Swedish company Clean Motion focuses on light, affordable electric 3-wheeled vehicles that are built to be as energy efficient as possible under their philosophy that aims to ensure that most of the energy is used to transport the goods rather than the vehicle itself. Founded 10 years ago, Clean Motion released its first product, the Zbee, in 2014.
According to its website, “the Zbee is a light electric three-wheeled vehicle that comes in two versions; with a rear seat or with cargo space. Zbee benefits from its low weight and high efficiency to meet the transportation and logistics needs of the 21st century.” The Zbee which has already received several awards, including WWF Climate Solver and Zennsström Green Mentorship Award, and is already available in South Africa. The ZBee is available for leasing from Greenscooterza.
After some delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clean Motion is now adding the Re:volt 3-wheeled delivery van / moto rickshaw to its product line. The Re:volt will be available in Europe from late 2022. Clean Motion will open more markets for the Re:volt in 2023 in partnership with its franchise partners. Clean Motion provides market licenses to partners in different countries to manufacture their products locally.
Clean Motion had been following the delivery market very closely before the pandemic, and had seen the interest and demand for the Zbee rise significantly. When the pandemic came, the delivery market saw an unprecedented surge due to the stay-at-home orders and lockdowns. Clean Motion saw this as an opportunity to redesign its delivery vehicle to offer more space and flexibility in this segment, culminating in the design of the Re:volt.
“We had a lot of experience in designing and developing electric vehicles, therefore the road to go from zero to develop the ideal light delivery vehicle was much less for us. We were able to build on the original Zbee and optimize the form factor to one that is suitable for these types of services” says Christoffer Sveder.
In the delivery industry, more efficiencies can be unlocked from “right sizing” vehicles as, on many occasions, firms dispatch larger fossil-powered vehicles with a load that can easily fit in a vehicle the size of a tuk tuk or moto rickshaw Re:volt. Incorporating solar panels on the roof of these right-sized vehicles will now provide an opportunity to also extract more value from the solar panels. “We focused on a vehicle that we could put solar panels on the roof that would make the vehicle potentially be energy autonomous and users may rarely need to look for an outlet to charge it.” The Re:volt has 588W solar panels made from IBC cells with 23% efficiency.
To make its new electric moto rickshaw more affordable, the Re:volt is built on a modular platform with the entry level version having a 2.5 kWh battery pack. In very sunny places like a lot of places in Africa, the 588W panels could charge the battery to a decent state of charge on most days. These types of vehicles will be a game-changer in areas that currently have limited access to electricity.
These types of tuk tuk / rickshaw vehicles, when paired with solar mini-grids, will also open up access to transport services in remote areas where finding petrol and diesel is a challenge. Users can also opt for larger battery packs by adding more 2.5 kWh packs, up to 10 kWh. The 2.5 kWh version has a range of 70 km and the 10 kWh version has a range of up to 180 km depending of the cargo load and driving conditions. The cargo volume is 2.5 cubic meters and can take a load of about 350 kg. The vans have a maximum speed of 60 km/h.