ACM and Magna sign MoU on production of City One
Adaptive City Mobility GmbH (ACM) is targeting mass production of the ACM City One in 2024. The Munich-based company and contract manufacturer Magna have signed a memorandum of understanding to sell 208 000 vehicles.
ACM founder and CEO Paul Leibold plans to present the City One for the first time at the IAA trade fair, reports the German newspaper Handelsblatt. “To get out of the development phase with the vehicle, the company has prepared a feasibility study,” Leibold said. The test vehicles will be produced in 2023, with series production in plants in Asia at the latest in early 2024.
ACM published a preview of the series version of the modular electric vehicle and the associated ecosystem, created with federal funding at the end of June. At the same time, the company announced cooperation with the Porsche subsidiary MHP and the ex-Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann (see further).
According to the report, the company is currently in a new round of financing. ACM is in talks with several strategic investors, also from the Arab and Asian regions. According to Leibold, the interest is very high.
Six years of development
The City One results from around six years of development work – initially in the Adaptive City Mobility 2 (ACM) project from the “ICT for Electromobility” technology program, and now under the direction of ACM GmbH.
According to Leibold, the vehicle is particularly suitable for ride-hailing and shared mobility fleets and in combination with a B2B pool-sharing platform intended to optimize vehicle utilization and ensure energy supply around the clock.
The new version of the City One presented in June positions ACM in a niche: small, lightweight, and, therefore, simple and affordable city electric vehicles that can be operated with low voltage due to their low weight.
With its modular design, the 3,6-meter short and up to 110 kph fast ACM City One can be transformed from a passenger car to a van in just a few steps to transport up to four passengers or loads with a load volume of up to 1 450 liters.
A battery exchange system in combination with intelligent home charging should enable the versatile use of the BEV. Fast-chargers aren’t needed; one can use the home normal power plug or swap the batteries that function as range extenders.
One can put those batteries (four, each weighing 10,5 kg) in an additional roof box or get them in battery stations or from battery vans delivering charged batteries. Also, battery swapping between vehicles is possible. They guarantee a range of some 100 km.
ACM says it has 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 CBO Rajarshi Sahai.
“By effectively utilizing 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 utilization 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 develop the digital platform. “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 CEO Leibold.
Ex-Opel CEO, 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.
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 (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.”
Rajarshi Sahai: “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.”
“In my view, Sahai continues, “much of the urban mobility and last-mile delivery will move to EVs by 2030. Multipurpose and efficient vehicles like 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 concludes. “A combined effect of the above will be cities with less noise and air pollution, and trips becoming more purposeful than the incessant commuting behavior from the pre-Covid era.”