“We believe in getting the most out of life, going on adventures and experiencing new things – no matter what”, says Job van de Kieft, CEO of Scoozy and former winner of the World Solar Challenge with solar car Nuna3. Currently, people with difficulty walking can at best use mobility scooters, which is stigmatizing and often unsafe. That is the reason why the team behind Scoozy is working on introducing a new standard for mobility scooters, making them safer, cooler and more fun. Scoozy won the 9th social voting term, a good moment to find out more about the YES!Delft start-up.
Job, congrats on winning the social voting this term! What was your strategy?
“Thanks! It’s very nice to see that we got all this attention. I think a lot of people who follow us for quite some time supported us, they seem really interested in how we progress with our company.”
What do you expect from the Summit?
“The exposure is important for us, of course. We’re really in the starting-up phase. Participating was already interesting for us because of the jury members: They are in strategic positions and potential supporters. And now we’re also in the public competition which gives us even more exposure during the event.”
Tell us a bit more about Scoozy.
“In 2005, I drove the solar car Nuna3 in Australia and we became World Champion. Since then I’ve always worked in the field of electric driving. And there is one group of people who are driving electrically already for more than 40 years: People with mobility scooters, people with walking difficulties. However, there are two major problems in this market. Using those scooters feels very stigmatizing and they are unsafe. Last year alone, 38 people died in the Netherlands by using mobility scooters. So we are developing a smart, safe and fun alternative, let’s say the Tesla of mobility scooters.”
How are you making it safer and less stigmatizing?
“The stigma is partly because of the design. So we paid a lot of attention to making it look way more attractive. We also position it as a means of transport, not a mobility aid. And talking about safety: Normally, you have to choose between a three-wheel scooter for a small turning radius or one with four wheels for more stability. We combine both features, our Scoozy has four steering wheels. Furthermore, we have a very intelligent system in it with drivers assistance and independent wheel suspension so you can’t fall over so easily. We also focused on connectivity, so you can easily reach family or a hospital in case of emergency.”
What is your main target group?
“We started with people with walking difficulty, both long- and short-term. Think of elderly, but also people with MS or arthritis, women who just gave birth and have pelvic instability, or people with a sports injury. But from there we want to go way further. In the future, we see way more potential in Scoozy as a sharing concept in cities, or even for package delivery. When cities have become car-free, this could be an alternative. We’re seeing it as the new mobility for everyone.”
At what stage are you now?
“You can preorder a Scoozy and we already sold out our first test series. We also just secured another round of investments of 850.000 euro and with that we are going to build the first test series. In summer 2018, you will see the first Scoozy’s on the streets and by the end of 2018 we will start producing the second series!”
Where do you see Scoozy in 5 years?
“Within 5 years we have sold 10.000 Scoozy’s and we are about to go global. We are at least active in Europe and we also work on the first alternative markets, think of recreational parks, package delivery and golf carts.”
How expensive is a Scoozy?
“We sell the basic version for 8500 euros and then you can upgrade it with extra batteries and four-wheel drive so you can also go off road, protection against rain and a lot of other stuff. If you compare that to other mobility scooters, they cost around 5000 to 6000 euros, so we are slightly more expensive.”
Was there specific moment that inspired you to start with Scoozy?
“Earlier during my career in electric driving, I talked to a market researcher in the UK. He said that 9 out of 10 companies in the electric car and charging market are making losses. But 9 out 10 companies in the mobility vehicles market are making a profit. However, that market is hardly innovating. And that was the moment when I decided to change that.”