We want to provide people with sustainable, safe, affordable personal transportation that exceeds automobile functionality for urban use.
This vision drives us forward.
Our mission is to provide people with sustainable, safe, affordable, easy, and active personal transportation for urban use. We build modern, lightweight, and thoughtfully designed electric-assist vehicles that combines the best features of bicycles and automobiles. We are growing our velomobile sharing service, Veemo, to be leading transportation-as-a-service for urban centres around the world.
We imagine a world where two-thirds of a city’s population use active transportation solutions, such as using Veemo or riding a bike. Studies have shown that the issues keeping people from cycling around a city, like safety, storage, comfort, and convenience, are all addressed by Veemo. If that many people used active transportation, the effects on a city would be dramatic. Improvements to air quality, physical health, and traffic would be enormous. This is the vision that drives us.
"We like to imagine a world where an additional 60% of a city’s population switch to active transportation solutions such as using Veemo or riding a bike."
As founders, we were challenged by the issue of how to launch an electric vehicle (EV) for the masses without having “Elon Musk Dollars”. We could clearly envision a future where EVs enable us to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, but struggled with how to make EVs financially accessible to everyone.
The first “Aha!” moment struck in early 2013 when we saw the success of one-way carsharing networks and realized this would be an excellent business model to get many more people to use EVs at an affordable rate when compared to purchasing one outright. The second “Aha!” moment struck when we realized around April, 2013 that we could build the comforts of a car into an enclosed trike, while staying within the definition of an electric bike, opening up EV technology to an even greater number of people and allowing a faster and less costly development timeline. We could tackle the issues EV based carsharing networks have related to charging by creating the vehicle from the ground up to use quick battery swapping technology, eliminating the need for our members to find a place to charge and reducing downtime. Once we put these two “Aha!” moments together, we launched VeloMetro on December 30, 2013 and hit the drawing board.
Despite growing a business that is focussed on tackling key urban, environmental, and social issues today, we still face many challenges. Despite the growth and success of carsharing and bikesharing networks around the world, we still speak with many people who want us to simply get our Veemo velomobiles made in China for as little as possible, and start selling them directly. There’s certainly a tension among potential investors who are familiar with traditional sales models versus our newer business model of one-way carsharing networks. However, the sharing model is so integral to our design and the business potential is fantastic that we have been able to stick to our original vision thanks to the help of key investors who share our vision and agree with our strategy.
We’ve succeeded in designing, building and testing our technology, but now is an exciting time for us as we seek to validate our business via our first pilot fleet of Veemo velomobiles at the University of British Columbia. Once we prove that people love riding Veemo velomobiles, we aim to leverage that success to gain the capital we need to launch our first commercial fleet into the City of Vancouver.
May 2013 - Idea inception, research and validation, business model strategizing by the four founders
December 2013 - Incorporation
March 2014 - First grant, payroll, R&D staff hires
July 2014 - Alpha prototype completed, ready for testing
September 2014 - IP Patent, Trademark, and Industrial Design applications
October 2014 - “A” surface body design locked down.
Early 2015 - Enclosed Beta and Share Network Systems development and supplier development
December 2015 - First Beta prototype body produced
Early 2016 - Beta prototype assembly, testing and promotion
April 2017 – Fleet prototypes assembled and tested
May 2017 – UBC Pilot fleet phase I fleet testing commences
Fall 2017 – UBC Pilot fleet’s first 200 beta testers
Early 2018 – UBC Pilot fleet open to the general public