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Interview with Niklas Ankarcrona

Last week the site interviewed Niklas Ankarcrona, co-founder and chairman of Clean Motion, on how he envisions the the future!

Last week the site got to pick his brain on how he envisions the the future!

Clean Motion has a tailored made vehicle for urban transport (Zbee) that focus on true sustainability. It has been developed from the beginning with that as the mission. The vehicle is aimed at the segment between bicycles and cars in cities. To meet the needs of city transport, Clean Motion has designed a connected vehicle with an eye-catching design, ultra-light and safe composite body that is relying on an efficient electric drive train. It is prepared for future multimodal transport needs.

Niklas Ankarcrona, co-founder and chairman of Clean Motion.

Can you tell me a little about yourself and your background?

I have a broad experience from both large companies like IBM and as an entrepreneur to start and run my own companies. I am driven by understanding my customers and delivering on high expectations. I joined and started Virtual Engineering in the early 2000s, where we are helping companies to streamline their product development process through digitization. There I worked a lot with companies such as Scania and Volvo trucks, which gave me a deep insight into the development and business around of vehicles for commercial transport. I like being part of making change, which is the main reason why I participated in founding Clean Motion, where I´ve been sitting on the board since the start and chairman since 2016.

Please describe Clean Motion and your business for Stockpickers readers!

We founded Clean Motion with the insights that today’s transports are not sustainable and with an idea of ​​how the future city transports will be solved. We have developed a transport solution that consists of optimized electric vehicles for cities. They are small, safe and connected for transport of people and goods in all the world’s cities. Our product is scalable, flexible and easily produced locally on the market in question.

We solve global transport and climate problems through improved city transport and you can today see our vehicles as podtaxi in Stockholm as well as New Delhi.

Our mission is to develop resource-efficient urban transportation with a high utilization for all the world’s cities:

Inside the cockpit of Zbee from driver perspective. Steering wheel  and speedometer dashboard of Zbee is visable in image.

“Connected and optimized electric vehicles for efficient commercial transport.”

To achieve our set goals we believe collaborations and partnerships are important. Together with Bzzt and Fortum we are in the process of shaping a unique holistic offer for future city mobility. The offer is consisting of our efficient pods, Zbee, charging infrastructure with battery swap for maximum utilization from Fortum and mobility services with an app. from Bzzt. We see it as a package offer and something we will be able to offer for many different markets.

You have previously received a couple of prestigious awards, tell me!
We are proud that our innovative solutions and our work for a better climate are recognized as much as it has. World Wildlife Fund, WWF Climate Solver, where we were noticed early on for innovative solutions for future city transport with a great potential to improve the climate. I feel extremely grateful for the awards we have received as they are proof that we are doing the right things and that we make a difference.

How does the company’s business model look?

Our business model consists of two parts. We sell vehicles for commercial operations which we produce in our own factories, especially here in Sweden.

In order to enable rapid global expansion, we have a distribution model where we offer licenses for local manufacturing in micro factories, a sort of glocal concept, since we control both manufacturing methods and component flow globally, but manufacturing takes place locally. We also think very optimistic on new revenue streams like different digital services, sharing solutions and optimization of vehicle fleets.

You are currently carrying out a new share issue in which you take in SEK 21.9 million. What is the funds going to be used for?

The ongoing climate debate and the challenges around urban traffic makes our solution very good in timing. The increased insights that something has to be done radically in order to reverse the trend means that we now believe that it is the right timing to intensify our focus in Europe, where we will increase our sales efforts as the market is now beginning to mature. Another part is to develop our offering for cargo transport and to shape and deepen partnerships in key areas such as charging infrastructure and digital services. In addition, we will use the liquidity to strengthen our financial position.

How do you see competition and what distinguishes you from this?

Our vehicles, pods, are a new kind of vehicle and there are not many similar vehicles. There are many tricycles in Asia, but today they are mostly based on old technology and they are primarily fossil-powered. There are a few electric powered tricycles on the market, but they are still built with traditional technology and therefore weigh a lot, which means that they are not very efficient. We have developed our pod, Zbee, from scratch and optimized it for city transport of people and goods. We have focused on a light and safe vehicle that enables long range with small batteries. We have the market’s most energy-efficient vehicle where innovative charging solutions such as battery swap mean that we completely remove charging time for the vehicle. This enables maximum utilization of electric vehicles in commercial fleets, which makes us completely unique.

What would you say are the biggest risks in your business?

We develop future transport solutions with a new innovative vehicle. The needs in urban mobility and climate are enormous, but changes initially take time for the market and, above all, decision makers. The advantage is that we have been in the market for quite some time and we now see increased insights that something must be done for both the mobility and the climate.

Can you say something about the size of Clean Motion’s potential market?

The market for urban transport is huge, according to the IDTech EX report, the market for “last mile” transport is estimated at $ 792 billion, in 2028.

The ongoing urbanization means that the market will continue to grow a lot in the future and the UN estimates that passenger transports will be doubled over the next 30 years and freight transports tripled in cities.

According to you, what are the main reasons why you should invest in Clean Motion?

We have a mature product that has been running for many years in Europe and Asia and we have a unique and strong offer for commercial fleets with connected optimized vehicles, digital services and a charging infrastructure with battery replacement that maximizes vehicle use

– Urban mobility is an exciting and growing market.
– A unique, customer-friendly and comprehensive offering that easily resolves an important part of the urban transport and environmental challenges.
– A product that is scalable, flexible and easily produced locally on the market in question.
– Innovative partner offers with license for micro factories that enables rapid global expansion.
– Great experience in developing customized electric vehicles for urban transport and driving taxi fleets in India.
– Strong partnerships with Fortum, Siemens and Bzzt.
– Ability to make a big difference to the climate.
– Ability to shape future transport solutions in cities.

In conclusion, if you look forward to 5 years in time, how does Clean Motion look then?

I see that Zbee is a common part of the cityscape of many of the world’s cities. Through this, we have been involved in creating better climate globally as well as reducing exhaust gases and noise in the cities. This has given back some of the city to the people who live there, with quieter and cleaner cities with reduced traffic and more parks.

We have developed additional vehicles with several digital services for optimized use for our customers.

A significantly increased volume with a number of micro factories established around the world where we created local jobs and together with partners produce locally produced vehicles.

Read the original version in Swedish here: