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THE CHALLENGE OF SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY ENTIRELY MADE IN ITALY.
A young company, established in 2011, which focuses on a segment of the market with high levels of growth and that, after consolidating its position in Italy, is taking on foreign markets with substantial objectives. This is Motorini Zanini , an electric scooter company from Brescia, which has made environmental sustainability and financial savings the pillars of its growth. With thousand of vehicles in circulation, a distribution network of 30 dealers, 20% of the market share in Italy and a turnover growth of nearly 30% (500 thousand euro), Motorini Zanini is ready to expand. It asserts the intention to retain its firm presence in Italy, whilst embracing global markets. We asked President Richard Zanini to tell us about the company’s developments and future projects.
- How did the idea for Motorini Zanini come about?
The field of electric mobility is an area that will enjoy steady growth regardless of the economic crisis; what we are dealing with is not a mere commercial sale of a product, but a revolutionary change in culture with the materialisation of a new lifestyle. We do not merely sell scooters, but rather solutions to meet the daily needs of mobility; according to data, around 80% of Italians travel no more than 25-30 km on average per day. Our company has focused essentially on products for city use, which provide, with standard batteries, 50 km of autonomy and a speed of 45-50 km, up to a maximum of 110 km of autonomy with lithium batteries. First and foremost, we aim to spread the philosophy of sustainable mobility by making people part of a radical change that will bring young generations to be culturally involved with a better quality of life.
- What role does research and development play for you?
For over a year now, we have been collaborating with engineers to develop two components that are crucial for the performance of our scooters and for all “light” electric vehicles in general. These will be presented at the fair to be held in Barcelona in November, which will be attended by all key players of the sector. I am convinced that the crux of disseminating these materials should be developed on two fronts: cultural dissemination, which requires institutional support, and the constant improvement of electronic components with the aim to ensure that performance is at the height of customers’ expectations and, above all, to maintain the high quality of the service before and after the sale.
Our company bases its work, as well as its results, on conducting ongoing research and improving products, while constantly striving to differentiate the electric product from the thermal product. In two years of research, before putting our vehicles on the market, we focused on studying electronics and cycling in order to “simplify” as much as possible the half-finished vehicles and provide the end-customer with savings and practicality when dealing with any maintenance requirements. The result of this philosophy has led us to obtain highly practical and light vehicles, with batteries weighing no more than 100 kg, and a rate of technical problems at less than 4.5% of the vehicles in circulation, which currently amount to just shy of 1,000. We were the first to bring removable batteries to the market, which allow customers to recharge them at any time, to upgrade them from lead to lithium, without any further servicing requirements or additional costs, or to be able to have more than one battery packs, achieving unlimited autonomy. This is being done by a great deal of driving schools in Italy, which chose our Icaro model (approved by the Ministry of Transport) as a vehicle to be used for license examinations.
- When will we see your début outside of Italy?
Before focusing on exports, we wanted to consolidate our presence on the Italian market – which is perhaps the most complicated – and present ourselves, as of this year, with an all-round offer a product finished with innovative high-performing components. We also needed and wanted to extend our schedule, since we wanted to put forward the full range and, in Barcelona, we will present our brand new entry: a bicycle designed by a famous Italian designer, which can be customised and equipped by the customer according to his or her needs. The user can decide whether to apply the assisted pedal, frame material or technical equipment. The objectives for 2014 are to achieve around 40% of turnover generated by exports, which is to be increased in the following three years. I strongly believe that the added value of being Italian-made should be further enhanced in parallel with the quality of the product and the service offered, which is why we decided not to proceed in a hurry, but with professionalism.
- Do you already have partners abroad?
We have a joint venture with an Asian company (listed on the U.S. NASDAQ) with which we have been working for more than four years to develop the bodywork and some of the components of the two models Icarus and Penelope, which are later assembled, wired and tested in Italy directly in our stores.
- How and where do you plan to expand further?
The goal is to consolidate our position in the field of electric mobility by offering new components to be installed on our vehicles and, at the same time, offered on the market as solutions to improve vehicle performance. Constant investment in research and development (approximately 35% of resources) allow us to offer the market cutting-edge products and solutions with the increasingly strong development of the e-mobility sector, which allows us to provide components both to the end-customer and to the production chain, thereby unlocking significant opportunities to generate turnover.