Hilo EV Ltd is a startup micro-mobility company with a mission to deliver intelligent, safety-centric technology that empowers people to move freely, sustainably and with confidence. Xometry plays a crucial role in supporting Hilo EV with the manufacture of high-tolerance CNC machined and 3D printed parts to help build the Hilo One e-scooter prototype.
They say an all-electric future is not too far away with electric vehicles becoming increasingly popular, especially in cities where emission reductions and sustainability is an everyday topic for discussion.
“There was a noticeable trend of people moving away from buses and trains and taking up e-scooters instead for a sense of freedom and personal space,” says Ashley May, Hilo EV Co-founder and Product Designer.
It was at this key moment when start-up company Hilo EV was first established, after it identified a gap in the market for a premium e-scooter that offered a sustainable yet safe method of travel. Eureka! The stylish Hilo One e-scooter was conceptualised.
Transforming commuting and redefining safety
At the beginning of this year, the Hilo EV team came together to develop ideas and original concepts to address the e-scooter market. Investment backed by Dr. Andy Palmer, the previous COO of Nissan Cars and CEO of Aston Martin, this agile and innovative team aimed to reinvent commuting for city and suburban dwellers. At the time, current market research showed that safety was a big issue in the e-scooter market and the demographic was primarily male riders.
The Hilo One e-scooter was the solution – a smart, fun, and sustainable method for commuting for both male and female riders. Combining next-generation safety features with user-friendly tech, this premium e-scooter features integrated artificial intelligence for audible feedback, enhanced biometric security, onboard navigation, and visual warnings of approaching hazards.
Design purity supported by high quality parts
The Hilo One e-scooter has a premium aesthetic and aspirational look, designed to integrate into anyone’s lifestyle. Featuring an intuitive folding design to be compact in size, this e-scooter can be taken anywhere, empowering riders to move freely with maximum flexibility.
“We aspired to create an iconic, eye-catching and dynamic mode of transport,” says Zoe Preston, Lead Design Engineer for the Hilo One e-scooter.
This e-scooter features both active and passive safety elements, from the full-perimeter illumination system that provides high visibility when riding, to the large front wheel that helps with road potholes and even the ride position, where riders stand with their feet facing forward, straddling the middle of the e-scooter.
It was during the design phase that the Hilo EV team sought Xometry’s support in building a premium prototype, with the objective of launching their concept at the Micro Mobility show in Amsterdam.
It was the first time the Hilo EV team had worked with Xometry. Ashley had heard of Xometry before and was aware of our capabilities and extensive manufacturing network, so he requested a quote for the whole prototype from the technical drawings and CAD files submitted. He was immediately contacted by Dorien Sarsby, Key Account Manager for the United Kingdom, who set up a meeting to visit the team and review the project in person.
“I could see that it was important to the Hilo EV team to get it right the first time,” says Dorien. “We were working under a tight schedule, and there were over 90 parts to manufacture in 25 working days for them to launch their e-scooter at the tradeshow.”
There was much complexity in producing this prototype, with numerous parts and several processes and materials. The part finishes, tolerances and manufacturability were all very important in making this prototype work seamlessly. Dorien supported the Hilo EV team in navigating this process, talking through their CAD files, helping choose the most suitable manufacturing technology, and supporting them in getting the parts manufactured on time and within budget thanks to Xometry’s extensive manufacturing network.
Xometry supplied all the parts that built the Hilo One e-scooter prototypes. These included:
Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printed parts in a high resolution, ABS-like industrial transparent finish (handlebar lightguides, front body detailing caps, front body detailing, front body clear light guides, footplate lightguides).
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D Printed parts in a Nylon PA12 grey/white (front main body covers, footplates, tele sections, stem bushes, rear hub detailing, rear camera cap, rear body cover, rear body fork covers, nosecone, rubber handlebars, handlebar end caps, front mudguards, foldable front mudguard, front hub detailing, display cover, rear cable guide, foldable front main body, stem fastener cover, handlebar throttle covers, control cover, alternate front main top cover, rear main body lower buffer, rear main body buffer, rubber footplates).
CNC Machined Stainless Steel 304 parts (links, front steering support, front forks, central pivot cap, central pivot, rear sol cam, handlebar sol cam).
CNC Machined Aluminium 6082 (foldable front body articulations, foldable front main body parts, foldable stem heads, handlebar gears, rear articulating body parts, rideable stem heads, rideable inserts, rideable front main body parts, fixed handle strut, rear wheel retainers, rear motor hubs, rear main body parts, handlebar body parts, front motor hubs, footplate body parts, foldable footplate adapt main body, foldable footplate adapt, fixed stems).
For the Hilo EV team, who moves at a fast pace to meet customer demands, Xometry was the ideal partner for this project dynamic. One that has given the Hilo EV team a positive experience and confidence to use Xometry again as soon as the company is ready to move forward with serial production.
The Story Continues
The Hilo EV team received high praise and positive feedback for their prototype whilst attending the Micro Mobility trade show in June, surpassing their expectations.
“It captured people’s attention, they wanted to learn more,” says Zoe Preston, who launched the Hilo One e-scooter on stage with Chairman Dr. Andy Palmer. “People said it wasn’t like anything else they had seen at the trade show. There was a real buzz around the e-scooter prototype. Everyone was excited to see where our company went next.”
With the recent launch success, the team are now embarking on the design and development beyond the prototype concept, with the goal of product production in 2024.
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