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VELLO BIKE+ Connected Multimodal Commuting for Greener Cities

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VELLO CMC (VELLO BIKE+ Connected Multimodal Commuting for Greener Cities)

Berichtszeitraum: 2019-06-01 bis 2019-11-30

It is estimated that 95% of the world’s population is breathing dirty air, which contributes to severe diseases to the lungs and heart. Cities are the biggest contributors. While accounting for only 3% of the earth’s surface, they generate 75% of all carbon emissions. By increasing the choices for affordable and innovative green mobility products, we can change mobility habits of city dwellers. Currently, there is a lack of handy and affordable alternative mobility solutions on the market.
City e-bikes are not allowed on public transport during peak hours and need to be locked outside making them vulnerable to theft. Moreover, existing folding e-bikes are heavy (weighing in average 20 kg), have limited sensory and connectivity capabilities and are thus not practicable for multimodal use.While some e-bike motors offer regenerative braking, they will only give back max. 20% of the overall charge of the battery.

The VELLO BIKE+ solution is the most universal for multimodal commuting with respect to the users and application (distance, storage, portability). VELLO BIKE+ is ideal for multi-modal commuting as it is allowed on on all public transport vehicles. It can be wheeled and taken along everywhere and stored, e.g. under the office desk (making it less prone to theft). VELLO BIKE+, the titanium version, is the lightest folding e-bike on the market (with 10,9 kg) with a patented, easy two-step folding system.
Additionally, with the VELLO BIKE+, we have managed to increase energy efficiency to close to 100% regeneration capacity (vs. 20% for other regenerating e-bikes) with the highest energy/weight ratio on the market thanks to its special K.E.R.S-technology.
The electric hub is fully enclosed, without cables, that includes motor, battery and control system with torque, cadence, gyroscope and speed sensors that connects to an app. GPS tracking and locking is possible with in-built sensors, enabling the possibility for free-floating sharing systems. The frame geometry of the VELLO BIIKE+ has been designed to fit both men and women, whereby the seat post and handlebar stem can be easily height-adjustable without the use of tools.

Our patented self-charging folding bike benefits users and cities by enabling multimodal commuting. We want to take VELLO BIKE+ from beta product and production to full-scale production for a successful EU-wide roll. We do this by maximising social impact from production to user, and exploiting a 296 MM€ (by 2024) business opportunity. With the support of SME I, we have been able to assess the economic and technical viability of an EU-wide rollout of our VELLO BIKE+.
As part of the feasibility study, following activities were undertaken:
TASK 1: ASSESSING TECHNOLOGICAL/TECHNICAL MARKET READINESS
An online questionnaire was disseminated to 350 users.
The questionnaire consisted of 10 questions, which were grouped in 5 categories: i) level of satisfaction regarding product and service, ii) accessories (what new accessories should VELLO develop and what new/additional functionality should VELLO offer in the future), iii) bike sharing (do you currently share the VELLO bike), iv) product/service improvements (what should VELLO improve?) and v) Investing into VELLO (would you be interested to invest into our company). Out of the 350 users, 167 responded.

TASK 2: IDENTIFYING PARTNERS FOR PHASE 2
17 qualitative interviews were conducted with potential VELLO partners.
Interviews were conducted with partly high-level stakeholders from the automotive, public transportation, tourism, restaurant and hotel, and real estate sectors. The questions typically centered around the possibility to lease VELLO bike to their company, a sharing system operated through their facility, the possibility for joint marketing campaigns, co-branding and bikes for their employees.

TASK 3: REFINING THE VELLO BIKE+ BUSINESS PLAN
The VELLO BIKE+ business plan was updated, including the marketing and internationalisation strategy as well as the financial plan.

TASK 4: MOBILISING RESOURCES BY ESTABLISHING CONTACT WITH POTENTIAL INVESTORS
A roadmap for the EU-wide roll-out of our product has been developed. Further to this, a pitch desk has been prepared and presented at various occasions. Resources have been mobilised during the period of the study.

RESULT: The project will continue.The time is ripe to expand with our business model to cities throughout Europe.The e-bike market is booming and cities across Europe are offering e-bike subsidy programs and improving their bike infrastructure in an attempt to curb the congestion level on roads and reduce Co2 emissions. We will introduce our bike to new markets in the EU gradually in line with our financial means.First marketing activities have taken place and reaped its benefits. VELLO BIKE+ won the Austrian State Prize in Design (Staatspreis Design) and the German Eco prize in Design.
We want to take VELLO BIKE+ from beta product and production to full-scale production for a successful EU-wide roll. We do this by maximising social impact from production to user, and exploiting a 296 MM€ (by 2024) business opportunity. Thus, we are convinced that with this novel e-bike, we can provide additional choices for individual e-mobility with great benefits, bringing more people on bikes, raising the field of application for e-bikes, and at the same time filling important gaps in terms of multimodal mobility.

Around 54% of the total global population currently lives in cities. Due to the increased rural to urban migration and other factors, the number is estimated to rise up to 68% by 2050. Commuting in cities is currently dominated by fossil fuel driven cars leading to high carbon emission rates and bad air quality: transport in Europe is the main source of CO2 and responsible for over a quarter of greenhouse gases.

Problem/solution analysis

Next to the technology-based solutions, VELLO BIKE+ offers benefits to society with its positive effect on city living:
• Reduction of environmental pollution by minimising the greenhouse effects and Co2 emission rates with an e-mobility product that has a super-efficient energy recuperation system.
• Efficiency of commuting in cities by facilitating mixed-mode commuting e.g. bridging ‘last mile-first mile’ – folding bikes are allowed on all public transportation and can be carried along free of charge in most EU cities, thus reducing the level of congested streets. For cities, getting more (also older) people on bicycles means less pollution, shorter journeys to-and-from work, and folding e-bikes can serve as the vehicle of choice to bridge ‘last mile-first mile’.
• Healthy and inexpensive living: contrary to e-cars (expensive), cycling is a green mode of transportation that contributes to improved health and reduced expenditure on healthcare. Cycling releases serotonin and fosters interactions with fellow city dwellers, contributing to mental health, while also decreasing heart diseases and cancer risks.

The e-bike market has been booming globally and is expected to reach a value of US$ 37 Bn by the end of 2027. With our innovative and patented folding e-bike, we expect to take a share of that market in the coming years and to increase our production capacity in Austria. We expect to create 40 more direct jobs by 2024.
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