Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Dominik Ashkar, E-Works Mobility: We specialize in the development of electric drive systems. The goal is to build viable commercial vehicles for the future that go easy on resources. Our own developments in hardware and software make the high-quality retrofitting of existing vehicles possible because the components can be perfectly coordinated with each other. Our development is meant to simplify the journey to electromobility and to give customers the feeling of buying a new and modern vehicle from us.
The Heero by E-Works Mobility
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Dominik Ashkar: Commercial vehicles with electric drive systems do exist, but we’re developing the most powerful electric van with Heero. With 245 ps, a range of 400 km and a 180 kW engine that makes it up (almost) any hill, we’re ahead of everyone else at the moment. Our Heero is also the first electric van that provides enough power to be used for towing a trailer. Our motto is: Generate maximum customer satisfaction by providing maximum customer value with our products.
Munich Startup: What is your founding story?
Dominik Ashkar: As the former head of a vehicle workshop, what bothered me most was the wasting of resources. I had the idea while working in my own electric car workshop – I asked myself the question: “Why stop here?”. The idea was to put low-maintenance and powerful solutions on the road without having to make compromises compared to combustion vehicles. The major goal was to develop vehicles with maximum mileage and to use as few resources as possible. It first started with a drive system concept for sports cars, but we quickly realized that the impact is much greater with commercial vehicles in terms of added value for customers and carbon savings.
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Dominik Ashkar: Implementing such a large vision with a team that was very small in the beginning. We pulled it off by applying the strengths of each individual.
“The orders are coming in fast”
Munich Startup: How is business going?
Dominik Ashkar: The demand for our product is currently increasing at an exponential rate. New requests come in every day from people who are interested in taking a test drive. The decision to buy a product that requires a lot of explaining is something our customers need to consider as well as the need for a longer consulting and decision-making phase, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive and the orders are coming in fast.
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Dominik Ashkar: Our experience has been positive – Munich is a highly networked hightech city with lots of companies and elite universities, who we are able to involve in our processes and developments. Munich as a city is obviously also attractive to all kinds of professionals due to its high quality of living. It’s easy to find many people with the necessary know-how and who are open-minded in Munich.
Munich Startup: Risk or security?
Dominik Ashkar: Safety in electric vehicles and passenger safety are the be-all and end-all for us. This is also reflected by our business strategy. Certainly a startup in our industry always has to take certain risks, but these are carefully considered, discussed in the team and decisions are then made together.