PODBIKE: 2019 – REVIEW
2019 was a hectic but amazing year. We did a lot last year and wanted to share with you some thoughts and facts about 2019 and 2020.
What did we gain?
We had a lot of progress due to more funding. A big thanks to our investors, and grant from Innovation Norway (Miljøteknologiordningen).In March we moved into new and much better premises at Forus Lab in Stavanger.
We expanded the team from 2 to 6 man-years.
We spent some time revising the front suspension and steering gear. It was difficult to get everything to fit on the outside of the pedals. It was also challenging to make doors and canopy rainproof while keeping weight and cost low. Besides, it needs to be easy to assemble. Remember that we need to ship the bike semi-assembled. Reduced shipping volume will help to save the environment. Besides, keep shipping costs low. You will have to do some easy assembly yourself.
Now our pre-order list has passed 2000 pre-orders globally.In Europe, we increased pre-orders by more than 50% from the previous year. WOW, THANKS! ????
Late September we launched the two first test bikes.
We received lots of valuable feedback. The feedback led to more improvements.The first test bike was delivered early December.
We are feeling thrilled, lucky and a bit overwhelmed. Due to all the cheering from customers and interested people. We receive lots of messages from all over the world every week. Thank you!
In 2019, we even experienced people showing up unannounced at our door. They were wishing and hoping to see and try the ebike. Unfortunately, we have no capacity to welcome drop-ins. Some of these were people travelling all the way from Germany. How could we say no? When we could find a few minutes, we sometimes welcomed them in for a quick look. We experience a lot of traction from Germany amongst other countries within Europe. We even received inquires about buying an earlier delivery slot on our pre-order list. It made us feel special and important, but of course – our answer was NO WAY!
What did we learn?
Developing hardware is fun, but wow so timeconsuming. We are a small time with limited resources, which pushes us to be smart and cost-efficient. We need to have the right focus – always. Unfortunately, this means saying no to a lot of great opportunities. For instance opportunities for showcasing the Frikar ebike. There will always be incidents and obstacles. They are impossible to plan for in development projects.
Thoughts about 2020
2020 will be the most exciting year ever! We are excited about this year – with new possibilities and challenges.
The company will during 2020 be transitioning from the R&D phase to product launch. and commercialization.
This is the year we will go into the production of the first commercial Frikar ebikes (Wow, sounds scary… but we look very much forward to start delivery.)
We already got valuable feedback from our first pilot. Looking forward to soon being able to log all test data through our software.Soon, we will have two more test bikes out rolling.
High focus on securing enough funding.Too further, expand the team and to do the necessary activities before production starts. We will be dependent on having the right partners and suppliers in place.
Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to attend a lot of exhibitions. As mentioned, we need to focus on development and production start.
But, you can meet us at Spezi 2020 in April (Germersheim, Germany). We will be there with at least one test bike. It is not possible to book a time, you will have to wait in line. There will be a VIP line for pre-order customers. For Norway, we will have some events around the country. It will be possible to take Frikar ebike for a test drive at these events.
We want to send a special thanks to ????
All customers and noncustomers sending us cheering messages.Your enthusiasm and support are really motivating for us.
Our many supportive pre-order customers worldwide.Volunteers in Norway and abroad, they have been working for free in the early start-up phase. You know who you are
The early phase investors that believe in us. Our investor who has technology competence to share. And also understand the uniqueness of Frikar.
Innovation Norway for supporting us with funding/ grants through Miljøteknologiordningen. Norwegian Research Council and EU Commission for financial support related to Horizon2020.