'r:50mi ts:70mph, carries 400 pounds, box has 12 250W solar panels, Lutz
backed, +more'

Current Motor Makes Waves with its Mini-Fleet-in-a-Box
December 17th, 2015  Sarah Schmid

Mini-fleet-in-a-Box — Current Motor is the Ann Arbor-based maker of the
mini-fleet-in-a-box of electric motorcycles. The shipping container they
arrive in is also a solar charging station.

Current Motor_Mini-fleet-in-a-Box
from Lauren F (November 2015)
Current Motor makes all-electric cargo motorcycles and mobile solar charging
stations, together a Mini-fleet-in-a-Box, targeted at mining, manufacturing,
medical/emergency, military/1st responder, municipal/Smart Cities markets
around the world.

Michigan is home to a number of innovative mobility and transportation
startups seeking to change the ways we move people and goods around the
globe. Add Current Motor to the list. The Ann Arbor-based maker of electric
vehicles and solar charging stations (with a manufacturing plant in
Manchester, MI) is starting to get the world’s attention for its
mini-fleet-in-a-box, a self-contained transportation solution for the
developing world and hard-to-access places.

This fall, Current Motor was honored by NextEnergy and the University of
Michigan’s Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and
Transformation initiative as the winner of the annual Michigan MobiPrize,
given to entrepreneurs who are developing and commercializing innovative
mobility companies in the Great Lakes State. A few weeks later, the company
traveled to India to accept an award for its technology.

The mini-fleet-in-a-box contains four industrial-strength electric cargo
motorcycles that go faster and carry more weight than motorcycles meant for
consumers. They come in a 20-foot shipping container equipped with solar
panels. It serves as a charging station capable of charging the motorcycles
in about five hours.

“It’s a green solution that literally works out of the box,” said Lauren
Flanagan, co-managing director at Belle Capital and Current Motor’s
executive chair. “We give them everything they need, including spare parts
and cleaning products.”

The intended customers are those in the developing world where fuel is
expensive or hard to come by, remote mining operations, large global
manufacturers, the military, and medical or rescue operations. “If you’re in
a situation like Hurricane Sandy, where there’s no power and no fuel and
it’s too hard to get a big vehicle in to do search and rescue, you could
have our fleet dropped in by helicopter,” Flanagan said.

Motorcycle ridership is relatively small in the United States, she said, but
globally, it’s a popular mode of transportation. Many overseas businesses
opt for motorcycle fleets instead of cars or trucks, especially in Brazil,
Russia, China, and India. Originally, Current Motor planned to design
vehicles for the consumer market before realizing it’s an expensive and
time-consuming industry to break into.

“We realized our business model was too hard to achieve but we had this
great technology, so we started looking at what else we could do with it,”
Flanagan said.

The technology behind the fleet’s motor, powertrain, and shipping container
was developed by Current Motor and is patent-pending. The motorcycle is
powered by lithium-ion batteries and has no belts or gears. It has a top
speed of 70 mph, can carry up to 400 pounds, and can go approximately 50
miles on one charge. It also has a full telematics system with GPS and
communications that can run on radio frequencies.

“That’s very important when you’re in a remote location or in an emergency,”
Flanagan pointed out.

The charging station comes equipped with 12 250-watt solar panels, and the
motorcycles can be charged anywhere.

“The doors of the shipping container open almost like flower petals, with
the solar panels on the inside,” Flanagan said. “You leave it open during
the day to charge the batteries and close it up at night. When it’s fully
open, it has a 22-foot wing span. It’s also very mobile—you can put it on a
ship, truck, or helicopter and easily move it from place to place.”

Current Motor, which was founded in 2010 and has a team of 14, is backed by
Belle Capital, the Michigan Economic Development Corp., former General
Motors executive Bob Lutz, Rush Trucking founder Andra Rush, and a number of
angel investors. The company has raised a total of $3.4 million to date.

In 2016, Flanagan said the company will accelerate its commercialization
efforts and plans to raise more capital to expand its sales team. It has
“big customers” in Brazil and China already, she said.

“We’re a small but mighty company,” she added. “We have a good basis for
going forward.”
[© xconomy.com]
Current Motor  MINI-FLEET-IN-A-BOX
4 Current Motor Electric Cargo Motorcycles in a shipping container (box)
that is also a Solar Charging Station (r:50mi ts:70mph 0-50mph:9.5s 1680Ah
LiMn2PO4 pack, 450lb carrying capacity)


[tweet  dated
LFlanagan @LFlanagan
Congrats to Current @current_motor  for winning the MobiPrize for
sustainable transportation solutions! Go team https://t.co/oCjxMF0w6I
5:14 AM - 30 Oct 2015

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