the operator aiming to make e-bikes actually sustainable
HumanForest founder Agustin Guilisasti explains why his firm is actually inexperienced, and displays on a number of the alternatives and challenges that include constructing a brand new sustainable mobility resolution in a metropolis like London.
Credit score: HumanForest
The founding father of HumanForest, Agustin Guilisasti, believes his firm is the one actually sustainable e-bike operator in London. Right here, he outlines what makes HumanForest so inexperienced, and displays on his experiences of organising a mobility operator in one of many world’s busiest and various cities.
Why are HumanForest e-bikes the one actually sustainable e-bikes in London?
For us, serving to enhance the air high quality of our cities is of utmost significance. We’re at the moment within the means of being licensed by ‘First Climate’ to make sure we’re sustaining the best sustainability requirements doable.
Our e-bikes are distinctive in that they’re powered totally by renewable power and our operations are additionally sustainable with the emissions created within the manufacturing of the e-bikes being offset inside solely six weeks of the bikes being on the roads!
We additionally use an electrical yute to maneuver our e-bikes as nicely our crew who handle and keep the fleet (we name them ‘Gardeners’) throughout the town. We attempt to keep away from transferring the bikes as a lot as doable to extend our power effectivity. Our warehouse (we name it ‘The Greenhouse’), relies in central London which helps restrict our upkeep miles.
We’re additionally engaged on creating battery stations throughout London by repurposing London’s iconic phone packing containers by turning them into battery charging factors and storage items! In time, we would like customers to have the ability to swap their very own batteries in alternate for additional free minutes.
How troublesome was it to implement such sustainability measures in London?
Congestion is an actual downside in London and it makes implementing sustainability measures fairly difficult, however that’s the downside we want to resolve! We attempt to do as a lot of the e-bike upkeep on the roadsides to restrict having to maneuver the bikes across the metropolis and get caught up within the site visitors.
We’ve additionally discovered renting area to construct the warehouse is a giant value, significantly as we wish to hold our Greenhouse centralised to restrict the miles travelled throughout operations.
Lastly, constructing a enterprise throughout London’s lockdown has been troublesome but in addition offered us with an excellent alternative. The unpredictability of the pandemic has been exhausting to handle from a enterprise perspective however we’ve additionally seen customers’ habits and existence altering which makes it a good time to supply a brand new, socially-distanced and sustainable mobility resolution.
Why have you ever determined to decide on London because the place to start out?
I used to work in Chile for Cabify, the primary mobility firm to grow to be carbon impartial. The Cabify crew took a visit to the Amazon rainforest to go to a province referred to as ‘Madre de Dios’. For me, it was a extremely life-changing expertise. The magnitude and energy of the rainforest actually impacted me.
Shortly after, I moved to London to review for a Masters in Information Science. I discovered there was an actual lack of inexpensive, last-mile mobility options. I wished a method to rapidly transfer throughout the town however I additionally wished to keep away from including to London’s poisonous air disaster. So the thought was impressed by a visit to the Amazon, however it was additionally motivated by needing a sensible transport resolution.
Since we launched the corporate, biking in London is up 120 per cent and the federal government has introduced a £2.5bn Biking and Strolling technique to make cities extra cycle-friendly. I actually really feel there’s a enormous alternative in London for HumanForest.
Has it been simple to work with London boroughs and TfL throughout your expertise in Islington?
London is a really open and ahead considering metropolis, making it an excellent place to launch a sustainably-minded firm. Operationally, it’s additionally an excellent place to work. Biking is already ingrained into many Londoner’s existence and a number of funding is being put into creating infrastructure like cycle superhighways. We additionally really feel that London is a reference metropolis in mobility, so it’s going to make scaling simpler after we develop internationally.
Having mentioned that, the present patchwork strategy to mobility throughout the totally different boroughs does make it a bit more durable to get licenses to function city-wide. Nonetheless, we haven’t had a lot hassle to this point convincing boroughs that we’ll assist their residents transfer effectively and sustainably. In actual fact, we’re but to lose a single aggressive tender course of!
Most of all we’re grateful to native authorities for his or her curiosity in making London extra eco-friendly. We’re actually having fun with serving to boroughs obtain their sustainability targets!
What are the long run plans of HumanForest – have you ever any want to develop into the e-scooter sector?
Our purpose as an organization is to offer inexpensive mobility in a sustainable method and we actually really feel e-bikes are the suitable product to supply that proper now. We consider that e-bikes are significantly better positioned than scooters to interchange automobiles, that are the first explanation for air air pollution in our cities.
Nonetheless, we’re at all times in search of modern options which align with our imaginative and prescient, so by no means say by no means! Within the close to future we’re extra centered on increasing our e-bike geographically and we now have plans to reforest one other European metropolis in 2022!
Initially from Chile, Agustin beforehand ran Cabify’s LATAM operations, serving to it develop into Spain’s first unicorn and the primary worthwhile ride-hailing app. On transferring to London to finish a Masters in Information Science, he noticed a scarcity of inexpensive mobility and a possibility to supply a brand new sort of shared e-bike; one which is actually inexperienced. Agustin passionately believes that in the identical method that timber take away CO2 from the ambiance, people working collectively can enhance the air high quality in our cities.