October 31, 2023

🚗 Foxconn's Big Goals for Minicars

Plus: Ola, Amazon, Waev, BMW, Cake, Faction, Piaggio, and more.

What You Need to Know Today

The Foxconn-led MIH Consortium announced that it aims to sell a total of 100,000 electric three-seater minicars a year in India, Thailand, and Japan beginning in 2025. MIH’s vehicle will include swappable batteries and support autonomous driving.

Big money moves from Ola Electric… the Indian moped manufacturer announced that it has raised $384M, including $240M in debt, in a round led by Singapore wealth fund Temasek and the State Bank of India.

New York City is considering a series of new bills that would require third-party delivery apps like Uber Eats and Doordash to provide couriers with access to certified ebikes, mandate workers to take an ebike safety course, and require ebike/escooter businesses to obtain a license for operating in the city.

Bike purchase and usage increased dramatically during the pandemic, but did it continue? According to new research from New Jersey, it all comes down to infrastructure. “The odds that a respondent intends to cycle more in the future (compared to prior to the pandemic) are 4.5 times higher if they have noticed positive changes to their neighborhood during the pandemic.”

Waev has secured an undisclosed amount of financing from J.P. Morgan to fund the growth of its EV brands GEM, Tiger, and Taylor-Dunn.

Swedish premium lightweight electric motorcycle manufacturer CAKE made a big step forward in its potential partnership with Shanghai Forever. The companies have initiated an agreement that will see 130,000 CAKE bikes manufactured and distributed in China over the next three years. 

BMW’s CE 02 electric motorcycle is coming to India—the world’s largest two-wheeler market—through a new manufacturing parntership with TVS Motor Company.

Nineteen companies in the automotive, bicycle, and technology sectors have banded together to champion the development of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2X) communication technology. The group, which includes Bosch, Trek, Shimano, BMC, and Gazelle, is working towards enhancing road safety for vulnerable users by incorporating communication technology into different types of electric vehicles.

Amazon announced it will open two new micromobility hubs in the cities of Rome and Trento. The new sites will add to the four already established micromobility hubs in Italy and further the company's mission of electrifying its European network, a goal that Amazon has allotted a €1 billion investment over 5 years to achieve.

Maybe Amazon should add bike service in Milan next? The level of pollutants in the air in the northern Italian city are nearly four times higher than the safe amount, making it one of the most polluted places in Europe. Now, the government is considering banning cars from the city center.

U.K. company Pashley Cycles is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to invest in the development of cargo delivery, pedal-assist, and shareable electric bikes. 

Italian moped manufacturer Piaggio, maker of the iconic Vespa, reported a 13.8% increase in profits during the first nine months of 2023, reaching €269.3M ($284.78M). The company, which like many legacy OEMs has been gradually electrifying its vehicle lineup, saw a large enough uptick in sales North America and EMEA to offset disappointing returns from Asia. 

Faction, a San Francisco-based developer of driverless technology for light EVs, announced it has raised new funds from TDK Ventures, among others. The details of the financing and the investment amount were not disclosed.

The new “Semi-Trike” from Civilized Cycles is an extra heavy, heavy duty electric cargo trike designed for last-mile deliveyr. Oddly enough, the new vehicle has five wheels in total but it can definitely haul. Its largest version boasts 5,600 liters (200 cubic feet) of storage and a payload capacity of 340 kg (750 lb). 

The city of Atlanta has a new app that shows bikers where they can find available parking… unfortunately, instead of showing abundant locations to lock up, the platform has inadvertently revealed the city’s severe lack of bike infrastructure.

America’s rise in pedestrian deaths over the last decade can be attributed, in part, to the problem of stroads“Analysts found that [Tennessee’s] 117-percent increase in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2019 was tightly correlated with an increasing number of crashes on straight, multi-lane roads with speed limits over 35 miles per hour in urban and suburban areas.”

Electric cargo delivery company URB-E has a new name: Llama. The last-mile delivery startup says its patented small vehicles require 5x less space and reduce CO2 emissions by 95% compared to trucks. 

SONDORS is in hot water. The California-based ebike and e-moto company has continuously failed to fulfill delivery orders and, according to one factory in China, has stopped paying bills entirely, abandoned thousands of motorcycles in storage, some fully-assembled and ready for shipping.

Oregon Rep Earl Blumenauer, the co-sponsor of the E-BIKE ACT and one of the most vocal advocates for cycling in Congress, is considering retiring.

Dutch company Santos Bikes has unveiled the E-Patrol emergency services ebike. Set to be released next year, this unique two-wheeler is designed for functional use by government agencies and ambulance services.

Amish communities, generally known for avoiding technology like phones, cars, computers, and many other modern conveniences, have surprisingly begun allowing ebikes for transportation. Though Amish community leaders say they’ll never replace the horse and buggy, many admit that they enjoy their convenience and efficiency.

It’s been a big week for bike insurance providers: London-based startup Laka raised $8M in funding to continue expanding in Europe. On top of that, the company acquired a smaller competitor, Cilantro, an ebike insurer based in France.

At the same time, U.K. bike insurer Bikmo has raised $4.1M in a Series A round to continue expanding in Europe. The company currently insures over 75,000 riders.

The city of Austin, TX has won a $11.3M federal grant to expand and fully electrify its bike system. 

Somehow personally owned electric scooters are still illegal to use in the U.K. But there’s speculation that next month’s king’s speech will classify scooters as a new class of vehicle, sitting somewhere between a car and an ebike.

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