Bruntor co-founder, Raimonds Jurgelis, has developed an electric scooter equipped with a cargo box. Every time he used an electric skateboard to go to the shops and post office, he found that the vehicle was not suitable for getting all his shopping home. He had to drive as a result. So Raimonds came up with the idea of an electric scooter with a cargo compartment.
Together with another co-founder, Elvija Vanaga, they soon realised that a product like this could also be useful for last-mile delivery companies, so from there on, they focussed specifically on the last-mile delivery vehicle segment.
"In a day, a Bruntor Cargo can deliver as many small and medium parcels in a city as a motor vehicle. At the same time, it costs up to five times less and does not produce harmful emissions or noise during deliveries," Raimonds said.
In March this year, Bruntor delivered its first scooter to [national postal service] Latvijas Pasts and another company abroad. According to Raimonds, after the first tests, he realised that the scooter managed to move well on snow, ice, and bad roads.
"We have received a lot of praise from the staff and management of companies, saying that this was the best solution for post and parcel deliveries in city centres they had ever tested. Staff members love the fact that they don’t get aches in their back and legs after work, and they are happy that they can get the job done much faster than before. Obviously, the product needs more development and improvements, so this summer we are going on test drives with postal and parcel delivery companies in Latvia and abroad, in order to see how they use the scooter and how it can be made better," he said.
The Bruntor scooter is undergoing testing abroad, but Raimonds could not reveal the name of the potential client at present. The vehicle is attracting interest from a variety of industries, with the most curious one being using the scooters for transporting piglets.
From skateboarding to cargo
Bruntor Cargo is an evolution of Raimonds’ idea for an off-road electric skateboard. He came up with it during the COVID-19 pandemic, when he had just returned to Latvia. Previously, he had lived near the Alps in Germany, where he snowboarded on weekends. He could not continue with the hobby in Latvia, because there was not enough snow, and the local hills were shut down because of the pandemic. So he decided to create an electric skateboard.
At first, he didn’t think of turning it into a business, but his friends suggested that Raimonds should apply for the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia’s Idea Cup competition, which he won with this idea. He then joined the Buildit accelerator program and other assistance mechanisms.
With its Bruntor Cargo scooter solution, the company won in the finals of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology competition Jumpstarter 2022, in the Urban Mobility category. To get into the finals, the Latvian company had to compete against 600 other ideas from all over Europe.
This feature first appeared in the magazine of the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and is reproduced by kind permission. You can find out more about the Baltic Business Quarterly magazine here.