Brussels-based urban mobility service Yoda, not to be confused with Jedi Master and part-time Dagobah inhabitant Yoda, has raised €450,000 in a pre-seed funding round. The capital will be used to set up the first production unit and build a series of Yodas for the company’s first customers. The Force is expected to arrive by the summer of this year.
Yoda’s backing of €450,000 was provided by BeAngels members, the Brussels-based network of European angel investors.
As an avid cyclist, both traditional and electric (thanks to the good folks at Tallin-based Ampler), I can personally testify to the smiles that two wheeled transport to and fro London, Windsor, and Brighton have brought to my face. And while I still manage to miraculously retain the weight (read: I love beers of all kinds) through this cycling, either the traditional method does have its physical limits or electric mainly through battery size and life, I’m often left wondering what would transport be like if these limits were removed?
It looks like I might not have to look much further than Brussels-based Yoda to find out. The startup has up for offer a 100% electric moped that retains all the form and function of a bicycle but with a range treble that (90 km) of my Ampler, and at a speed 50% faster (45 km/h) than I’ve ever been able to top out, all within a package that’s still relatively manageable to carry up and down a flight of stairs (22 kg).
With this maximum speed of 45 km/h (27.9617 mp/h), the vehicle falls under the L1e-B classification, meaning in the UK, for example, riders must be 16+ (check) and have passed a compulsory basic training (CBT) test (check).
In the case of Yoda, instead of outright buying the modular vehicle, they’re offering a subscription plan that will put the keys, so to speak, in the palm of your hands for a reasonable 149 € / month which includes registration, insurance, delivery, and maintenance of said Yoda.
It looks like I might have to wait sometime to get my hands on a Yoda as an individual, as according to the company’s website, it appears as though they’re courting mainly corporate clients at the moment with statements including “Give your employees their own Yodas for private and professional use.” and “Make Yodas available at the office to move around within work hours.” Right, of course, zero emissions, so why not Yoda on over to that meeting at the other side of the building? Sign. Me. Up.
Come to think of it, if like me, you have a registered company in the UK or continental Europe, perhaps we can haz Yoda too?