Revolutionizing Light Electric Vehicle Mobility: The Story and Innovations of Veer’s Shift Drive System

Veer, led by its Founder Sean Hacking, emerged from a pivotal moment when a cycling mishap ignited a mission to revolutionize alternative transportation. Hacking’s passion for cycling collided with engineering prowess, leading to the creation of Veer and its pioneering Split Belt technology. The genesis of Veer stemmed from the recognition of a common cycling hazard: chain failures. Determined to find a safer, more durable solution, Veer embarked on a journey to innovate drivetrain technology, culminating in the development of the Shift Drive System.

Here are the insights into the groundbreaking system of Veer.

Could you give us an overview of Veer and what led the company to develop the Shift Drive System?

Sean Hacking, Veer’s Founder, is an engineer by trade and an avid cyclist. He started the company when he was riding rental bikes while on vacation and went to pull out of an intersection when his chain broke and sent him crashing into the busy intersection. From that day on he was on a mission to find an alternative that was safer, more reliable, and more durable so more people wouldn’t be dissuaded from alternative forms of transportation other than a car. Chains breaking or malfunctioning is a common occurrence for cyclists and Sean thought there must be a better way. Split Belt, a durable carbon fiber belt drive was born and since then Veer has been on a mission to innovate and push drivetrain technology in order to make micromobility via light electric vehicles (eBikes, eMotorcycles, eScooters, etc) more accessible, safe, and reliable for the masses. Here is a blog post on why we made Shift Drive. 

What are the key technological innovations of the Shift Drive System, and how do they enhance the functionality and appeal of LEVs? 

Blog post referred to above helps answer this question. Additionally, belt drives are the superior drivetrain for LEVs compared to the current status quo, chain drives, because they can handle the high torque of electric motors much better and last up to 4x longer. However, shifting options for belt drives are limited and our Shift Drive is an answer to this problem. The blog post explains some key advantages vs the other shifting options. Many LEVs like eMotorcycles and eScooters do not have a method to change gears, causing the electric drive system to have trouble operating at the most efficient speed, limiting range and performance. With Shift Drive, it is now easy to integrate gears so that they can function much more efficiently, allowing manufacturers to use smaller motors and batteries, and offering better gear range.

Given the current challenges in the electric mobility market, such as high costs and limited infrastructure, how does the Shift Drive System specifically address these issues? 

Stated above, how Shift allows LEVs to operate more efficiently, allowing manufacturers to  use smaller motors and batteries, and hence offer these vehicles at lower price points.

Sustainability is a major concern in today’s world. Can you elaborate on how the Shift Drive System contributes to environmental conservation? 

Traffic congestion, gas prices, and pollution continue to increase. Society as a whole needs to move towards more sustainable means of transportation and an electrification revolution is happening within our means of transport and infrastructure. With this electrification, technology surrounding these vehicles needs to innovate with it in order to keep up and create solutions that are accessible to the masses and that people will actually use. Shift Drive is one of these technologies that enhances LEV efficiency, safety, durability, and makes these vehicles a more viable sustainable option to help fight climate change. 60% of daily trips are less than 5 miles in distance and can be done on an LEV, Shift Drive helps to push society towards more sustainable micromobility options.

What are the primary benefits for consumers who choose vehicles equipped with the Shift Drive System?

These vehicles will be safer since belt drives are more durable and reliable compared to chains on LEVs. Shift drive is maintenance free so the user has ease of mind and can set it and forget it. No maintenance and component longevity also means you have lower operations cost over the lifetime of the vehicle since you do not have to pay for replacement parts or maintenance. Since there is no oiling the system is also very clean so you don’t have to worry about getting dirty on your commute to work like you would with a chain drive. Shift drive is much more lightweight compared to chain drives, allowing better efficiency. Shift drive also allows the LEV to operate at a more efficient gearing so your vehicle has better range and battery life.

Maintenance is often a concern with new technologies. How does the Shift Drive System minimize the need for maintenance?

As mentioned above, Shift requires very little maintenance. Chain drives need regular oiling and replacement. Shift drive is paired with our belt drive technology and does not need oiling and lasts up to 4x longer than a chain.

Looking forward, what future developments can we expect from Veer? Are there any new projects or enhancements to the Shift Drive System on the horizon?

We plan to expand our shifting options to offer more gears. We will also be adapting it to fit on more vehicle form factors. The current version is designed specifically for ebike applications but can easily adapt it for eMotorcycle and eScooters to broaden the market. We also plan on offering a diversified portfolio of shifting and drivetrain offerings to own everything from the motor to the wheel.

How does Veer plan to expand its market presence, and are there any upcoming collaborations or partnerships we should know about?

We plan on launching Shift with OEM partners that we cannot discuss yet as we are under NDA. Shift Drive will primarily be a B2B product to start and we already have a list of OEMs that are eager to start testing it this spring. These OEM launch partners already have market penetration and we plan on using their distribution channels to expand Shifts market presence.

What advice would you give to consumers who are considering switching to LEVs but are hesitant due to concerns about performance, range, or cost?

They are valid concerns but the technology is quickly adapting to address those concerns as more vehicle options come to the market. In the past year alone we’ve seen major strides in performance and range that are making these vehicles more enticing for the average consumer. Manufacturers are also becoming better at producing these vehicles at a lower price point as these options get more popular. Increasing gas prices are also making the status quo of using a combustion engine car much more expensive, closing the cost gap of owning an LEV like an ebike or escooter. As motor technology has gotten better it has increased the range a person can travel on a bike significantly, allowing them to use it for a more diversified range of trips.

Any final thoughts or messages you would like to share with our readers about the future of electric mobility and Veer’s role in it?

An electrification revolution is already happening and Veer’s mission is to tackle climate change by enabling rapid adoption of light electric vehicle (LEV) usage for local transportation. We’ve already had success with our first product, Split Belt Pro, having sold 1,000s of products into the global market and partnering with multiple OEM brands around the world. Now our goals are set on expanding our technology offerings to keep enhancing LEV usage.

To expedite the launch of the Shift Drive System, Veer has initiated another StartEngine campaign. This move not only showcases Veer’s innovative approach but also invites like-minded investors to participate in bringing the Shift Drive to the market.

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