In the article “Per Elektromobil zum Ziel”, Berliner Akzente, the online magazine of the Berliner Sparkasse, is dedicated exclusively to the goals and vision of LEVCON. In an interview with Henning Schubert, Project Manager TecTrike, the author describes the innovative advantages of the TecTrike in practical use.
Read the article below as an excerpt!
The start-up company LEVCON from Siemensstadt produces the TecTrike: an electric vehicle for industry with which employees can save time and travel while enjoying the fun of driving. For startup project manager Henning Schubert, on the other hand, the motto is: one step at a time.
A logistics employee stands on an electric load wheel and whizzes through the corridors of an industrial hall. The view to the front, the shelves rushing by, in front of her feet lies a package for a computer. The “picking” of goods can be so convenient when the TecTrike is used: an electric load wheel at 15 km/h. “An average warehouse employee travels up to 15 kilometers a day. The TecTrike saves these distances – and it saves time,” explains Henning Schubert (27).
Time savings for employees and the company
TecTrike would donate two thirds of its working time to employees. This includes not only the pickers of goods, but also employees who control production, maintain the systems or take care of the fine distribution of goods. Fine distribution means, for example, small quantities of goods that cannot be “picked” by robots.
Since 2017, LEVCON has been at the start of the Ber-Lean® TechCenter start-up accelerator on the Siemens site of the dynamo plant. LEVCON – that stands for: “Light Electric Vehicle Configurator”. The team wants to build a platform that enables many people to use electric mobility solutions easily and individually at work and in everyday life.
The electric mobility and logistics sectors are booming
Henning Schubert is certain: “There is no better time for this than now: The technologies are there, the well-trained workforce is there – and we have the team experience to assemble the existing puzzle pieces into a successful product,” as he puts it.
The TecTrike is the first production-ready product. The company now has eight employees who configure the basic models manufactured in Asia by license partners to the individual requirements of the customers. This is a promising field of business, as both the electric mobility and logistics sectors are booming. Are his customers racing into his house? “It’s not that simple, we already have to make acquisitions,” says Henning Schubert and laughs. But the sales quota is very good.
People don’t become superfluous
Schubert is not afraid that at some point the robots will make the warehouse workers superfluous. “The TecTrike is not just a logistics vehicle, but for employees who process the finest orders for goods or rectify faults – these activities are difficult to automate.” This is also shown by current experience, such as the problems encountered in setting up the Tesla factory in Silicon Valley.
Berliner Sparkasse is a reliable companion in the company’s development. “At Berliner Sparkasse, we appreciate the personal support provided by a permanent contact person. He is always available for us and has given us good advice on all topics. This allows us to concentrate on our core business.”
Start-up ready for the future
The core business – a very important topic for Schubert. “As a start-up with an innovative product, you can quickly get bogged down and lose sight of the focus. Especially in our business segment. Many people kept coming up to me with new ideas: ‘Do hospitals, too. Or airports. That’s why it was important for me to see which market needed our product most urgently.”
So what’s next for LEVCON? “For this year we are targeting the sale of 500 TecTrikes; in addition, we will shortly be ensuring the nationwide supply of spare parts with our LEVCON24 online shop and launching further vehicles on the market. The high sales quota shows him: the demand is there and the path he has taken is the right one.