Meet LowCVP winner WeatherVelo at the Sustainable Urban Mobility Seminar - 10 December 2012
Ecospin has developed a road-legal 'stand-on' electric vehicle which is targeted at professional users such as police forces, airport security, delivery and warehousing operators, paramedics and leisure complexes.
Road-legal competitor to Segway - The Raptor 'stand-on' three wheel vehicle is full road-legal in the UK - which gives it a strong advantage over the Segway or the T3 Motion.
Rear wheel drive - The Raptor powertrain utilises a rear wheel drive to address traction issues discovered by MIRA at the test stage.
Targeting professional users - Ecospin is targeting professional markets such as police forces, airport security, delivery and leisure applications.
UK market of 10,000 units - The estimated market for Raptor in the UK is 10,000 units - although Ecospin is targeting the global market.
Patents pending - Ecospin has applied for combination patents for drivetrain and configuration in both Europe and the UK.
Seeking investment of £0.5m - Ecospin is seeking investment of £0.5m to develop the Raptor vehicle and to add to the management team.
Raptor ‘stand-on’ EV
Ecospin Ltd has developed a road-legal (in the UK), three wheel, ‘stand-on’, rear wheel-powered electric vehicle, the Raptor. Classed as a Moped Trike, the first vehicle was certified in November 2011 and registered and issued with Road Tax and number plates later that month.
Raptor is aimed at professional users such as police forces, airport security staff, post office delivery personnel, paramedics and private organisations such as theme parks or hotel and leisure complexes. Key markets are businesses where employees are required to walk considerable distances, with the additional need of a quick response to emergency situations. The largest single sector is expected to be warehousing, followed by security, site and event management.
Set to compete with Segway
The Segway and the (front wheel drive) T3 Motion (launched in 2000 and 2006 respectively) are market leaders in the space - but neither is yet road legal. At its launch, the Segway demonstrated the need of security patrol staff for this type of vehicle. However, to make the Segway compliant for road use would require a complete redesign. (Segway has lost legal battles in the UK and many Canadian and USA states and is barred from being used on paths or cycle paths.)
The T3 addressed some of the range speed and payload issues of the Segway simply by adding a front wheel and increasing the size to carry larger batteries. However, its deployment is restricted in many areas to off-road use.
Fully road legal
To achieve full homologation in the UK for road use, the Raptor underwent testing at the MIRA research facility at Nuneaton. The project was overseen by Nick Bower of NBH Enterprises based in Sussex, a vehicle homologation specialist.
The Raptor powertrain (patent pending) incorporates the latest technologies. It utilises a rear wheel drive, rather than the T3’s front wheel drive solution, to address traction issues discovered by MIRA whilst testing Ecospin’s first front wheel driven concept vehicle. The entire BOM is made in England, with 80% being sourced from the UK.
Potential UK market: 10,000 units
The management of Ecospin anticipates a UK market for Raptor of approximately 10,000 units, but is targeting the global market and projects that, within five years, Raptor will be in production at volumes of some 2,000 per annum, equivalent to a turnover for Ecospin of £14 million.
Ecospin, which has received assistance from MAS West Midlands, has obtained matched funding grants for parcels of works or ‘Gateways’ worth around £50,000. The company has also secured private funding of £150,000 in cash.
The Ecospin team includes Paul Loomes and Tim Cant, both of whom have extensive expertise in the design and development of products. David Loomes and Carlos Mendez both operate their own fire and security business and bring electrical engineering skills to the team.
Ecospin is currently seeking investment of £0.5 million to develop the vehicle. The funding would be used in part to add individuals with financial and marketing skills to the team.