By Holger Dielenberg
A wild idea to electrify 4WD fun led two entrepreneurs to bring about change in Australian transport and help reduce our carbon emissions. ”The spark of Jaunt really came from wanting to drive around in the bush in silence and not hear a diesel engine anymore”.
From a few power point slides, a rusty Land Rover and some electrical schematics, Founders Dave Budge and Marteen Burger went from a dream to ‘Startup to watch’ within one year. Jaunt Motors was born.
Not surprisingly, interest has grown. People are keen to Jaunt. Over 60% want to take a spin down the coast, 10 to 15% want to hit the mountains or head bush and who would have guessed it – there are a small but discerning few who would tour wineries in an electric Land Rover.
It seems having a Jaunt will become a popular leisure option lasting from a few hours to a few days.
Dave and Marteen believe in delivering an authentic experience. They want you gazing more out at the world and staring less at dashboard screens. Whilst most new cars are shouting about how they support new phone apps and have extra touch screens and software features that you’ll never use, Jaunt have stripped controls and screens right back to the essentials.
Dave takes this sentiment to a whole new level. “The phrase nut and bolt rebuild is used a lot in car restoration. Meaning you’ve taken every single thing apart, cleaned it, repaired or replaced it and put it back together. This phrase takes on a slightly different meaning to us as we’re not just converting these old cars to electric, we’re taking a holistic approach to the entire design and engineering. Keeping the original aesthetic and characteristics but making them simpler, stronger and lighter by using the latest materials and manufacturing techniques. Function is still the primary concern, but it’s a different function than when they were new.”
Space Tank Studio is where Jaunt disassemble, restore and rebuild the mechanical components of their vehicles. With their first vehicle ‘Juniper’ entering her final electrical engineering phase, the electric vehicle startup will be conducting trials at the end of November. All the finishing touches and trimmings have been installed and Jaunt have invited their ‘Test Drive’ crowd-funding backers to come have a ride once it’s all safe.
Currently, over 150 people have joined the waiting list to drive a Jaunt vehicle once they’re on the road.
Juniper will be spinning wheels this weekend. All the batteries are balanced and she’s been on charge this week. Via an Australian designed and built charger system of course.
With Juniper out for the gates, Jaunt are already working on their second vehicle. She’s destined for Mountain Ridge Wines over near Jervis Bay to complement their ‘Solar Servo’, restaurant and cellar door. Jaunt will be planning an event later in Autumn once we have our first two vehicles on the road. Think food, wine, music and of course lots of jaunting through vineyards and coastal tracks.