Clean Motion, a Swedish company has launched its advanced electric commercial vehicle, ‘Zbee’ in India.
The Zbee looks pretty much like a rickshaw. However, this 3-wheeled electronic ride is here for a major transportation and economical change.
Zbee is already running successfully across Europe and Indonesia, and would be used as last mile connectivity in the CyberHub area of Gurgaon as an active toll of green vehicles in the first phase. Post its launch on February 10, the company flagged off its commercial operation. As part of a cluster, 25 Zbees will provide last-mile connectivity from the CyberHub to nearby offices of DLF Cyber City and later on to the metro stations. The zero-emission Zbee is currently imported as a CKD kit.
Under its pact with DLF, Zbees will function from various retail formats in Delhi-NCR. Homologated by ICAT Manesar and certified by government authorities as an electric vehicle with a registered number plate, about 100 Zbees per month will be locally assembled at Faridabad; local manufacturing is being explored at a later stage. The Zbee is currently sold in Sweden and Indonesia and India will be the third country on its radar.
Why is this a fun to drive electric you ask?
The Zbee is made from a fibre reinforced plastic body, the lightweight EV weighs around 270kg enabling it to strike a balance between its light body structure and safety requirements. The Zbee weighs in just within the 1500 kilogram limit, thereby making it quite nimble.
The perfect vehicle for short distance transportation of up to three people and smaller goods. The vehicle, through its energy efficiency and zero emissions will improve the environment both logically and globally.
Fun to Drive:
The Zbee is quite a practically built, fun to drive vehicle that lets behind all the efforts and delivers safety. Zbee also offers parking ease, because this vehicle can even be parked inside your home.
Zbee is weather protected, seats three people with ease and features a protected luggage compartment. The parking brake has a lock and protects the vehicle from theft. It’s designed around your actual needs. Since when did you need a vehicle weighing 1500 kg, with a top speed of 200 km/h, just to go shopping?
The battery powering the hi-tech motor charges quickly and needs little service. It costs only about a dime per 10 km of driving. The advanced lithium ion battery allows the Zbee to be driven for up to 50 kilometers. Recharging takes an hour, says Clean Motion. Later a rapid charging device, which enables a recharge within 30 minutes, will be introduced.
The company claims that three Zbees fit into a single parking lot. Operating cost is 30 percent of the cost of a fossil fuel vehicle. It can seat two passengers and the driver and has a top speed of 45kph. In addition, it comes with a parking brake to prevent theft.
“Fossil fuel-run vehicles have contributed significantly in adding to the carbon footprint and emissions in our environment. To combat this, we started developing technology which is lean, clean and safe and can be a potential alternative transport solution. This led to the Zbee,” says Goran Folkesson, CEO of Clean Motion.
Expanding footprints in India:
Clean Motion has so far invested over $1 million (Rs 6.6 crore) in its Indian operations and plans to invest another $10 million (Rs 66 crore) by 2017 for expanding its reach across India. An upcoming IPO to raise a capital of $5 million this April will go towards setting up a manufacturing facility for the Zbee in the vicinity of Faridabad, confirms Folkesson.
The target is to achieve about 70 percent localisation of parts over the next 6-8 months so as to bring down the production cost by 2017. At present the Zbee costs Rs 5 lakh and with indigenisation the product cost is expected to down by 50 percent within a year according to Anil Arora, country head of Clean Motion India.
The Faridabad assembly facility can roll out around 3,000-5,000 units annually and a new modern manufacturing plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of 5,000 units as well. The target is to set up multiple micro factories for producing the Zbee in close proximity to its customers as it expands across the country.
At a rough estimate, each micro factory will require an area of 500-1000 square metres and involve an investment of Rs 4 crore producing 5,000 units annually. Franchisees will be tasked with marketing the Zbee.
It would soon be marketed in Delhi, Noida, Jaipur and other smart cities. The company aims to sell over 1,000 Zbees in India by March 2017.
The company plans to train women drivers for Zbee and would work with Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd and other organizations in this regard. It is expected to be a viable energy-efficient solution to the critical issues of pollution and last-mile connectivity in urban metros.
Besides, the company has entered into an arrangement with DLF to operate Zbees from various retail format in Delhi-NCR. Zbee has a fibre-reinforced plastic body, which is light as well as strong from a safety perspective. It comes with an advances lithium ion battery and a full charge allows it to be driven for up to 50 km.
Clean Motion has invested over $1 million in India so far and would be pumping in $10 million by 2017. Currently, Zbee is being assembled in India at Faridabad and the India team expects to bring down the production cost significantly by 2017.
Meanwhile, environmental body, CSE has said that the high number of diesel vehicles in the recently concluded Auto Expo shows a scary trend of high pollution causing models hitting the market despite 2,000-cc diesel engines being banned in the NCR till March 2016. CSE claimed that as many as 27 per cent of all displayed car/SUV models in Auto Expo were in the bracket of 2,000-cc diesel engines.
We hope to see more Electronic vehicles that serve a better purpose in India soon. Hope you enjoyed the article? Please feel free to share/like/comment.