Innovative Stellenbosch-based start-up company Mellowcabs, which plans to change the face of transport in South Africa by rolling out the first eco-friendly metered transport system in the country, has been inundated with orders.
The Sunday Times reports that Mellowcabs has been inundated with more than 100 new orders for its electric three-wheeled car.
In just over two years, the start-up company has developed a last-mile delivery vehicle from a prototype to leasing up to 40 cars to local and international clients.
Looking beyond South Africa, the company aims to be active in the global market shortly after launch.
“We’re in the final pre-launch phases, we’re scaling up production for both South Africa and Asia. We’re aiming to penetrate the market in India, where there are over 300 million Tuk Tuk trips daily. We’re thinking globally,” said Neil du Preez, founder of Mellowcabs.
The cabs are manufactured in South Africa and hold full international road-worthy status.
Unlike meter cabs and large, privately owned cars, the solution is less expensive, aims to be more convenient and avoids mass pollution. Using shells made from recycled PET, the cars use regenerative braking which recovers and converts kinetic energy into electricity. An additional facet includes a flexible solar panel in the roof which can generate up to 35% of the cab’s power.
Mellowcabs will typically operate in a limited urban radius of 3-4 km, and will not compete with other transport systems such as trains, buses, but would rather feed into and complement existing networks. A single Mellowcab can provide over 120km of transport per day. All vehicles are also equipped with onboard tablet computers, which offer an interactive experience to the passenger.
Mellowcabs has also developed an on-demand App which includes features such as allowing gender-specific requests for women to request female drivers.