CityQ specializes in creating small, car-like electric bikes for sustainable urban transportation.
Please introduce yourself and your startup CityQ to our readers!
I’m Morten Rynning, an experienced technology entrepreneur from Scandinavia and the founder of CityQ, a company that makes small car like ebikes. We design and produce multiple models of light weight 4-wheel electric bikes that provide car-like capabilities for transporting people and cargo, while being over 80% more sustainable than a regular electric car.
How did you get the idea of CityQ?
Where I come from, everybody has an electric car and 80% of new cars sold are electric. But we still have severe issues with congestion and lack of car parking. As well as a need for more car charging.
And the policy of all European cities is to restrict car traffic and push for shift towards more cycling. Even though I enjoyed cycling (and had 5 bikes and e bikes) I still didn’t cycle as often as I would have liked. With 239 days of rain and frost – my car was still the most comfortable option.
CityQ was launched to provide a greener and more sustainable transportation in congested urban areas. Compared to cars, our vehicles take up significantly less road and parking space, produce a fraction of the emissions, and require no special car-charging infrastructure.
Why did you decide to launch CityQ?
I founded CityQ because I believe we need more practical and appealing electric bike options to encourage a shift towards cycling, even in poor weather or when carrying passengers or cargo. I realised that by downsizing an electric car into a lightweight four-wheeled e-bike, we could provide similar comfort, safety and capability as a small urban vehicle, while retaining the sustainability benefits of ebikes.
Specifically, by reducing the weight from a 2,000kg electric car to a 100kg e bike, we can cut CO2 emissions by almost 90% while eliminating concerns over charging infrastructure and parking. Our ebikes aim to make the switch from car to cycle more enticing for more people, reducing congestion and emissions in urban areas.
What is the vision behind CityQ?
Our vision is to develop the lightest car-like electric vehicles and provide a production platform enabling mass adoption. We want to make small vehicles attractive and easy to innovate and implement for all cities.
How difficult was the start, and which challenges did you have to overcome?
Launching CityQ has seen us overcoming certain challenges, even as the demand for sustainable transportation surges. Prior to the pandemic, the market seemed primed for our technology and vision. But COVID-19 brought even greater interest as lockdowns subsided and people wanted to get outside again. Requests now far outpace our production capacity, coming from organisations across the globe.
However, creating our flexible vehicle platform at the quality level we envision is an ongoing challenge. We aim to achieve unparalleled transportation efficiency and to deliver the same vehicle weight to passenger weight as the equivalent of a Tesla carrying 60 passengers. This extreme optimisation requires immense engineering efforts across design, materials science, manufacturing techniques, and testing reliability.
Who is your target audience?
Initially we are targeting businesses requiring last-mile delivery solutions and inner-city services. In the second phase of our business plan, our focus expands to encompass all urban commuters seeking comfortable and efficient transportation. Our goal is to provide sustainable alternatives for both businesses and individuals, emphasising the convenience and efficiency of our electric vehicles.
What is the USP of your startup?
We are the first company to truly enable downsizing from a car to an electric bike form factor while retaining car-like capabilities. Our car-like seating position, cockpit weather protection features, stable chassis dynamics, reverse gear capability, mirrors for checking surroundings, automotive-inspired lighting packages, easy acceleration are just some of the ways that we make our e bikes more car like than others on the market.
Our technology is also our USP. Our ebikes feature advanced vehicle domain control and AI-based management, ensuring a seamless and intelligent operational experience. The modular chassis and drive train provide an exceptional riding feel, offering versatility and customisation.
So, how do you achieve this?
To achieve our vision, we’ve already taken substantial strides. Our platform is currently in production, showcasing the tangible results of our commitment to innovation. We’ve successfully secured partnerships with global brands specializing in last-mile delivery of parcels, food, and city services. This strategic collaboration not only validates the practicality and efficiency of our electric vehicles but also positions us as a trusted solution provider in the market.
Can you describe your typical workday?
Certainly! My typical workday involves a balance of online meetings with our team and customers, ensuring effective communication and collaboration. We also gather in person once a week to strategize for our growth, solidifying plans and addressing challenges. This combination of virtual and face-to-face interaction is key to maintaining a dynamic and cohesive work environment as we continue scaling our operations.
Where do you see yourself and your startup CityQ in five years?
In five years, I see CityQ as a global presence, operating worldwide with streamlined production, sales, and a unified fleet. Our focus is on implementing advanced technology for remote maintenance and upgrades, ensuring optimal performance globally.
Additionally, we’re actively exploring new applications of our technology, particularly within subscription offerings, and developing innovative vehicle types. Our commitment extends to also introducing remote services and enhancing the overall user experience.
In essence, CityQ aims to be a leader in sustainable urban transportation, offering diverse solutions and cutting-edge services on a global scale.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
1. Identify high-demand areas and build an international team to make a real impact.
2. Stay resilient, enjoy the entrepreneurial journey, and let your passion inspire others.
3. Secure initial customers and investors before fully committing resources to product development.
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