It began in 2015 when Luke and Kendall got sick of being stuck in traffic pumping out fumes on their way to work. They started working on an alternative, tinkering on prototypes for electric bikes in their garage and in their spare time. The 2020 Covid-19 lockdown was a blessing; it finally gave them the time and space they needed to complete the first Streetdog prototype.
Kendall Bristow and Luke Sinclair come from engineering backgrounds. It was their 4-month journey on New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail that sparked the original idea for the electric motorbike. In 2016 to 2017, Luke completed a nine-month overland trip from India to the UK by motorbike.
The focus of the two founders was simple: “cut back on the noise, the stress, the pollution, and create a bike that was altogether more simple and straightforward. Right from the start, the FTN Motion vision was to develop high-quality vehicles with clean, fluid styling and practical layouts that will stand out and ultimately improve the functionality and feel of the riding experience.”
Saskia Thornton, based in Amsterdam, and with a background in business, design, innovation, and product development, joined the boys a few months after the prototype was created. “Together they started working on their business strategy and go-to-market plan, ready to start raising capital. In May of 2021, FTN Motion closed its first capital raise at $700k (oversubscribed by $200k), to resource up and produce the first 10 prototype mopeds.”
May 2021 saw another milestone. “FTN Motion pre-sold all 100 available models of the Early Adopter Streetdog to buyers across New Zealand. This early momentum validates what founders Luke, Kendall and Saskia suspected all along: in a time when everything is ‘more, more, more’, the Streetdog and its focus on hassle-free simplicity and minimalist styling is a much-needed breath of fresh air.”
New buyers now have to wait till Q1 2023 before they can take delivery of their Streetdog.
The Streetdog moped has a top speed of 50 km/h top speed, a range of 100 km and weighs in at 82 kg weight. There is room for a pillion rider. The bike is powered by a “3 kW rear hub electric motor with a removable battery and regenerative braking. The battery takes around 6 hours to reach a full charge. Plug it in next to your phone at night and you’re good to go the next day.”
The 30 L lockable storage can hold 6 six packs of beer, or 15 two-litre bottles of milk. The Streetdog is moped class, so you can get on and ride using your car licence. It retails from a tiny NZD$10,000.
FTN Motion sent me this update: “We sold out on our first 100 bikes with delivery in Q3 this ear. Our next release will be another limited number of Streetdogs, 300 bikes of which 100 will be an early bird release that can be secured very soon this year with delivery in Q1 next year. Our parts are sourced locally when possible. We work with a business in the Hutt Valley, Miramar and Hamilton, machining and laser cutting is done onshore, and painting is carried out just down the road from our HQ. And, of course: each Streetdog is designed and assembled right here at home on Haining Street in Wellington.”
New Zealand, home of the Killajoule, the Green Envy, and now the Streetdog.
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