IDC steps in to help young engineers start electric-powered delivery cabs business

IDC steps in to help young engineers start electric-powered delivery cabs business

Mellowcabs (Pty) Ltd has started to lead the way in the fairly new electric delivery vehicle market in South Africa. The company develops and manufactures light electric-powered vehicles for deliveries and local passenger transportation. The company needed IDC funding to expand its factory and start the ramp-up phase of their business to cater for increasing demand.

The company said it will be assembling and producing vehicles in-house, using locally manufactured components. “This will ensure continuous research and development, and ongoing maintenance and support for our vehicles” the company said. With business demand from potential clients us DHL Express – a world renowned courier company – and Takealot – a well-established online retail platform and food delivery services company – the company required a total of R66.94 million to ramp-up the business, which is forecasted to start from 2020 to 2022.

Mellowcabs founder, Mr Neil du Preez and his young team of engineers have managed to design, develop and build the electric vehicle and offer it to their prospective customers for testing purposes. Du Preez founded the company in 2012, to provide a “lastmile” eco-friendly transport solution for the urban environment. “We have worked with experienced industrial designers, universities and local suppliers to develop and build ten roadworthy vehicles” du Preez said. Mellowcabs intend to increase their operating network by expanding from the current Stellenbosch Municipal area, to Bellville, Cape Town CBD, as well as Johannesburg, including the Sandton area. They are also operating at the V&A Waterfront and plans to roll out similar operations around the Gautrain stations and other similar business nodes across Gauteng and other provinces.

Mellowcabs vehicles have been 100% designed and purposefully developed in South Africa to offer a practical solution to “last-mile” transportation of people and goods, keeping in mind international trends on green transportation and aligning with high growth industries that complement the product. The business is transitioning from a technology development entity into a manufacturing entity. The three-wheeled vehicles have the capability to carry passengers or deliver food and parcels.

IDC’s funding will help the company create 24 new skilled jobs and a further 285 jobs for additional drivers in the next three years. Additionally, the funding will be utilised to build up a fleet 407 units, as the company intends to setup an assembly plant with the capacity to produce 20 vehicles a month.