With its Orca scooter, the Tunisian startup Kaco rolls out the red carpet in the so

Tunisian startup Kaco, co-founded by Mohamed Ali Salmi, Houssem Lahbach and Malek Othman, is introducing 100% electric vehicles to the Tunisian market with its Tunisian-made Orca Scooter. We have to admit that this new vehicle does not lack arguments and will be able to convince Tunisian users. The nature-inspired, competitively priced two-wheeled vehicle offers clean mobility for young Tunisians and self-employed people. The Orca does not require a driver’s license and remains accessible to anyone who wants a vehicle built for the city. Serial entrepreneur, co-founder of LOOH, Mohamed Ali Salmi, gladly agreed to a discussion with ilBoursa’s editorial staff.

How did the idea of ​​producing a 100% Tunisian electric scooter come about?

At Kaco, we are manufacturers of electric accumulators, but for two years we have been working on research and development to improve our own batteries. At first we were selling our own Powerbanks, then we thought we should focus on making scooters instead of sourcing batteries.

We wanted to show people that our batteries work. It is also clear that we are aware that the world is changing and that mobility approaches must progress with it, especially in urban settings.

Which iswhat is done in Tunisia on your Orca model?

Kaco has taken over the models of the best scooters in the world to offer Tunisians a vehicle with the best features and at the same time accessible to everyone. The chassis, fairing, battery, battery management system and assembly are Tunisian.

In addition, the fairing is made of fiberglass, a material known to be robust and resistant, in addition to formulating a reminder to the maritime world, as it is used for the manufacture of boat hulls. The essential element remains the battery which is entirely produced in Tunisia, even though the engine is Chinese-made.

How it works ?

For 100 kilometers of distance, it takes 4 hours of charging with 120 volt outlets. The battery is modular, like that of a PC, since it is possible to have it in hand and even carry it at home. This is an advantage for people who live in apartments. The compartment can hold two more batteries, ideal for long trips.

That is, it is possible to purchase the Orca with an initial range of 100 kilometers and add another 60 kilometers of autonomy. For the Orca without a driver’s license, the maximum speed is 45 kilometers per hour. Users can also enjoy the comfort offered by the available digital display.

Who are the users who might be interested?

We target young college graduates due to inflation and the price of cars as it is still difficult for them to own a vehicle on their own unless they take out a loan or benefit from family support. Orca is also for a large number of self-employed workers such as electricians, plumbers and delivery people. Our template can be very useful and practical. For this, our Startup Kaco adapts the Orca design according to the profession of each one. For example, we are currently working with couriers who need a custom model to carry out their various missions.

The Orca does not harm the wallet because for 100 kilometers of autonomy the costs reach 900 millimeters. Also, the Orca costs 4,000 dinars including tax. In addition, there are no related costs such as those related to vehicle maintenance, namely changing the oil. There are no wearing parts on the Orca and the battery is guaranteed for a period of five years, although it may last longer. Our model is a scooter that does not require a driving license. To travel with Orca, you only need to have the sales contract and insurance.

Where can we get the Orca?

There will be three Showrooms for people to test the Scooter. They will be located in Greater Tunis and Sfax, as well as another location not yet determined by our team. Startup Kaco raised funds for the construction of electric accumulators. At the moment, Caisse des Dépôts et des Consignations (CDC) and UGFS are mobilizing to succeed as quickly as possible in a funding round of 6 million dinars for the commercialization of the Orca in six months.

What will the next models you create look like?

Now that we have finished prototyping our batteries, we can market them in the desired size so that they are suitable for different types of vehicles, such as cars. In addition, we are thinking alongside the commercialization of the electric scooter and the prototyping of an electric car. We maintain the same vision, that is, a practical vehicle, which does not take up space and can be driven without a license.

We are also working to market a more efficient and faster electric scooter, which will require a driver’s license. We chose to start with a scooter without a license because the administrative procedures to obtain approval for a vehicle with a license are complicated. This is our way of adapting to the market.

What are Kaco’s goals for the coming years?

We intend to expand on the African continent. However, there is still a problem with access to electricity, which led us to think about creating a storage space. One of our other goals is to outsource battery production to other start-ups that want to work in electrical, allowing them to be competitive by offering them affordable prices.

Kaco works mainly with renewable energy and always focuses part of its profits on research and development.

Interview by Mariem Ben Yahia

Posted on 08/19/22 09:38

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