CleanTech Innovation Showcase Presenting Company Recap: VeloMetro Mobility
By Nick Montoni
CleanTech Alliance Contributor
The CleanTech Innovation Showcase 2017 morning sessions included a presentation from Kody Baker, CEO and cofounder of VeloMetro Mobility. Baker’s presentation relied on some key statistics regarding traffic and urban congestion: 54% of the world’s population, and a projected 86% by 2050, live in urban environments; traffic has had a net cost of nearly $186 billion; and fewer millennials are getting driver’s licenses due to something called “traffic stress.” Baker and VeloMetro have set out to remediate this tough situation.
VeloMetro’s solution? Veemo, a fully enclosed, single-occupant, motorized, electric bicycle. Veemo operates on pedal-assist technology that doubles (in Canada) or triples (in the U.S.) the user’s pedaling power. The user does not need a driver’s license. Veemo is battery-operated and gets about 60 miles to one battery.
Baker hopes that Veemo will enter the market as a “high-end bike share,” allowing users to rent a Veemo in one location and pedal to work, the grocery store, or wherever they need to go at a price of 28 cents/minute. Much like Car2Go, Veemo can be left anywhere, and when it is not in use, a VeloMetro employee will be dispatched for a battery-swap operation.
It is clear that Veemo would reduce the number of cars on the street, but not the number of single-occupant vehicles. It would also serve to reduce emissions. As a bike share program, it may attract wealthier city-dwellers who have never had the need for a license.
A Veemo pilot program has been launched at the University of British Columbia.