)
Exchanges on the SSII capabilities in battery management software. Since their experience is limited to smartphone battery management system, both parties agreed that there is no potential for collaboration.

2015-08-17 – Design prototype on solidwork
Meeting: Sorinel and JC Leclaire (design), Raoul Parienti and Michel Josserand
Review of the designs drawn by Sorinel and JC Leclaire. The back suspension can be included on the saddle’s column. A caster angle may be added during the development of FREEWAY.
Conclusion: the design is elaborated enough to be sent to potential subcontractors to support discussion on materials to be used. Add an angle for the front suspension.

2015-08-27 – Quotation for prototype 3 and sending to production
Meeting: E. Boudot et B. Pilon (RGM) and M. Josserand (Freeway)
After a short presentation of RGM and a tour of the factory, a detailed discussion on FREEWAY lead to the conclusion that RGM has the capabilities not only to perform the development of the prototype, but also to manufacture the first 200 units and later the whole production.
RGM could also be a partner for distribution since that they have already built a distribution network for their own bikes and electric motorcycles.
Conclusion: RGM will send a quotation by Tuesday September 1st

2015-08-28 – Specification prototype 3
Meeting: M. Josserand, R. Parienti and D. Parienti
Specifications for prototype 3 were all discussed: performances, battery, engine, mechanical characteristics, etc.
A set of specification was issued to be sent to identify subcontractors (RGM, Boxer Design, etc.)

2015-09-03 – Study of subcontractor quotation
Meeting: Albert Castaigne and Thierry Henriette; M. Josserand, R. Parienti and D. Parienti (Freeway)
Review of the quotation content – negociation on the price for the development.
Conclusion: this quotation will be compared to other propositions (RGM, etc.)

2015-09-03 – Study of subcontract proposal (Savel Sébastien)
Meeting: R. Parienti, M. Josserand and D. Parienti
Review of the quotation content – negociation on the price for the development.
Conclusion: this quotation will be compared to other propositions (Boxer design, etc.)

2015-09-30 – Specifications prototype 3
Meeting: R. Parienti, M. Josserand and D. Parienti
All the prototype 3 specifications were discussed: performances, battery, engine, mechanical characteristics. We defined more precisely the scope statement
Conclusion: The main point of new scope statement :
-Temperature to use Freeway -10°C to 45°C
- Backbone Chassis made with aluminum
- Motor included in the back wheel 250 w on flat surface
- norm EN 15194
- charger will be outside the FREEWAY
- All wheels 26cm diameter
- Lock system with keys
- LED system in front Freeway 9W
- Led system in back of Freeway 1W
- Hydrolic brake system
- Speed limit at 30km/h with management battery system
- Vehicle horn between 82 dB and 95 dB
- Ingress Protection IP 65

2015-10-20- FREEWAY Prototype simplification
Meeting: Gerard Merle, Sébastien Savel and JP Lagarde (EMI) – R. Parienti, M. Josserand and D. Parienti (FREEWAY)
Exchange about the simplification of Freeway Prototype. EMI suggested to eliminate the kickstand, to not range the saddle inside the FREEWAY. For an eventual option for a rear view mirror EMI suggested to contact M. Leonidas Kalogeropoulos. For the motorization each team will make research before end of November. For front wheel alignment EMI suggested 2 options. Either a double triangulation either a distortable parallelogram.
Conclusion: Freeway conserves the kickstand. Freeway will have distortable parallelogram in front of the wheel alignment. Saddle won’t be ranged inside the roof of Freeway.

2015-11-18 : Hand rear mirror on the land and investment
Meeting: R. Parienti and L. Kalogeropoulos, Leader and Founder of the Consultancy Firm “Médiation & Arguments” in Paris.
Raoul Parienti presented the FREEWAY Project. There are a potential of synergies for the two products. Leonidas Kalogeropoulos is as well a potential investor for Freeway.
Conclusion: A new meeting will be planned for the first semester 2016.

2015-11-25: Motorization of Freeway
Meeting: Sébastien Savel (RGM), R. Parienti, D. Parienti and M. Josserand (Freeway)
Both companies researched the motorization for Freeway. RGM’s staff has been in Milan for the Eicma an international Motorcycle exhibition. Freeway looked for a solution with Barbet System. Several solutions were analyzed.
Conclusion: Use the motor for the prototype MBG36F/R 250 W gold.

