The Secret Urban Vehicle Master Plan (just between you and me)

The past years we were able to test various new mobility options. From carpooling to carsharing, bikesharing and of course electric scooters. I love riding my bicycle and regularly take public transportation. I strongly believe that a better bike infrastructure would improve urban mobility and the quality of life in cities. Is everything else just hype?!?

The only reason I “need” a car is to store our stroller and for short trips out of the city. For long distance trips I take the train, plane or can rent a bigger car. There are mainly three destinations I use our car for:

  1. Golf course (15 km, 1-7 times a week, depending on weather)
  2. Parents in the suburbs (35 km, 1-4 times a month)
  3. Sea (90 km, 1-4 times a year)

A couple of years ago I came across the Elon Musk’s Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan. Back in 2006 Elon Musk published his plan with Tesla.

“The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model.”

I loved the Master Plan and often forwarded it to founders and managers. I believe that writing down your vision is essential to be successful in business (and life).

“So, in short, the master plan is:

  • Build sports car
  • Use that money to build an affordable car
  • Use that money to build an even more affordable car
  • While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options”

Brilliant!

10 years later, Elon Musk released Master Plan, Part Deux.

“So, in short, Master Plan, Part Deux is:

  • Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
  • Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
  • Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
  • Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it”

Genius!

On Friday, the 22nd of November 2019, Elon Musk Tesla revealed the electric pickup truck, Cybertruck. 

WTF?!?!? 
I guess the Cybertruck belongs to the part “Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments” of the Master Plan, Part Deux.

Sunday I posted the following picture on Twitter and Linkedin and asked Elon to build a CyberCity instead of a Cybertruck.

Hey Elon, since pickup trucks aren’t a thing in Europe and should be banned from cities, I would like to have a Cyber without the Truck.”

David Blum posted a great visualization to get an idea of the size of this monster truck.

Furthermore, Oscar’s tweet appeared on my timeline. 

I totally agree with Oscar, that we need cars that are usable for cities. I believe that SUVs and pickup trucks should be banned from city centres. They are just too dangerous for you and your children, are too loud, polute too much and take too much space.

“With their greater mass and limited driver visibility, SUVs have proved to be more lethal than their smaller cousins. In June, a damning Detroit Free Press investigation concluded that “the SUV revolution is a key, leading cause of escalating pedestrian deaths nationwide, which are up 46 percent since 2009.”” CityLab

I need an UV, an Urban Vehicle, optimized for the 15, 35, 90 km trips I mentioned above.

Here’s my The Secret Urban Vehicle Master Plan (just between you and me)

Background: I co-founded Avocado Store and my current job is Marketing Director at the moovel Group GmbH. Since end of April 2019 I’m on parental leave. In my free time I do a Podcast (Spotify & iTunes) about improving the quality of life in cities. If I was to build an Urban Vehicle company, I would call it Linda Motors.

The initial product of Linda Motors will be a low performance electric car called the Linda One. Our long term plan is to build one affordable car for urban mobility. This is because the overarching purpose of Linda Motors is to improve the quality of life in cities. Not only for Linda One owners but mainly for all urban citizens.

Critical to making that happen is an electric car for one specific use case, which is why the Linda One is designed for young urban families and everybody who doesn’t plan to do a traffic-light drag race with Porsche. The Linda One is optimized for the occasional 15, 35, 90 km trips. 

Without giving away too much, I can say that the first model will be a small four door family car with the following specs:

  • Dimensions: length 156.3 in, width 66.1 in (like VW Polo)
  • Range: 180 km (112 mi)
  • 0-60 mph: irrelevant
  • Top speed: 150 km/h (93 mph)
  • Autopilot 
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • Seating 4 adults. Folding rear seats that can be used as a trunk. 
  • Weight: As light as possible 
  • No display, only a phone stand. 
  • No keys. Just an app. Shareable digital key can be shared with friends and neighbors. 
  • Solar power that generates 18 km per day
  • Body shape, tires and gearing are designed for peak efficiency
  • Cradle-to-Cradle interieur

Remember the Mindset E Motion Concept from 2007?

The Linda One is mostly designed for the occasional drive out of the city. This car is not for commuting. It’s for driving to the Golf course or visiting family in the suburbs. When it’s not being driven by its owner, it will be shared with friends and neighbors or used as storage (e.g.: for a stroller).

The first market we are focusing on will be European cities. The Linda One can only be bought if potential buyers can prove to have a green energy provider at home as well as at work.

Time Package

Linda One owner will be able to subscribe to the One Subscription. It includes a yearly public transportation ticket for your city, a battery charging service, that can be ordered twice a month and the clean-and-save option, which includes changing and store winter tires. In other words, the Linda One owners have more time for family and friends. Whenever there is something wrong with your Linda One, you will get a push notification and the customer service will fix the problem within 24 hours or provide you with a replacement car.

The Time Package was inspired by the SUV-lover Scott Galloway, who recently said “Time is the most critical resource you can optimize for!”

So, in short, the master plan is:

Build an affordable urban car for European cities

Don’t tell anyone.

In case you are interested in realizing my vision of the UV (Urban Vehicle) Linda One, feel free to reach me at Linkedin or Twitter

P.S.: What does SUV stand for? Some people think it means SubUrban Vehicle 😉

P.P.S.: Of couse there already are various of small electric cars. BMW i3, Smart EQ, Renault Zoe, e.GO Life, Honda e and the Sion, to name a few. But non of them are really triggering something in me. They are all very 90s style. I want the Linda One to be a car, owners feel attached to.