Redefining Alpine Mobility: Interview with Dino Eicher from mov-e-now

Redefining mobility – that’s what the Tyrolean startup move-e-now wants to achieve with an innovative mobility sharing concept. The young company sees the future in green mobility, car sharing and efficient vehicles. To achieve and optimize zero emissions, vehicle-comfort ratio and intelligent networking in the best possible way, systems, processes and products are tested in the “Road” laboratory under real conditions to ensure the economic viability of the offer.

In conversation with Dino Eicher, managing director of mov-e-now, we talk about the developments, challenges and prospects in the area of ​​alpine mobility.

With the largest pool of electric vehicles – from e-bikes to e-scooters and e-cars to e-vans – a wide range of products is already available for customers of move-e-now. Whether you rent or buy is up to you. You want to change the mindset of people sustainably and show the advantages of e-mobility. How far will technology and customers be in 2020?

2020 is certainly a year when a lot will happen. Much more than the years before. In electromobility alone, the changes in the legal framework will increase the number of registrations and sales for electric vehicles. The new EU directive forces automobile manufacturers to sell electric cars so that they can keep their emissions in line with their total sales. This of course also benefits customers, because electric vehicles are generally cheaper and more models come onto the market. Also, there are numerous tax benefits for entrepreneurs who will be added in 2020 – such as no benefits in kind for e-mopeds, e-motorcycles or even e-bikes. At the Vienna Auto Show in January we took a closer look at two new electric car brands, MG and JAC. Among other things, JAC offers high-quality and everyday electric cars from 25,000. Suitable for everyday use means that these are models that have a realistic range between 280 and 400 km and have a quick charge function so that you as a user have no loss of comfort if you decide to be on the move electrically. The range issue and the price issue, which unfortunately still circulates in the minds, will, therefore, be off the table in 2020. A Tesla already drives up to 500 anyway, some models even 700 km, the average of the other brands is currently 350 – 400 km realistic range. The e-bike market, which has risen by 50-70% annually in recent years, will continue to grow as well. Why? Because we know from current experience reports from our customers that the e-bike replaces car trips. The scooters, which are also a last-mile solution, have already been integrated into the cityscape and are working. To avoid any misinterpretation, I have to add that we, of course, see the bike, whether with or without an electric motor, privately or in the rental system as one of the mobility solutions of the future. However, the system must be easy to handle and attractive to the user. A cumbersome system is not accepted by the user, even if it is “free”. In the long run, technology will always win that is simpler, more user-friendly and more sustainable.

What challenges do you have to solve in the next step to change mobility in the long term? Which challenges have to be considered especially in the alpine region?

The challenge of mobility lies in the Alpine region itself. It is already a reality that sharing solutions work and have gained a foothold in urban areas. Unfortunately, not everything that works in Vienna, Berlin and Shanghai necessarily works in Innsbruck, Wattens or on Weerberg. In 2019, we set up a matrix within the company for the state of Tyrol, where we included the energy strategy of Tyrol 2050 – energy-autonomously. Indeed, the goal of becoming an energy-autonomous is possible. Energy autonomy works in a (federal) country that has no oil or gas reserves currently only with vehicles that are electrically powered. The fact that these have no exhaust fumes and much less noise pollution is a very pleasant positive side effect. However, just electrifying the vehicles is not enough. Clever networking and sharing also play a role. I always speak of vehicles here deliberately, because, in addition to the electrification of all public and private car traffic, we also see micro-mobility as a key role, where the e-bike and scooter are used in a public rental system, from transport hubs of mass transportation to cover the last mile with this vehicle. These technologies are established here and on the market – the point is that they are also integrated into public transport and are available everywhere. Over the next few years, bus routes that are currently only travelling around empty will be increasingly replaced by individual last-mile solutions or minibus lines. We are in close contact with the VVT ​​and are working on 2 projects to replace “senseless” buses travelling around with alternative solutions. In May we implement our first project in tourism with two electric mini-buses that replace around 100 car trips a day. We are fans of cybernetic models, where we can achieve enormous impact with “small” set screws.

The Alpine Tech Innovation Hub aims to position Tyrol as a pioneer in the area of ​​alpine technologies. What contribution can the hub make to promoting innovative solutions for mobility in the Alpine region?

A hub is always good because solutions are bundled and thus multiplication effects are achieved. We are, of course, happy to contribute our solutions so that we can play a pioneering role in the Tyrol location. Fortunately, there are communities in Tyrol that are pioneers such as Wattens or Serfaus. Everyone is talking about Serfaus because of its internal subway and the traffic-calmed zone, which benefits locals and tourists to the greatest extent. It is a real pleasure to get around town and, as parents, not have to worry all the time that my child gets under a car. Through its actions, Serfaus has long secured the status of the most family-friendly ski area in Europe. It would, of course, be welcomed if as many communities in Tirol as possible recognized their opportunities and realized visions for a green future.

What kind of support do you want as a startup from a place like the Alpine Tech Innovation Hub? What added value can you deliver as a startup in return?

We wish for lively interaction with other players and a cooperative advance of a common vision. What we can certainly contribute well is our expertise in the subject of sharing and intelligent networking, because we have successfully implemented various projects such as in-house sharings. A highlight last year was our first project “nimmi – mobility at your door”, which we have integrated into a residential complex where the residents have access to a vehicle fleet that ranges from e-bikes to e-cars. Since we work with partners and importers across Europe, we can organize all kinds of electric vehicles and different brands regardless of the brand at what are probably the best conditions. We are of course very happy to be the contact person here. While part of our company is dedicated to the rental and sale of electric vehicles, another team realizes visions, where we create mobility concepts for companies, project developers and communities and then implement them. We are currently developing master plans for 3 large-scale projects, where, in addition to developing the concept, we also process the tender, manage the complete implementation and take over the subsequent operation.

Alpine technologies in ten years – what is a possible future scenario for the most important innovations on the market and what role does a company like mov-e-now play in this?

The past shows us best that special technologies are required for the alpine region. Doppelmayr, based in Austria, is the world market leader in ropeway construction. Due to the topography in alpine terrain, concepts and solutions that are self-sufficient elsewhere do not work. Where I dash through the city super fast with an electric 2 kW scooter in Vienna, I will despair when driving to the Weerberg. Where bike-sharing works well in Vienna, in Tyrol we cannot avoid electrifying bike-sharing. And that’s exactly what we do.

Thank you for the interview!

More information about the mov-e-now:

In our Alpine Tech interview series, we regularly talk to corporates from our key industries (Alpine Construction, Alpine Mobility, Alpine Safety, Alpine Sports & Outdoor and Alpine Tourism) about current topics and challenges in the industry and about what they expect from the Alpine Tech Hub.

Read all interviews here.

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