Pangea Motors, the tiny, Vancouver-based electric bus maker with ambitions to improve public transportation in congested cities, will be part of a research-and-development project for low-cost electrical vehicle fleets that will take place at a new Portland technology incubator operated by the British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover.
This new partnership between the innovation incubator and technology innovation startup urban.systems, which was chosen for the project by Jaguar Land Rover, will include six months of staff support and mentorship by the incubator staff, as well as financial assistance. Among urban.systems’s first projects will be products and services for the management of multi-passenger electric vehicle fleets.
Pangea Motors was not named in Tuesday’s official announcement by the Jaguar Land Rover incubator, but its work was selected by urban.systems as its first project. On Thursday, Pangea Motors announced that urban.systems, which has Pangea CEO Ken Montler as one of its four leaders, has selected management of multi-passenger electric vehicle fleets as one of its first projects.
Jaguar Land Rover said in its initial announcement, released at the Consumer Telematics Show in Las Vegas, that urban.systems “will focus its efforts on low-cost, scalable infrastructure technologies that leverage open-data, open-source technology and community-based urban planning.” Pangea says that research is aimed at refining its pilot project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Pangea’s goal is to launch its open-software electric vehicle service, with ten 16-passenger buses, in that city in the first half of this year, .
Pangea already has attracted international attention by introducing its 16-passenger electric buses in Manila, the congested capital city of the Philippines. It also is working on electric vehicle systems for U.S. college campuses, military bases and residential communities.
The Portland-based urban.systems technology firm says its mission is to provide design, acquisition and management products and services to technology startups. Co-founders are Wilfred Pinfold, a former Intel executive; John Teeter, a technologist who was named a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow; and Stan Curtis, a technology startup entrepreneur.
Jaguar Land Rover’s innovation incubator, launched last year, is intended “to encourage, promote and support new software-based automotive technologies that are being developed by U.S. technology startups,” the company says on its website. The incubator has a goal of assisting 120 companies over the next decade.
In addition to urban.systems, the incubator this year will assist BabyBit, a Portland company founded by Intel veteran Brian Ostrovsky that offers wearable devices that can be used to track a toddler’s location, body position and temperature; and Parkit, of Houston, which has developed camera-based, real-time parking data to helps drivers find available parking spots.
Each startup will have two to six staffers working out of the Jaguar Land Rover incubator location in Northwest Portland’s Pearl District.