Participation at CoP21 and presentation of FREEWAY in front of CSOs, decision makers and stakeholder audience.
Several exchanges with Mr Sébastien Savel (RGM) about the motor and the battery: the speed of the motor was too low, therefore the decision was taken to ask another subcontractor this work. Relating to the battery, exchanges were discussed about the cell definition.

Meeting: Raoul Parienti – Leonidas Kalogeropoulos, Leader and Founder of the Consultancy Firm “Médiation & Arguments”.
The conclusion of this meeting resulted in the fact that a lobbying work for FREEWAY is possible, but it would be necessary to do a meeting when FREEWAY will be close to be marketed.

RGM Manufacturing: The discussions on the engine and the battery have been continued. All the same time, discussions on the frame had been started: the RGM proposal about the frame was denied: it was necessary to optimize it. Consecutively, discussions developed about the saddle support and the swing arm pivot of the rear shock absorber. Regarding the front-end part, sizing calculations were done so that a person weighing over 110 kg is able to go down a sidewalk.
The FREEWAY team
started work on the FREEWAY disable version.
All these discussions helped the team reflect on the deadline problems and it was decided to write a Grant Agreement Amendment to justify these deadline reports.

2016-03-07: Recruitment as Project and Business Development Assistant of Sarah Fontaine in FREEWAY team.
2016-03-11: RGM did some tests with all the various subsets of FREEWAY, apart from the accelerator potentiometer, that must arrive quickly.
2016-03-13: Visit of the exhibition named “Salon du 2 roues” in Nice and analysis of the competitor’s communication.
2016-03-14: The Grant Agreement Amendment 1 application was tabled.
2016-03-22: A FREEWAY Assembly Planning was sent by RGM.
Travel in China for the Managing Director to meet suppliers for the motorization, battery and controllers . The Managing Director met companies focused on the electric motor used for electric bikeEverwell Electric Tricycle, , Guangdong Zhaoqing Electric Machinery CO . Dongguan Benling Vehicle Technology Eusens Control System The aim of this meeting is to find a company able to make a motor on the spefic need of Freeway.

2016-04-11: Invited by the Professional Group 21 of the Arts & Métiers ParisTech Association, Raoul Parienti presented FREEWAY project in Paris.
2016-04-21: The FREEWAY Managing Director, Technical Director and the Designer went to Brassac les Mines, the RGM place, to meet the team and to review the manufacturing progress of the FREEWAY various components. Some adjustments must be yet done.
Between the end of April and begin of May : Travel in China of Mr Michel Josserand, the Freeway Managing Director, and meeting with Guangdong Zhaoqing Electric Machinery CO . The Meeting has been focused on development and adjustment for a motor and for the controller.
2016-05-23: A RGM Team (Sébastien Savel and Jean-Paul Lagarde) came in Nice to present the assembly result of the third prototype. The FREEWAY Steering Team was broadly satisfied by this presentation of the 3rd prototype, but some points were to be modulated, in particular the weight of the 3rd prototype: 17 kg. It must be absolutely reduced.

2016-06-09: The FREEWAY Managing Director, Technical Director and the Designer went to Brassac les Mines, the RGM place, to see the prototype in action. They observed that the FREEWAY third prototype demonstrated a high stability. Some adjustments were be made yet (as too small handlebar, the saddle). Other major adjustments must be worked again, as the weight and the speed of FREEWAY.

2016-06-23: Meeting: Raoul Parienti, Michel Josserand, Jean-Claude Leclaire
The aim of the meeting between the Managing Director, the Technical Director and the Designer was to discuss on the formwork design.

Based on the attached drawing file solid work file ( D1.8) delivrable, a call for tender has been issued in June and July, on all the mechanical components. Since our goal is to achieve very low costs, in order to be able to put Freeway on the market at a reasonable price, we tried two possible sub-contractors, one in Turkey and one in Morocco. They are renowned for their low prices.

