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Veemo: New mobility for last mile transportation in urban areas

Veemo is a 3-wheel, electric assist fully enclosed vehicle that provides the comforts and protection of a car with the freedom and benefits

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Created by VeloMetro Mobility Inc., Veemo® is a one-way, free floating sharing service that offers on-demand travel to urban users. Classified as a Class 1 electric bicycle, it doesn't require a driver’s license to ride it.

As an enclosed, electric assist three-wheeled vehicle, it provides many car-like benefits such as protection from weather, stability, cargo space, and vehicle presence on busy roads - it has full automotive lighting. With a strong, lightweight composite shell it provides a level of protection not available to current micromobility vehicles.

Cabin features include seat belt, courtesy lighting, power windows, instrumentation and navigation touch screen, keyless access and of course - a cup holder.

Electric assist gives you the power equivalent to three Olympic athletes to get you up hills and ride longer distances without getting exhausted.

Fitting in-between bikes and cars, Veemo is unique in that it was designed with sharing in mind. Veemo vehicles are integrated with a back-end system that provides full support for customer service, fleet operations, and a simple interface for users.

At 1/10th the weight of an automobile, it has obvious advantages for reducing carbon footprint, unit cost, and operating costs. Home zone operating areas are governed by geo-fencing and pre-programmed speed limits where required - completely flexible to any City's requirements - with real time feedback to users.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

Veemo expands for new trip possibilities currently not satisfied by other micro mobility alternatives. Chelsea is going to a job interview and doesn't want helmet hair per her normal mobility preference, and, it's pouring rain. She takes Veemo that protects her from bad weather. Matthew is returning from the airport late at night after a business trip. Transit is shutting down, and the next bus to his residence from his transit hub has finished for the night. He reserves a Veemo® 30 minutes in advance and assures a quick connection to safely ride home with higher visibility than other micromobility alternatives. Emma needs to run errands and pickup groceries around her neighborhood. Veemo is the perfect, cost-effective solution for a round trip. Without the requirement of a driver’s license and being emission free, Veemo has the broadest ridership for car-like options. As a competitively priced option, Veemo is more attractive than conventional carsharing, ridesharing, or taxi.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We tested our 'Gen3' prototypes over 6 months at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. With 5 Veemo vehicles, over 1,200 trips were taken with an average of 17 minute ride per trip. The successsful pilot tested all aspects of our vehicle technology and back end systems and validated rider enthusiasm. Collecting information from our fleet operations management, fleet monitoring, and rider feedback gave us important information on how to further improve the service and build Gen4.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Founded in 2013, VeloMetro was formed to make a difference in electric vehicle adoption. Not by building another electric car, but by bringing a new vehicle technology and an affordable service that would be attractive to people everywhere. Our professional team of engineers have developed rigorous leading technology in ultra-light electric vehicles and integrated systems. They are supported by seasoned corporate, finance, and business development executives.

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Team or Organization URL

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

This budget will fund a demonstration pilot fleet. The budget includes preliminary work with the City to meet permit requirements, plan the homezone operating area and set up a temporary operations base for the pilot. Local staff would be hired (3-FTEs). The pilot would charge competitive micromobility rates to users, and this revenue would help offset the pilot fleet costs. Included in the budget would be 5 -10 vehicles in the pilot fleet sourced from our early 'Gen4' production.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Our fleet vehicles are supported by a back-end sharing system and tech support at HQ. The operating home zone would be no more than 2-3 miles in diameter and would contain a sufficient number of fleet vehicles to ensure visibility and take up of the "network effect". A central battery charging/repair/maintenance facility would support fleet vehicles and serve as a base for fleet operations staff and customer service. User apps, fleet management, training and technical support are provided by VeloMetro. For our initial launch, we would work with DDOT, SMART, QLINE and other transit stakeholders as much as possible. Our experience is that the simple presence of Veemo vehicles on the street are their own capable marketing machine. Since Veemo is monitored comprehensively, we use collected data to assess our target objectives, and adjust aspects of operations for maximum efficiency.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

As we found in our 2018 Pilot, many of our users became 'champions' of Veemo: sharing the benefits of the service via word of mouth and social media. Now that we have made further improvements with Gen4, we feel this will be the main measure of success - both in healthy ridership numbers but also the support and blessing of other transportation stakeholders. Aside from standard metrics of success for carshare - utilization rates and profitability - we will feel successful with the establishment of Veemo® as a recognized brand within Detroit, to the extent that it would be used as a verb: "I just Veemo'd over here"or "I'm going to Veemo home." An important measure of success is the ability to launch within expected time frames: about 6-8 months from closing financing. Our plans for Veemo are to take it to cities and communities across North America as a new mobility brand, and later use our city fleet beachheads as sales and distribution for individual vehicle sales.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

One of our key strategies selected early in our development was that the sharing business model was the most likely scenario to generate sustaining cash flow even while first vehicle production costs would be high. We feel Veemo®, priced competitively to car-based services, should be profitable based on existing competitor on-demand mobility pricing, and the fast growing demand for mobility services. Our business modelling supports this conclusion.

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Team (1)

Kody's profile
Kody Baker

Role added on team:

"Co-Founder and CEO • Professional engineer and MBA with 20 years of engineering and manufacturing experience in the electric vehicle, bioenergy, lithium battery, and industrial controls industries • 10 years engineering management experience across 4 startups • Founded 2 startups in the electric vehicle space • Developed and brought to market products including battery electric vehicle SUV with V2G capability, airport ground support EVs, biomass gasification systems and lithium batteries"

1 comment

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Photo of Vartan Badalian

Very cool and unique take on urban shared mobility!