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INTERVIEW: D-Fly CEO on leading the sustainability charge

Zag Daily speaks with D-Fly CEO and Founder Jez Williman about its Electric Adventure Vehicle which has sustainability at the heart of its design.

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D-Fly’s Electric Adventure Vehicle – the product of five years in the making – has brought the brand to the forefront of sustainability with its innovative design.

The electric sports vehicle dubbed Dragonfly arose from Founder Jez Williman’s passion for endurance sports and is designed to combine exhilaration with ease. It features four-wheel breaking, three forward gears and one reverse gear, a patented 3D full-tilt steering system, and ABS. The vehicle is also equipped with a 3-dimensional navigational system, onboard cameras and multiple sensors.

Valued at $3950, Dragonfly is a vehicle designed to stay with its owner for life, reaching a reliable yet realistic top speed of 40 kph with a range of 80 kms.

“Our entry level vehicle is valued at the price it is because it is a premium device made with premium materials,” the CEO of D-Fly Jez Williman tells Zag Daily. “It’s the McLaren sports car of micromobility vehicles.”

Longevity and lifetime value

The Dragonfly compiles 500 separate components, each of which can be replaced and repaired to spare it from costly fixes.

“All our components are spare parts which means users can replace any aspect of the vehicle,” Jez says. “This is truly unique within our industry, where a lot of vehicles on the market do not last six months. With our vehicle, it has gone through a world class manufacturing process from design to completion which gives it lifetime value.”

The purchase of Dragonfly also comes with its own website portal which can be used to order replacement parts. Targeted training videos and repair instructions enable the customer to easily maintain and adjust the vehicle without the need to send it elsewhere for repair.

“The customer gets a full set of tools included within the accessory kit worth around $150. It’s there so that they don’t need anything else, and they don’t need to buy tools and wonder what it is and what it isn’t,” says Williman. 

“If you can operate a screwdriver and an allen key, then you can repair it.”

Additionally, the user can also receive recommended maintenance packages after completing a certain number of miles, allowing for slick and natural maintenance.

Sustainability at its forefront

The lifetime value of the Electric Adventure Vehicle significantly contributes to its sustainability and that of the brand in general.

“For me, the most important thing is creating a vehicle that is not a throwaway item. If it gets damaged, it’s repairable,” Jez says and explains that this is the first aspect of sustainability to him. “Once the battery has completed its number of cycles, it’s not then done. The battery can be replaced and returned back to us and recycled.”

Like any other company, D-Fly strives to grow its brand and build its user base with the release of more models in the coming years. “We want people to buy the next iteration of the vehicle because it can sit alongside this one,” says Williman. “It’s not that the current model has let the customer down or failed. Rather, the next model will bring new horizons and new adventures.”

Hinting at future considerations, Jez speaks of potential plans to implement a part-exchange scheme between D-Fly models where users can upgrade their model and be rewarded for their loyalty perhaps by a discounted price.

Practical packaging 

D-Fly’s green consciousness isn’t limited to just the design and operational aspects of Dragonfly, but its packaging too. 

Rather than using traditional types of packaging such as bubble wrap which is destined for the rubbish bin, the vehicle comes in a reusable linen bag that can be repurposed for other household uses. The outer packaging can also be easily flat-packed and stored to save the customer from using additional packaging should the vehicle be returned or transported for another purpose.

Jez tells Zag of the prospect of implementing starch into the brand’s packaging so that once it goes into landfill it just needs water to degrade.

Additionally, D-Fly’s manufacturing partner, which has an ISO 14001 accreditation as well as an ISO 9001, partners solely with sustainable brands. 

“Our manufacturing company only manufactures products that contribute to reducing carbon footprint and adding to the wellbeing of the Earth that we walk on. That’s their philosophy.”

Born from personal necessity

Williman founded the brand to fulfil his craving for adrenaline and endurance sports.

After a cycling injury in Monaco ripped both cartilages off his knees and cut much of his sporting life short, Jez turned his attention to designing a mode of personal transport which offered all the same feelings of excitement and exhilaration. Five years later, his company D-Fly did just that with the production of the world’s first Electric Adventure Sport Vehicle. 

“I remember one day literally getting a piece of paper out and sketching out a vehicle that combined everything I’d learnt from motorsport technology, kite surfing, and wakeboarding.”

A core-engaging ride

One of Jez’s top considerations when designing the Dragonfly was to create a vehicle which allowed for an active user experience.

Living in London with his hands in crutches and legs in calipers, he realised the necessity of non-traditional modes of transport. But after trialling 15 different brands of push scooters, Jez struggled to find one which offered safety as well as an engaging experience.

D-Fly’s vehicle presents the active solution with front wheel and rear steering that is solely controlled by how the user leans and pushes on the vehicle, along with ultra-low gravity for stability.

When designing the vehicle, Williman says: “It was clear that the vehicle had to feel engaged and sporty. It had to be a workout and most importantly it had to be fun, so that riders were left with that ear-to-ear smile.

“If you ride the vehicle for any length of time, you feel like you’ve had a proper workout as it really engages your core.”

With D-fly, the user opts for ease and excitement. Their first model which began mass production in May, offers a thrilling ride that saves one from caving into the conventional boredom of transport.