Startup paranaense sells electric cars online

Among the novelties of Hitech Electric are also the first car with photovoltaic energy from Brazil and the beginning of the development of an autonomous model.

In the coming years, locomotion in large Brazilian cities will require technological changes and solutions that facilitate urban mobility and business logistics in a practical and low cost way. It is in this market segment that Hitech Electric, Paraná startup pioneer in electric mobility in the country, bets its chips.

Since May of 2017, when the company based in Pinhais, in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba, appeared in the Gazeta do Povo, much has changed: in addition to the four models it already produced, Hitech Electric went on to test the country's first car fueled with photovoltaic power and began developing another autonomous. In addition, it will launch, this April, the online shop vehicles and mobility plans, where users can pay for the use of the models, individually or in groups.

The goal of startup is not only to manufacture and sell electric cars, but to invest in innovative ideas. Hitech Electric was founded in 2016 by mechanical engineer Rodrigo Scheffer Contin, 35 years, from the experience he accumulated with Hitech Racing, a motoring team created at 2009 and competing in national and international competitions. With this know-how, but with an eye on the future urban mobility market, Contin decided to take the knowledge gained in the lanes and pits to the new developing market.

How is the operation of Hitech Electric

The four portfolio models are all for urban use - two cars (2 and 4 seats) and two trucks (model with bucket and trunk) - and can be recharged at the socket (110V and 220V). The vehicles are of low performance, with maximum speed of 60 km / h and autonomy of up to 120 km with a load of energy. That is, perfect for use in cities.

"We have an exclusive agreement with two Chinese automakers to produce and manufacture the products following our guidelines and project adaptations, and we are currently finalizing all vehicles in Brazil. Essentially, our production is done outside the country, but the models are worked and customized exclusively for the Brazilian market, meeting local demands, both regulatory and consumer, "explains Contin, CEO of Hitech. In parallel, the company encourages local suppliers. In the medium term, the idea is that part of the components of the vehicles are supplied by national companies.

In order to establish itself in such a competitive market, Hitech has been seeking investors and partnerships in the Smart Money, with important synergies to gain national amplitude. Among these partnerships is WEG, a multinational manufacturer of electrical equipment, the venture capital fund Kick Ventures, technology and IT companies, among others.

The car supplied with photovoltaic energy is e.coTech4. The vehicle has solar panels on the roof, which helps increase the range, less recharging. In addition to this, Hittech is developing a model with automation for use in sharing, with semiautonomous functions of speed control by location, among other technologies. "Recently, we also started the project of an autonomous model, aimed at the internal application market, out of traffic and in industrial environments, resorts, airports, among others," says Contin.

Today, the startup has as main buyers of its products companies and fleets, that is, an audience that is more prepared today to buy electric vehicles. "Our product is exceptional for this market because it generates a huge operating cost reduction, it facilitates the operation delivering much more technology and automation and of course it is the sustainable and impactful solution that the most responsible, attentive and innovative companies are looking for" , says Contin. But Hitech has also received requests from individuals, he said.

The company's electric vehicles cost between R $ 54 thousand (with 2 seats) and R $ 69 thousand (truck). This is due, in part, to the tax on IPI, which in the case of electric is 25% - compared to 7% of a popular car combustion. But the advantage is even in the low maintenance cost - on average 60% cheaper than traditional cars - and operation.

The estimated cost for electric recharge is R $ 4,50, for an autonomy of 120 km. Meanwhile, the price of gasoline is hitting the house of $ 4 the liter. The electric ones still have a discount on the IPVA and are exempt from rotating vehicles in cities such as São Paulo, for example.

Hitech's online platform will have sales and user collaboration to improve manufacturing

By the end of April, Hitech will be launching a new internet portal in which online shop, with reserve for test-drive. In addition, startup bets that the mobility of the future will be in the "mobility as a service" format, and not simply ownership of the product. Therefore, the portal will also be available to customers some mobility plans, in which users can pay for the use of vehicles, individually or in groups.

Another novelty will be the Collaborative Platform for Automotive Development, which will also be on the new portal. "The automotive fan will be able to develop punctual and specific projects for solutions that we need to look for, such as a new door system, a new vehicle communication function, a monitoring system for goods receipt in trucks, among others. We will democratize the way a product is developed, leaving the closed model worked by engineers and going to the collaborative model. Of course, all this will be supervised by our engineering team, but agility in development and shared design are essential characteristics of exponential companies, "explains Contin.

For strategic reasons, the CEO of Hitech does not reveal the company's revenue, but says the goals for the near future are audacious. "We want to be in the main states of the country with showrooms still this year and, through representatives, in the other states. Our planning is very bold, regardless of whether we are in the situation of opening a new market here in Brazil. We have already achieved large and important milestones, which indicates that the walk is being solid and well made. The goal is very aggressive, but possible, "he concludes.

Hitech Electric does not look ordinary consumer, but custom solutions

Unlike the automaker that makes a car for the individual and / or for businesses, startup sets out to develop dedicated solutions. That is, the models for companies come from the factory with own telemetry, possibility of integration with the main applications of fleet management of the country, semi-autonomous speed control function to minimize accidents and firmware update remotely - in this way any new function developed is sent to the cars and applied simultaneously throughout the fleet.

"We are now developing the function for remotely identifying and scheduling maintenance needs. The idea is that the user does not even need to connect by reporting any malfunction in the model. The system itself recognizes and confers the nearest workshop with available time, schedule and finally communicates to the driver via the tablet of the car. He just has to accept or cancel, "summarizes Rodrigo Contin, CEO of Hitech.

For end consumers, the company is developing versions of the vehicles that are large "wheeled computers", the configuration and other features of the cars can be done via application, such as the activation of air conditioning or the blocking of vehicles remotely, everything by cell phone.

Source: Gazeta do Povo.

By João Rodrigo Maroni.
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