Get to Know So-Mob
What Drives Us (See what we did there?)
We are on a journey to revolutionize the transportation industry by introducing the first solar powered, electric motorcycle in the Western Hemisphere that benefits drivers, passengers and the environment.
Where We're Going
Our vision is to take So-Mob to the whole Caribbean and Latin American region, maximizing the number of people reached and the positive impact on lives, countries and the environment.
How We Were Born
Take passion, dedication and a healthy dose of hustle and So-Mob was born. So-Mob was created by a group of trail-blazing solar energy entrepreneurs and business professionals with over sixty years of combined experience working in some of the most difficult contexts in the world. It was specifically through their work in Haiti that they observed the need for an alternative form of transportation that was both locally appropriate and good for the environment. So, they took their extensive knowledge of solar energy and emerging markets and set out on the journey of bringing So-Mob to life.
Patrick Eugene, Co-Founder & CEO
Patrick was born and raised in Haiti and later went to the U.S. to study computer science at James Madison University. Patrick entered the workforce in 2011, after graduating college, while simultaneously launching his technology company in Haiti, DigitalKap. It was here that Patrick observed the deep need for solar energy, particularly in conjunction with technology. He committed himself to becoming an expert in solar energy and grew DigitalKap to be a powerful force for solar energy in Haiti.
Chelsea Holsopple, Co-Founder & COO
Chelsea is an international business and development professional with extensive experience working in Washington, DC in the public policy and legal sectors. After leaving DC she began working full-time with the Haitian company, DigitalKap, as their Director of International Operations. She later moved to Haiti where her professional and personal worlds melded, stirring her passion for utilizing the private sector to transform economies and countries.
Mikyas Aklu, Advisor & Board Member
Mikyas is a business consultant and professional who specializes in operational improvement and business process optimization. Mikyas earned his bachelors degree and MBA in the U.S. after moving from his home country of Ethiopia in 2005.
Louis Lu, Advisor & Board Member
Louis Lu was born and raised in China. In 2010, Louis graduated from Ocean University of China with a bachelor's degree in marketing and logistics management. Louis has worked in international business, specifically in the solar energy sector, as a sales executive for the last decade.
Why This Matters
Haiti’s biggest cities are famous for 2 things: headache inducing traffic and stifling air pollution. An estimated 2 million motorcycles frequent the roads of Haiti with about 80% of those motorcycles being used as taxis. Motorcycles emit 16 times more hydrocarbons, 3 times more carbon monoxide and a "disproportionately high" amount of other air pollutants compared to passenger cars. On top of that these gas powered motos are increasingly expensive to operate due to rising fuel prices/shortages.
When considering the public transportation industry, these high operating costs mean less money in the pockets of drivers and all that pollution is just plain bad for everyone: drivers, passengers, the environment and the country at large. Furthermore, the vast majority of motorcycle operators have had no training on how to drive a motorcycle or how to do so safely. Many simply buy a motorcycle, hop on and start driving (without a helmet). Studies have found that 80% of all road accidents in Haiti involve a motorcycle and hospital emergency rooms are often filled with victims of motorcycle accidents.
Additionally, the moto taxi industry in Haiti is completely informal. There are no structured taxi companies. This has multiple adverse impacts, including: 1) It can be difficult for passengers to find a taxi and/or feel safe doing so; and, 2) Drivers are left to their own devices to find passengers.
All these challenges are not unique to Haiti either, and many countries across the world share the same problems.
So Now What?
Motos are an ideal form of transportation for getting to your destination quickly, taking half the time of other vehicles. So-Mob motorcycles appear and operate much like a typical motorcycle but are electric powered, designed to allow a driver to go 8-hours on one battery. Depleted batteries can easily be exchanged at one of our convenient charging stations. Our charging stations are solar powered, taking our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and oil dependence one step further.
So-Mob motorcycles are available in one of two formats:
1) A motorcycle can be purchased by anyone for their own private use. Batteries can be replenished at one of our charging stations or an at-home solar charging kit can be purchased;
2) An individual may choose to join our So-Mob fleet as a moto taxi driver. Our fleet drivers lease their bikes from So-Mob for a 1-year period, after which they become the owner of the motorcycle and can remain as a member of the So-Mob taxi fleet.
All of our fleet drivers undergo motorcycle driving/safety training and must pass a series of driving tests in order to be able to work for So-Mob. Additionally, they are required to wear a helmet at all times.
The So-Mob App allows fleet drivers and public transportation passengers to connect with one another, simplifying the moto taxi experience. So-Mob taxi drivers are easy to identify and provide each customer with a helmet and a complimentary disposable hair net, giving customers peace of mind in taking a moto.
All of our So-Mob motorcycles are designed and assembled in Haiti.