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Adaptive City Mobility (ACM) has its roots in a research project of the German government on electric mobility. Ten leading players from German industry joined forces for the research, and the founding team of ACM was involved in its steering role. 

The project generated EUR 24 Million in industry and government grants.

Auto Futures has been talking to Paul Leibold, ACM’s Founder and CEO, and Chief Business Officer, Rajarshi Sahai.

“Six road-legal research prototypes resulted from the work of nearly seven years. Progressively, a commercial entity was formed to take the research to the market. The company still collaborates with the German public institutions. In 2019, ACM was a part of the trade delegation of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to India.” explains Leibold.

The ACM CITY ONE is the result. It’s a ride-hailing EV for passenger and cargo transport which offers unlimited range. It’s also a showcase for ACM’s modular EV platform and its associated ecosystem.

“The ACM CITY ONE can be converted in two simple steps to carry either up to four passengers besides the driver or loads of up to 1,450 litres in volume and even on a Euro pallet with a forklift if desired. The electric vehicle has multiple uses and can transport commuters during rush hour, whilst also distributing goods in the city as a van, therefore optimally using city space,” says Leibold.

“The CITY ONE has a modular design, and the 3.6-metre-short vehicle can reach speeds of up to 110 km/h. A battery swapping system in combination with intelligent home charging makes the battery-electric vehicle very versatile in use.”

“The CITY ONE is well-suited for ride-hailing and shared mobility fleets, supported by the integration of the fleets into a B2B pool sharing platform that optimises vehicle utilisation and ensures round-the-clock energy supply for the operators,” he adds.

ACM can help solve the challenge of range anxiety in a number of ways.

“Firstly, the CITY ONE doesn’t need fast chargers and can be charged using power plugs found in our homes. Secondly, the vehicles work with swappable batteries that function as range extenders. They can contribute to the range using a combination of additional batteries in a roof box, battery stations, battery vans delivering charged batteries or even donor vehicles swapping batteries.”

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Intelligent Connections

ACM says it’s designed an entire e-vehicle ecosystem consisting of the vehicle, the energy 
supply and the data platform that allows the ecosystem to function. 

“ACM aims to offer a range of value added services via its fleet data platform. The services conceived include, fleet management, B2B pool sharing/mobility as a service, energy as a service, data based insurance, preventive maintenance, telecom data, advertisements, and more!” says Sahai.

“By effectively utilising the multitude of ACM energy solutions, the energy as a service offering helps the operators in extracting the maximum uptime from their fleets that are losing productive hours to charging,” he adds. 

“The B2B Pool sharing platform offers the flexibility to operators to do cargo and passenger trips in combination, reducing the empty trips (and increasing the utilisation of the vehicles.) Not to mention that operators will be rewarded for safer operations, made possible by preventive maintenance and data based insurance,” explains Sahai

The company recently announced that MHP, a Porsche subsidiary, will help it in the development of the digital platform for the ACM CITY ONE.

“MHP is a leader in the digital ecosystem for the automotive industry. They help us in bringing together the best partners, suppliers and industry knowledge for our digital product and digital company development,” says Leibold.

Ex-Opel CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, has also joined ACM as an advisor and an investor. He is supporting the overall business model and helping with the company’s fundraising.

Dr. Neumann, states: “At some point, you reach a stage in vehicle development and production where it doesn’t get any cheaper, no matter how much extra effort you put in. The total cost of ownership also known as TCO, can only be further reduced for fleet operators and thus ultimately for the end customer, if additional services and new revenue streams are developed. ACM achieves this by intelligently connecting the EV vehicle fleet.”

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“The focus will ideally shift to utility rather than the notion of automobiles as a prized possession.”

“ACM aims to make a commercial launch in 2023 across emerging and Western markets. We also have some upcoming announcements on customer and channel partnerships. That will provide more insight into our roll-out plans. Stay tuned!” Sahai tells us.

Finally, we asked Sahai what urban mobility and last-mile delivery will look like by the end of the decade.

“By 2030, much of the urban mobility and last mile delivery will move to EVs. Multipurpose and efficient vehicles like the CITY ONE will be key to bringing unforeseen scale and positive unit economics to the shared mobility sector. The focus will ideally shift to utility rather than the notion of automobiles as a prized possession, at least in the urban and peri-urban areas,” he says.

“A combined effect of the above will be cities with less noise and air pollution and trips becoming more purposeful than the incessant commuting behaviour from the pre-COVID era,” concludes Sahai.

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