Tesla And Elon Musk Inspired This Guy To Start An EV Company

SEP 21 2018 BY EVANNEX 23


Guest Blog Post: Michael Schoening, President, CityFreighter Inc.

I’ve followed Tesla for years. I like Elon, and I love SpaceX. Every time I traveled from Germany to Los Angeles my first destination was always a little industrial area in Hawthorne, 10 minutes from LAX. SpaceX is located there. It’s entirely different compared to my previous visits to the massive operations at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The Tesla Design Center and the Hyperloop test track are located there as well. I always come away inspired.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Posted by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Source: CityFreighter Inc.

During these LA trips, my regularly scheduled second stop was the Tesla store in Santa Monica. I was enamored with the store’s display of the open chassis frame of the Model S. I was fascinated by this perfectly engineered, large piece of technology, mostly made of aluminum. I loved it.

I ordered my Model X two years ahead of launch. The first time I saw it was during one of my trips to the Hawthorne area on a Sunday morning behind the large glass entrance doors of the Tesla Design Center. That day I also asked Elon to connect on LinkedIn. And a couple hours later we were connected! The text I got from Elon was that I should contact him if I ever need any help in business… it made my day.

Above: My Model X (Photo: Michael Schoening)

My Model X (see above) was delivered in Germany in October 2016. I’ve experienced 65,000 trouble-free kilometers so far — I enjoy the driving it every day and I won’t be switching to another car anytime soon. My wife is waiting for her Model 3. We ordered it on its launch day at a Tesla store in the Netherlands.

When I got my Model X and experienced the day-to-day life of an electric vehicle owner, recognizing its intrinsic advantages, I started thinking about entering the EV industry myself. Electro-mobility is a disruptive technology. It offers a lot of room to innovate and change the world.

Source: CityFreighter Inc.

I don’t know why, but my focus immediately went to commercial trucks. I envisioned the possibilities surrounding the electrification of commercial trucks for last mile distribution.

Last mile logistics are facing a myriad of future challenges ahead. One reason: eCommerce is exploding. And, by 2030, 70% of all people will live in bigger cities. Also, there’s an increasing shortage of drivers. The demand for sustainable, compact, pollution-free commercial vehicles is steadily growing. Furthermore, upcoming regulatory changes for inner-city traffic will lead to a rapid increase in the sale of commercial, electric trucks for urban deliveries. All of that is taking place against a backdrop of a market estimated globally at $729 billion by 2028 — 35% of that market will be generated from urban light-duty truck sales.

After extensive market research, I decided it might make sense to form a joint venture with a sizable Chinese brand. One day, during multiple visits to truck factories, I was watching the assembly line at one of China’s leading truck manufacturers, Foton, and discovered, “There’s no magic recipe here.”

Afterward, I developed a modular concept, a new brand, and decided to outsource production to reliable suppliers in order to concentrate on R&D and final assembly — a way to start an automotive manufacturing company with relatively low investment by leveraging the inherent advantages of e-mobility.

Source: CityFreighter Inc.

Since then a lot has happened. The team has been built, the concept has been detailed (perhaps you’ll recognize some inspiration from Tesla when seeing our interior design concepts), and here we are. CityFreighter Inc. with our corporate office in Santa Barbara, CA, was founded in June 2018.

To finance our prototype, we’re currently running a public offering. Our exciting journey has just begun and now, you can be part of it as well.

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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23 Comments on "Tesla And Elon Musk Inspired This Guy To Start An EV Company"

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Low floor of these trucks looks appealing.
Good design.
Good Luck.

Looks surprisingly sleek… Their designer at least is top-notch 😉

Extremely ambitious enterprise, though…

Well, I am the ambitious guy – we are goung to make it! Exciting times ahead

There certainly is a probability that success is one of the possible outcomes.

The design might still need some improvements, but that will come as soon as you make further steps towards getting closer to the actual production design.

There are a few solar panels mounted on top of the container. Could it make sense to add a few solar panels on the sides of the container as well?

We will integrate special pv layers (not panels because too heavy) on top of the standard box. Adding on the sides would be another interesting option. Fot the mobile hub there is no need. We only would use them to power the hydraulics and the connectivity with it. Using the box as a mobile vending unit could change the direction.

Good offering, best of luck!!

Exciting indeed! Hope you can stake out a viable niche in this super dynamic market 🙂

I’m inspired, love to do something myself, but don’t have the resources

Nice concept only that the flat face may have safety concerns

That flat nosed “cabover” design is pretty standard in Europe, since the overall length of trucks is restricted. A long hood would waste space and impede maneuverability. Yes, I can imagine that safety might suffer a tad, but I think that in any collision with a car you’re sitting so much higher that crumple zone is just below you instead of in front of you.

Also, driving vehicles with this design is just fun! You ever driven a rear-engine VW Bus?

You got it. The first truck has been designed to be able go-to market quickly. Second gen will show more exciting stuff you can do with EV’s. The look of future commercial vehicles will change. We need to attract the driver as well (yes, not everything will be autonomous) and give him a fun and functional workplace

Pretty standard in NE cities in US too

No thank you.
You should have stayed in the west.

To boring here. Wanna join? Believe me, once you start something like this and you’re in 24/7, you can’t let go. We are already collaborating with top notch players. Execution is key.

Why did you move your production to China?
You had the RIGHT idea of simply assembling things.

The “production” is not in China. We will do only some parts there, a bit more for the prototype but for serial
we will work with suppliers from multiple countres. The assembly, done by ourselves, is still the plan

Congratulations and best wishes for your endeavor.

We think alike, flexible, modular and beautifully simple, you will do well Pilgrim says I!
I would definitely keep Elon in the loop, there are possibilities for both of you, will be watching!

Yep, I admire him. All the Bytons, BYD’s, and in principle the whole new EV industry would not be at that stage without him. We would not even discuss in this forum. Would have loved to sleep on the factory floor and join him to keep production running (call me any time Elon!)

Good luck with your startup! 🙂 I’ll be interested to see if you can get those jacks you show raising and lowering the cargo pod to work in real life, not just in a virtual simulation.

The world needs all the EVs replacing cars and trucks that it can get!

We are working with a hydraulic jacks provider from Germany. Handling maximum strength & weight, minimum use of materials but with safety reserve

What can you tell us about the battery packs of these vehicles?

Battery technology will play a major role in the future success of EV’s. For reliability, you need to bet on what has been proven to work.
We are collaborating with an experienced lithium-ion battery manufacturer who has been serving the EV industry for many years.
Our “Battery Select” option will be another innovative concept but can’t disclose more here yet.
We intend to test a prototype with the solid-state next year and we will keep an eye on promising new developments.

Cool. I’ll support us business