The purchasing price of an e-moped only makes 30% of the total cost of its ownership, 70% needs to be spent for maintenance and operation. Choosing the right vehicle is a strategic choice, related to daily operations and infrastructure.
Buying a good sharing vehicle will be an investment now. But the right choice of this vehicle will protect you from financial distress later. In this article we will talk about the right vehicle to buy if you’re composing or scaling a light electric vehicle fleet for sharing. I’m sure there are many questions in your mind: What’s the criteria for choosing the perfect vehicle? How can you make sure it won’t be high maintenance? What should you consider when planning your operations?
To answer these questions, we talked to Markus Bramer, Head of Technical Management at emmy. Emmy is the pioneer for electric scooter sharing in Germany. It started in 2015 with 150 e-mopeds and grew it’s fleet to 2,000 vehicles since then. Bramer has shared his insights into what to look for in a sharing-ready vehicle and how emmy managed to reduce their operational costs in the last year. We also spoke with Jana Bartels, Business Owner at Wunder Vehicles and Vehicle Expert at Wunder Mobility. Jana is our go-to person for everything vehicles related and has recently run the development of our new vehicles together with Yadea, the world’s biggest two-wheel electric-vehicle manufacturer.
If you are an operator yourself, you know it is a big challenge to find the right vehicle. An investment that will influence your whole business.
Consider these points to select the right vehicle
Your vehicle needs to have reliability, connectivity and fit the user’s needs
The first thing to consider is reliability. If you want your LEV to be a perfect fit for sharing markets, make sure that you have a bullet-proof design with solid spare parts and that it’s resistant to vandalism in the way it’s designed. The parts should last in the event of a small accident and should be able to handle it without cracking.
The second thing to consider is connectivity. Make sure your vehicle has a stable IoT device implemented. An IoT device will make your vehicle smart, usable within a sharing fleet and enable operation within an operating system for sharing. Also, make sure the vehicle and software offers a multi sim card usage. If you have a mono sim card you will be dependent on a single internet provider, a hindrance in case the provider has a breakthrough.
The third thing to watch out for is that the vehicles fit the end user’s needs such as the size and weight of the target user but also their design and convenience preferences. This can be slightly different depending on where your market is located.
Our tip: When choosing a vehicle for your fleet, choose one which is based on a B2Cvehicle the manufacturer offers in the market. The B2C market is more mature than the sharing market and sharing vehicles can benefit from the long-term experience, stable supply chain and the maturity and scalability of their production processes.
Choose a vehicle with powerful batteries to improve infrastructure and save space
A no-brainer to consider is battery technology. A good battery for sharing will offer a high range and a fast charging time. The range will ensure that it doesn’t need to be charged often. And the fast charging time will on the one hand decrease your spare part costs cause you need less spare batteries for a smooth operation. On the other hand it increases its availability for customers - the so called utilization which is the main KPI for your sharing business.
Some other questions that will affect your charging infrastructure are: How much battery storage space do you want on your charging points? How much power consumption does each charger and the charging point with all chargers together should have? Last but not least, insurance costs are higher the more batteries you store in your warehouse or charging points
If you have a higher range and lower charging time you won’t need a lot of buffer batteries. It will save storage space in your warehouse, turning out to be even more cost-efficient in the overall picture.
Get ready for 24/7 maintenance and repair
You should be able to repair and maintain your vehicles 24h a day. A fast repair time can save you a lot of costs and keep the high availability of the vehicles to customers at any circumstance.
To make this possible you need availability of spare parts. But high stock means high investment and working capital. Having a small stock makes sense as a ground base for immediate repair and maintenance. In an optimal scenario you will need a partner who can serve you with the main spare parts within 24 hours delivery.
But let’s say you’d like to store your parts. Will your orders be yearly, monthly or quarterly? Remember it’s not worth it to store a lot of expensive parts so make sure to focus on medium or low cost parts. Be aware of limiting times and plan your scaling with the supply chain of the manufacturer in mind.
Consider the industry challenges
It is a hard time in logistics at the moment. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, containers and space in these are short, prices are extremely high and hold-ups in ports or even blank sailings are common. Due to the shortage of containers and space it’s even more difficult to book logistics for dangerous goods like LEVs. . If your manufacturers are not in local soil, prepare yourself well and order long enough in advance. In the best case, you are preparing a forecast for your manufacturer to share with them your scaling plans so that they can prepare everything in advance.
There is a semiconductor crisis which also affects LEV manufacturers. In general, when scaling to more than 3000 vehicles and launching in different cities, it makes sense to have 2 or more different vehicle brands in your fleet to reduce risk and also higher your negotiation power. This is called a Dual Sourcing Strategy. A single sourcing strategy is risky if you have bigger fleets. In case of a material shortage, quality or production issues your vehicle delivery will be affected and if no vehicles are delivered in time to launch a city it will consequently affect your revenue and reputation.
Yadea G5L - Long range, low maintenance plastic parts and a fast charging time
In the beginning of 2021, emmy received 1500 Yadea G5L e-mopeds, took the mopeds to the streets and improved their operational costs. The Yadea G5L sharing moped was thoroughly developed by Wunder Mobility and Yadea, taking in consideration several market insights from the sharing business and a bunch of experience from the B2C e-moped business.
First of all, because it’s very easy to automatically swap Yadea G5L batteries with the Wunders Operating System, you do it by opening a workflow through the hardware or software. The 1st battery compartment opens up automatically followed by the second one without touching the App again. This helps to speed up and as a result to decrease service costs. The batteries are quick to charge, they take max 2-2.5h each, meaning you don’t have to purchase a lot of them to maintain a high utilization. Also, it has flexible plastic parts which will not break in case of an accident - since changing plastic parts is the most time consuming repair, you can save a lot of repair hours. Next to the new sharing vehicles, emmy also decreased the breathing distances between the scooters by installing more stations to save operation costs and become more efficient.
As you can see, there’s a lot of things to consider in a two-wheeled sharing-fleet and business. If you’ve decided to build a new fleet, scale or even improve your current one, Wunder Mobility can help. We’ve got solutions to all your business needs and several bullet-proof tested light electric vehicles to choose from. Just choose your own design and logo and you are ready to go.
This article is based on the Wunder Mobility Webinar that happened this week about how the right vehicle will save you operational costs.