French tire specialist Michelin has founded an in-house service provider called ‘Watèa by Michelin’ that will create turnkey electrification solutions for fleet customers.
Michelin’s new corporate startup Watèa relies on a subscription model that offers zero-emission vehicles a complete ecosystem of services. The declared goal is to support fleet operators in the transition to zero-emissions vehicles.
The new company is to cover battery-electric mobility from A to Z as well as commercial hydrogen mobility. The focus will be on customers who want to switch to electric passenger cars or light commercial vehicles of up to 3.5 tons. The new Michelin business promises “customised, long-term support provided by teams of specialists on-site.” This is to be provided by an all-inclusive monthly subscription. According to Watèa by Michelin, this is unique in France.
This subscription specifically covers the vehicles with the mileage and charging capacity requested by the customer, their maintenance and insurance. It also includes the installation of charging solutions on customers’ business premises and access to the public charging network. The company also offers more than 80 smartphone-based services to manage the fleet, including, for example, range forecasting, optimised navigation, accessibility of charging stations, etc.
“All these services are accessible through a mobile app that serves as both a customer interface and a driver assistant for accessing the vehicle, energy supply, range management and a range of connected services,” Watèa by Michelin shares in a press release we received via email.
In addition to the above, the team also promises its “support at every stage, even after the delivery of the vehicles.” The company is not yet naming prices for the subscription model. For the market launch, the company tends to stick to general statements: to support the transition to zero-emission mobility, the intragroup startup says it is “drawing on the entire expertise of Michelin and its subsidiaries in the fields of fleet management and hydrogen mobility, as well as partners who are key players in the mobility industry.”
Pascal Nouvellon, CEO of Watèa by Michelin, sums up, “At a time when fleets are trying to reduce their carbon footprint to meet their customers’ expectations and comply with new regulations, Watèa by Michelin offers a simple, comprehensive solution to help professionals make the transition to zero-emission mobility. With this new offering, the first of its kind in France, Michelin is demonstrating its expertise in the services sector, an important new growth area for the Group.”
Tire specialist Michelin is gearing up for e-mobility both in its core business and beyond. The Group unveiled a summer tire optimised for electric cars at the end of 2020, for example, but is also involved in the fuel cell sector through a joint venture with Faurencia.
Reporting by Cora Werwitzke, France