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Raphael Moszynski, CEO and founder of BLITZ

Raphael Moszynski: my journey to the last mile solution

GoTo interviews smart mobility leaders so that we can learn from each other, share our news and industry concerns. BLITZ is the first and only Israeli electric scooter manufacturer.
By Katya Rozenoer
Raphael Moszynski
CEO and the founder of BLITZ
Raphael is the CEO and founder of BLITZ, the first and only Israeli electric scooter manufacturer founded in 2012. BLITZ vehicles are different from all the other electric two-wheelers existing in the market today - they can ride very fast (up to 120km/h) and they also last very long (up to 100km per charge at a standard socket). BLITZ scooters are widely used for last mile delivery with customers such as Domino's Pizza, McDonald's, Post Office and Police. This week, BLITZ releases its new revolutionary model.

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What came first - you riding scooters or you building the scooter company?
I've been riding scooters for all my life, I'm originally from Belgium, spent 8 years in London and for me, the scooter is the only way to travel from point A to point B. I've never had enough patience for traffic and finding parking. In 2011, when I immigrated to Israel, I saw electric bikes - the ones all the kids are riding - and I realized there was a need for both electric scooters and speed. So, what I wanted to do is to start importing light electric motorcycles which would be fast enough for a rider to ride comfortably on Ayalon (the main Israeli highway – GoTo).

You did not become the importer however, you started a manufactory instead. A completely different business.
My plan was to invest in a better future, an emission-free future with sustainable transportation. I quickly understood that the large gasoline manufacturers weren't interested in high-speed electric motorcycles. There were two reasons for that – first, their main market is in Europe, where people are used to slow-moving scooters and second – those manufacturers did not want to cannibalize themselves by creating electric competition to their own gasoline scooters. Most of their revenue comes not from vehicle sales but from spare parts and maintenance, so although all these companies will eventually move to producing only electric vehicles, they delay this moment as much as they can. Electric vehicles require much less maintenance so manufacturers' profits would decrease. With that, there was a need, there was a niche and since there was no solution for that… we just became manufacturers. Today, we produce all electronics here is Israel, and our R&D center is here as well, headed by our CTO Guy Cohen.
I started with doing oil trading for Barclays Capital in London, I then moved on to advising big gas companies, and now I'm in the electric business
How does it feel now? You started with nothing and now you see many of your scooters moving around the county – delivering pizza and other things?
My professional journey took me from Black to Blue to Green. I started trading oil for Barclays Capital in London, I then moved on to advising large gas companies, and now I'm in the electric business. Before I was a trader behind a desk trying to do business and now I am trying to make a better world and leave a trace for the future generations. I felt this especially with one of our first clients, who was delivering newspapers. He switched from gasoline scooter to a BLITZ6000. With the gasoline scooter, he used to put NIS20 per day on gasoline, with the BLITZ scooter he decided to save this money and put NIS20 into a box every day. One year later with this money, he took his whole family on holiday abroad. This is just a small example of the changes we are making in peoples' lives.

What excites you the most about the mobility industry today?
The industry is evolving fast and I'm excited that in 2019 we are in the right place with the right product. We are working with big companies and together with them, we are expanding to new geographies, focusing on the last mile solution market. I am confident that electric scooters are definitely the way forward for businesses and for the private sector in an urban environment, I believe scooter sharing is the right way to go as it will decrease pollution and congestion. I believe in the way you, GoTo are doing it – combining all travel modalities under one app.

What are the things that are broken in the industry now?
Governments in the world have a lot of work to do, including raising the level of the market consciousness and educating citizens on why electric vehicles are better than the gasoline ones. The problem is that governments – although they nominally support electric - get more taxes from gasoline cars and I think this may have some impact on how they act. Electric vehicles are still expensive to produce and to purchase and I believe that subsidies are very important. In addition, there is very little infrastructure in place, so governments will have to heavily invest in it to make everything work.
My understanding is the electric vehicles are not so pollution-free if electricity for them does not come from renewable energy like in Norway for example.
If the electricity is produced with coal, your electric vehicle does nothing for the environment. If it is produced with gas like in Israel – it is already much better. The best is renewable energy, which is the cleanest. Many countries are moving towards it and targeting 30% of the electricity to be produced with renewable energy. On our side, as manufacturers, we really want to be green, so for achieving that we invest in outstanding batteries. Unlike cheap Chinese batteries that last for 6 months, ours last for much longer and you can ride up to 100K kilometers on the same battery. After that, we recycle the batteries ourselves to make sure we do not pollute the environment. Now, we also invested in swappable batteries, as there is a lack of charging infrastructure all over the world.

What is the hardest challenge your company is tackling now?
It's technology. I'm promising to have something new every 6 months to our customers as the market is evolving. But launching new products into mass production isn't easy. For example, we're releasing our new battery with different chemistry that allows to increase the energy density, prolong the battery life and make the units lighter – our old ones were about 40 kg and the new ones are just 7 kg. Plus, they charge faster. We are always outpacing ourselves and working around the clock to make sure we're at the forefront of the technology wave.

Imagine 2024: you are in the middle of a city, looking around. What do you see?
I am convinced we will have more and more electric vehicles on the roads. Within cities, you will no longer see people driving private cars, only shared vehicles will be allowed. Also, there won't be any delivery trucks in urban areas, they will park outside of the city and delivery within the city limits will be done by dedicated last mile delivery vehicles. These vehicles are BLITZ.
What industry book would you recommend to those interested in transportation and mobility?
I would recommend the Elon Musk biography. There, in the Tesla story, you can see a lot of similarities, ups and downs, and challenges on the production and financing side of the electric vehicle business. It is not easy, day by day, but it definitely is exciting as we are the pioneers of a completely new industry that will become the norm in a few years.
You can meet Raphael and the BLITZ Motors team at the Ecomotion Main Even, on Tuesday, June 11th in Tel Aviv, TLV Expo, Pavillion 1, booth 118. Next to BLITZ, you will find us, the GoTo team:)
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