For all of the talk about e-scooters in Finland this past summer, one need only look to the foreboding dark clouds of winter ahead to realise that the shelf life of many e-mobility options here in 2019 is limited.
In their place is a simple idea, yet it has broad appeal. Finnish entrepreneurs Minna and Pasi Kauppinen have developed a fully electric snow scooter called eLyly. It is quiet, emission-free, easy to manoeuvre and the first of its kind.
“We haven’t found anything like it elsewhere. Our electric snow scooter is ecological but also fun to drive,” Pasi Kauppinen enthuses. “It enables people to experience nature the way it was meant to be done, in peace and quiet.”
Designed with winter tourists in mind, eLyly is targeted at travel operators. Currently only available as a prototype, albeit a fully functional one, the scooter has already gained attention in Finland. In early June, it took home the top award at the Finnish industry’s idea competition MPIDEA. Now the Kauppinens are using the award, a place in a McKinsey & Company growth accelerator programme, to prepare eLyly for commercial launch by the end of 2019.
Full charge ahead
eLyly draws on Minna and Pasi Kauppinen’s over 30 years of travel industry experience. They run a successful lodge, Lakomäki Forest Manor, in Central Finland, which offers accommodation, food, sauna and trips to experience Finnish nature.
“We operate in the middle of clean, beautiful and peaceful nature,” Pasi Kauppinen explains. “When it comes to nature trips, we always have to think of something new and we wanted to find an eco-friendly transport alternative. We couldn’t find one, so we came up with one ourselves.”
And they didn’t wait around. The Kauppinens began working on their electric snow scooter concept in April 2018, found local talent to help with product development and had the first eLyly prototype ready in their yard two months later. By December 2018, the final prototype was finished. Since then, eLyly’s testing has taken place not only in winter conditions but in winter competitions, as well.
The commercial release is also shaping up well. Well-known Finnish designer Harri Koskinen has been convinced by the idea, and he has come aboard to develop the product design.
No business like snow business
It is still early days for eLyly, but Pasi Kauppinen’s ambitions are high. He believes an ecological, easy-to-use snow scooter has appeal for winter travel operators and ski resorts worldwide.
“eLyly can be used anywhere there is snow. It has even snowed in Australia,” Kauppinen laughs. “We will launch in Finland because there are a lot of companies organising snow safaris, but we want to make eLyly into a global brand.”