Last year, Carver announced the opening of an assembly plant in Leeuwarden. Meanwhile, the first electric Carvers are already hitting the road. The ultra-small urban vehicle, equipped with a patented tilting system, combines the comfort and safety of a car with the ease and maneuverability of a scooter.
No, by no means does Anton Rosier regret settling in Leeuwarden. On the contrary. We like it here just fine,' he says. 'We have very good quality employees at our disposal and above all the lines of communication with the municipality, the province, the NOM and the FOM (Frisian Development Company) are very short. The willingness is enormous. That makes working from Friesland very enjoyable. Anton is CEO of Carver, a company that focuses on mobility solutions to travel smarter, faster and more sustainable. Last April it launched the electric Carver, an ultrasmall urban vehicle that combines the benefits of a car and a scooter. Not much later, the company, then based in the western part of the country, announced it would assemble the canopied vehicle with its patented tilting technology in Leeuwarden. In the old PostNL building, to be exact.
The arrival of the assembly plant in Leeuwarden was made possible partly thanks to funding from NOM and FOM. At the same time, NOM offered support in the search for the most suitable location, including putting Carver in touch with the municipality of Leeuwarden and the province of Fryslân. 'It is of course great that we have succeeded in offering Carver a place in the Northern Netherlands,' says Allard van der Horst, Investment Manager of the NOM. 'It is a promising company that moves in an interesting growth market. Especially in cities, space is limited and rules on emissions are getting stricter. The electric Carver is then a smart solution. It is a sustainable and affordable transportation alternative for commuters and city dwellers in particular. Moreover, the arrival of the assembly plant creates additional employment in the region.'
Time and energy
Carver is a young company that logically does not yet want to invest in real estate, so it deliberately chose to rent business space. So that space was eventually found in Leeuwarden. An energy-efficient and representative building that has everything the company needs for its assembly activities. Anton praises the active role that the municipality of Leeuwarden played in facilitating Carver's wishes. 'Together with the NOM, they found an investor who bought the old distribution center from PostNL and then wanted to rent it to us,' he clarifies. 'I found it impressive to see how much time and energy was put in to get our housing in the right direction.'
Carver, a beautiful innovative company that fits our ambition to do more in the field of sustainability. We are pleased that we were able to enthuse Carver to locate in Leeuwarden.
Reinder de Jong, Project Manager NOM
That the municipality of Leeuwarden has been so emphatic in its support of Carver's arrival is not surprising. After all, Leeuwarden has been working for years to become a sustainable, strong municipality. 'Everywhere in the region is buzzing with sustainable activity,' emphasizes Gina Tromp, senior advisor for Economic Affairs at the municipality of Leeuwarden. 'For example, we now have both a water, dairy and energy campus. There are also numerous companies in the region that focus on the development and application of sustainable techniques.
A company like Carver is a wonderful addition to that. Certainly in a province that champions sustainable transport initiatives. Like the NOM, we are therefore trying to have Carver take root as well as possible in our network in Leeuwarden and the rest of Friesland.'
The past few months have been hard work at the assembly plant in the Frisian capital. Indeed, at the end of August, during a ceremonial handover in the Carver Experience Center, the first three electric Carvers were delivered to the so-called frontrunners. 'The reactions were purely positive,' Anton reflects. 'That's great, because in such a first period it all has to happen. You have to have production and sales running synchronously under all circumstances. Because the parts are manufactured in Asia, that is quite a challenge. I think we succeeded very well in that.
The best moment so far was undoubtedly the first test drive day. Of the 32 people who had registered for it, as many as 30 ordered the electric Carver immediately afterwards. That gives an indescribably good feeling.
Carver Café Meet-ups
In addition to individuals, a rapidly growing number of companies have now expressed their interest in the new urban vehicle, a 100% Dutch innovation. Largely prompted by plans to go fossil-free. A Carver fits perfectly into that endeavor. Not least because the vehicle is considerably cheaper than an electric car and is also ideal for use in an urban environment. 'In order to let everyone, individuals and companies, become personally acquainted with the Carver, we have organized so-called Carver Café Meet-ups in various Dutch cities,' says Anton. 'A kind of roadshow where we told attendees about our vision of sustainable mobility, among other things. Once again we could count on a lot of enthusiasm. Indeed, it's a fantastic start. It also means that we have to increase production faster than initially expected. That makes the challenge even greater. After all, we don't want to compromise on quality. After all, Carver is a Frisian company.'