One additional requirement was for added value in terms on value engineering. We expect from our future suppliers new ideas in order to optimize production, reduce the number of parts, lower costs and make assembly easier. During this phase, the supplier usually adapts the parts to its machinery, and asks for modifications in order to save production time and reduce his costs. Unfortunately these two manufacturers just quoted the production strictly according to the file they received, without adding any value engineering expertise. Therefore their quotation was exceeding by far our expectations.

The call for tender was unsuccessful with these two manufacturers.

The launch of a second round of call of tender was decided with an analysis of the quotations in September. Three companies have been contacted:
- A subsidiary of RGM that they are presently acquiring in Morocco: they expect very low production costs from this new acquisition.
- A French subsidiary of RGM very effective in machining.
- A company in Romania and Slovakia that RPH recently met.
Results to be analyzed in September.

The prototype has been tested by all type of users. The aim of these tests is to know the feeling, the dynamic balance from casual users whatever their balance coordination. A review of the advantage and weaknesses of Freeway. The prototype has been sent to EMI for fine tuning the battery motor.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

⇨ To validate FREEWAY standard prototype with regards to the project objectives of high quality innovation seizing European and global business opportunities;
The standard prototype still shows some weaknesses about the speed and the weight, which will be easily solved during industrialization process. The management team confident on this. As for the dynamics and stability the standard prototype has achieved the innital performance objectives.

⇨ To enhance the vehicle weight, battery life and reliability without compromising on safety and delivering a more robust and well managed battery system thus improving the cost-performance ratio of electric vehicles
As mentioned above, FREEWAY standard prototype does not achieve its weight objective, adjustments must still be done to reach a weight objective of 14/15 kg, this will be achieved by selecting subcontractors offering component on composite materials to lighten the vehicle. As for the engine, some modification of the controller must still be done in order to reduce the triggering speed of the electric propulsion down to 1,5km/h and to increase the torque to reach more easily the 25km/h top speed.

⇨ To perform an economically viable production pilot lines for FREEWAY quick market up-take.
Not started so far. Due to the delays of the prototype development, the adapted production pilot lines are not defined yet, but the last exchanges with RGM indicated that the delays would therefore have to be made up for subsequently and the production pilot lines for a quick market uptake could be delivered on time.

⇨ To contribute to the standardization strengthening the competiveness of the European bike industry.
Not achieved at this stage, because it would be when FREEWAY will be launched in the European bike market.

⇨ To provide go-to-market efforts by developing a distribution network of at least 100 selling points in Europe.
The Sale representatives will start the visits with the distributors in France and then 8 targeted European countries from August until December. The sale representatives will write reports of these visits, that will help to build our distribution network.

⇨ To enhance the commercial potential and impact of FREEWAY with an efficient commercial strategy.
Not started so far and it will result of the visit encounters with the distributors, as mentioned in the point just above.

⇨ To enhance profitability and growth performance of FREEWAY SAS enabling market up-take in a very short term with an objective of 6000 units sold at the end of year 2.
Despite the delay relating to the initial work plan, the actions of the market replication and relating to planned objectives in this field will be achieved on time.

⇨ To support commercial uptake of FREEWAY with interactions activities with potential users: 100 FREEWAY ambassadors traveling 8 European countries.
Not started so far as described in the initial work plan. As described above, it will be effective when the market replication will be launched.

⇨ To ensure key stakeholders involvement by providing various and effective awareness raising actions on the disruptive characteristics of FREEWAY and attract decision makers and investors.
On good progress through several meeting with potential investors and substantial dissemination actions, as for example participation of Mr Raoul Parienti in conferences with civil society, decision makers and industrials (CGPME “Planete PME Event” on June 2015, COP 21 Climate Solution Presentation on December 2015, conference in Nice on January 2016, conference in Paris for GP 21 Sustainable Development & Corporate Social Responsibility on April 2016), participation of Mr Raoul Parienti in TV shows and radios interviews regularly, meetings with national and local decision makers (as the Head of the GART Agency, the French Transportation Agency, Mr Nègre).

⇨ To develop scenario taking into account societal trends.
On progress through all project development: for example with the FREEWAY various versions taking into account the targeted audience: persons with disabilities or reduced mobility, inter-cities use for the work commutes, in a version for all road.

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