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MOVEO folding electric scooter heads to unique crowd-funding website

Moveo is an electric scooter, which folds in half so it can be pulled indoors like a rolling suitcase. Now, its designers have turned to the public to raise money for commercial production of the vehicle. They're one of the first groups to do so using Jump Start City, a just-launched website that puts a new spin on crowd-funding.

The carbon composite monocoque-bodied Moveo is being developed by the Antro Group, a Hungarian non-profit organization dedicated to developing environmentally-friendly forms of transportation. It presently tips the scales at 25 kilograms (55 lbs), has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), and a range of 35 kilometers (21.75 miles) per charge of its 700-Wh lithium-iron-phosphate battery – which takes one hour from empty. It’s propelled by 500-watt in-wheel motors in both of its wheels.

It reportedly folds in half within two minutes, and can then be pulled behind the user via an integrated handle and caster wheels.

Depending on how much funding is available, and thus how large of an initial production run can be managed, the price of a Moveo could reportedly range from US$3,100 to $4,600. To that end, Antro has just begun its new Jump Start City fund-raising campaign.

The website just went live to the public on June 1st, and works a little differently than Kickstarter or Indiegogo. On those sites, projects are able to receive pledges as soon as they’re posted. On JSC, however, projects go through three stages in order to maximize public interest – and it’s only in the third stage that the cash comes in.

Every project starts out as an Elevator Pitch, in which members of the JSC community watch a video describing the project, and then vote on whether or not it should proceed to the next stage. This process is intended to weed out the projects in which there would be little public interest. Votes from community members who have gained a high enough standing carry more points, so such individuals can be sought out to receive awards for their support of a project.

If an Elevator Pitch gets enough votes/points, the project then proceeds to the Promotion Stage. At this point, a more Kickstarter-like webpage is produced, providing additional information and letting potential backers know what their pledges will get them if the funding goal is met. Word is spread to the media, plus community members can also sign up as Promoters for a project, earning awards for helping to get the word out via social media.

After three weeks in the Promotion Stage, the project finally enters the Active Stage. At this point, pledges are accepted. The thinking is that by not taking pledges during the Promotion Stage, a “buzz” will be created, getting potential backers more excited about supporting the project once it goes active.

If everything works out and a project results in a commercially-available product, that product can ultimately be purchased through the JSC web store.

Moveo is currently in the Elevator Pitch stage. At the time of this posting, it already has almost half the points needed to proceed to the Promotions Stage – pretty good, for only its third day online. Its video can be seen below. 

2013-06-04, Gizmag, Ben Coxworth.

Keywords: transport, electric vehicles, crowdfunding

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