This concept was first introduced by Kymco almost two years ago with the Ionex concept, which was developed for professional fleets but was also supposed to be made available to individuals. However, the Taiwanese scooters are still not available in Europe, not even the Nice 100 ev and New Like 110 EV models. Kymco is now focusing on the I-One X EV for the European market, which does not include the battery exchange system.
Zeway adopts a similar principle with an interchangeable battery system available at a dispenser located in the city. We had already heard about this system last fall. The two founders, Amaury Korniloff and Stéphanie Gosset, come from the renewable energy sector and have previously created solairedirect. With this new project in the mobility sector, they aim to address the challenges of electric vehicle development in cities, including charging time and range, as well as the observation that available charging stations are underutilized.
The solution is to offer stations where users can exchange their empty battery in one minute. This is very easy to do on a scooter: users simply open the seat, remove the empty battery, exchange it, replace it with a new one, and they are good to go. A network of 40 exchange stations will be installed in Paris and the surrounding area from the launch planned for September 2020.
This development was made possible by a €15 million first-round funding, with Demeter, through the Fonds de Modernisation Ecologique des Transports (FMET), Allianz France, through its InnovAllianz fund, and WaterStart Capital fund participating alongside the founders and the first business angels. This is just the first step, with the company planning to expand to other French cities.
Zeway's innovative electric scooter is a promising solution to the challenges of EV adoption in urban areas. The immediate recharge feature through battery exchange is a game changer that could make electric vehicles more attractive and convenient for urban commuters. The company's focus on sustainability and renewable energy is also commendable, and it is encouraging to see investors supporting such innovative and environmentally conscious projects. We hope to see Zeway expand beyond Paris and continue to contribute to the development of sustainable mobility solutions.