Zapp i300 electric scooter.
J. Kyle Keener
Life in the Zapp zone. According to Tony Posawatz, a certain segment of urban mobility is moving in this direction. More precisely on a Zapp i300 electric scooter. In an interview with Forbes.com, Posawatz even went so far as to describe the i300 as a “superbike”.
The Zapp i300 is manufactured by Zapp Scooters, a UK-based company with manufacturing facilities in Thailand. Posawatz is a long-standing executive who specializes in cutting-edge technology and electric vehicles and advises Zapp. He is a former CEO of electric car maker Fisker Automotive and was Executive / Director of the vehicle line for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric car.
The i300 makes its US debut this week in conjunction with an automotive industry conference in Traverse City, Michigan. Posawatz, however, gave Forbes.com an expanded look at the scooter, which he says will help solve mobility problems caused in large part by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a global trend away from internal combustion engines.
Tony Posawatz with the Zapp i300 electric scooter. Posawatz is a consultant to the British company.
J. Kyle Keener
“In a post-Covid world, there are many options that people no longer like when it comes to transportation,” said Posawatz. “Fewer people want to use local transport, Ubers and Lyfts are problematic, parking spaces stink in big cities, traffic jams, and by the way, more and more of these cities can ban internal combustion engines of all kinds.”
In fact, the ability to redeem the conditions described by Posawatz is one of the driving forces behind Zapp. Citing figures from multiple sources, the total annual addressable market for two-wheeled vehicles – scooters and motorcycles – is estimated at $ 109 billion.
“We believe this product is positioned to differentiate it from delivery products, useful existing products, and certainly high quality recreational products. We believe that we have found the sweet spot in the middle with which you can really dominate the urban environment, ”says Posawatz happily. “Not limes and birds. A Vespa-like vehicle with maybe a reinterpretation of it. We see it as a daily commuter. ”
Battery pack for the Zapp i300 electric scooter. The scooter is powered by two 1.4 kilowatt-hour, … [+]
J. Kyle Keener
This reinterpretation begins with a lightweight composite body and aluminum exoskeleton that adds to the i300’s total weight of just 200 pounds. It is powered from cell to pack by two independent 1.4 kilowatt hour batteries. They weigh 12 pounds each, are about the size of a laptop, and are detachable. They can be charged at any 110 or 220 volt socket and, according to Zapp, reach a charge of 20 to 80% in less than an hour.
Posawatz declined to reveal which company makes the batteries, but hinted that “it is a well-known Asian manufacturer of high-volume cells”. The electric motor, he said, is made by Dana.
In terms of performance, the two-seat i300 can accelerate from zero to about 50 km / h in 2.35 seconds, to up to 43.5 mph in 4.10 seconds with a maximum electronically controlled speed of about 60 mph and a total driving range of approximately 60 miles.
There are currently two price levels. The pre-tax cost is $ 8,995 for the high-feature version of the i300 Carbon Launch and $ 7,495 for the regular i300. Further models are planned. While prices are in US dollars, you cannot currently purchase one in the US.
Zapp store in Paris where the i300 can be bought.
J. Kyle Keener
Zapp’s first foray is in Europe, and particularly in France. The company recently opened a store in Paris, although orders come mostly through the website, which allows the i300 to be customized to suit individual tastes and budgets.
The scooters are then delivered directly to the customers and delivered by trained technicians in Ford hybrid vans of the brand the company calls “Zapper”.
“Europeans and Asians continue to embrace this type of personal urban mobility and are quickly adopting electric versions. We hope that savvy Americans will do so soon, ”said Zapp founder and CEO Swin Chatsuwan in a statement.
How soon? The company says it plans rollouts in the USA and Asia in the first quarter of 2022.
“We believe the opportunity is ripe in the United States, particularly in Palo Alto and other college cities,” said Posawatz. “But Europe is our first focused market with around 35 million two-wheelers with internal combustion engines on the market that will ultimately have to be replaced.”
While Zapp is positioning its products as “premium” in good time, Posawatz is planning to produce less expensive scooters in order to build up volume. As production, distribution, and sales of the i300 ramp up, Posawatz explains that Zapp is in solid financial shape.
“The margins are incredible,” said Posawatz. “Zapp will very soon be a revenue-generating company. It will start immediately as a profitable company. “