Tesla has launched its latest vehicle, Model Y due to start shipping in 2020. The vehicle will travel around 480km on a single charge and will start at $47,000 with an all-wheel-drive dual motor version at $51,000 and the performance model selling at $60,000. It is Tesla’s fifth vehicle.
Model Y can seat seven people, its interior is similar to Model S with a 15-inch touchscreen dominating otherwise vacant dashboard.
This year has been crucial for Tesla as it is the first year of full production, with Model 3 becoming the best-selling EV in 2018. However, the production volume has almost killed Tesla, with market speculating that the demand for the vehicle in the US was exhausted. The similarity of Model Y to Model S should ease pressure on production, as the company turns to China and Europe for sales expansion.
Kakao launches e-bike sharing service
South Korea’s mobile messaging giant Kakao Group has launched an electric bike sharing service. The Kakao Mobility will operate the service called Kakao T Bike. The company had to kill off its ride-hailing service after strong opposition from taxi drivers. Thousands of taxi drivers held protests in Seoul last year to fight against the company’s plans and two protestors set themselves on fire.
Kakao T Bike will start with 400 bikes in Seongnam city and will operate as a dockless service. A special team will go around the city to recharge the bikes. Local Samchuly Bicycle and Alton Sports will provide the electric bike fleets. Currently another local business, Elecle is pilot testing a bike-share service in Seoul.
Taxify rebrands as Bolt
Estonia-based ride-hailing company Taxify has rebranded as Bolt to include other urban mobility services. The company backed by Didi and Daimler is active in 30 countries. The expansion of services, possibly electric scooter sharing, comes as the company embarks on new funding round. The company last raised $175 million at $1 billion valuation in May 2018.
Company’s CEO Markus Villig describes Bolt’s growth as solid number two in the European ride-hailing market, after Uber. Villig also compared the European market to the US and said only two companies usually take the biggest share of the market (in the US, Uber and Lyft). However, the company is still absent from Europe’s biggest ride-hailing market, London. Rather than waiting for a taxi license, Taxify bought a small company with an existing license to operate taxi services in London in 2017, however, its service was shut down after only three days.
Bird launches bike-sharing platform
Bike-sharing company Bird has launched a new platform simply called Bird Platform, that will help entrepreneurs start their own bike-sharing services. The service will be available in New Zealand, Canada, and Latin America for now.
As part of the platform service, Bird will sell its vehicles to these businesses at cost and then take 20% of the ride revenue. The local business will own the fleets, and be responsible for all business and logistical operations, like recharging of scooters, maintenance and getting appropriate permits. To prevent costs associated with competition, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden said they will work with just one business per region for now. The company has already signed 5 companies to operate Bird Platform.
MaaS is essential for all mobility providers
Mobility-as-a-Service has moved from a concept for the future of urban transportation to reality in some of the big cities of the world. There are numerous projections about Mobility-as-a-Service market. It is essential to survival and prosperity of all mobility providers, whether they might be car sharing or car rental businesses to adopt this trend and tailor their service to be used as MaaS. Read about our latest article about the importance of MaaS and what car sharing and car rental businesses can do not to miss this opportunity.
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