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FreZe and Nikrob Parted Ways and Are Now Two Different Companies
Leonard Yankelovich went public about his new brand in April 2021. Apart from DARTZ, he was also in charge of FreZe, a company that would sell a rebadged Wuling Hongguang Mini EV in Europe for €9,999. Distribution was supposed to start in August 2021. Yankelovich told us the plans had been altered, but it was a Facebook post that revealed the full extent of that change: Nikrob and FreZe parted ways.

FreZe and Nikrob Parted Ways and Are Now Two Different Companies

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Nikrob created websites in the UK, Lithuania, Austria, Estonia, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, and Sweden to sell the car. The Facebook post we saw talked about sales in Portugal, but the company’s page has the same text – in English – for Slovakia, Spain, and the Netherlands. It is only written in the local language when it addresses Germany.

When you enter the website, it talks about two options for the electric car: standard, for €13,000 ($13,226 at the current exchange rate), and long-range, for €15,000 ($15,260). While the standard runs up to 200 kilometers (124 miles), the long-range runs 300 km (186 mi).

While the standard has an LFP battery pack with a capacity of 13.8 kWh, the more expensive version presents a 26.5-kWh unit. To hold it, it needs to be longer and roomier than the entry-level, as has also happened with the original Wuling Hongguang Mini EV since September 2021.

The website configurator shows six selections of single-tone body colors: light blue, white, yellow, orange, green, and pink. However, the website exhibits a section with only five picks: green, pink, yellow, white, and dark blue. There are options of a black or white roof, leading the two-tone options to a total of ten. We later discovered this last color catalog might be the most accurate. Among the options for the Nikrob, you can choose between 12-in or 13-in wheels, LED headlights or regular ones, winter or summer tires, and fabric or leather seats.

We tried to contact Nikrob to learn more about the company. Although its CEO is Mykolas Komaras, it was Yvonna Rimsa who replied to our messages. She said the company is already selling the car even in countries with no official distributor. Deliveries cost €350 and happen 90 days after the order is completed. Nikrob offers a 2-year warranty, and test drives only happen in Vilnius, Lithuania, where its headquarters and production site are.

Rimsa sent us a PDF with the car’s configurations. Besides the versions on the website, Nikrob will also sell one called Comfort, which starts at €15,500 ($15,769) but offers the smaller LFP battery pack. The document confirms the color options we discussed above, and the prices do not include the taxes you must pay in each country. If the EV incentives do not help, the Nikrob tends to be more expensive than the website discloses.

Neither Nikrob nor Yankelovich want to discuss their reasons for parting ways. Although it does not seem to have been friendly, nobody seems to wish to take the issue to court. Yankelovich said they were just very different and that the best way to solve this was through good and old competition.

The FreZe (and DARTZ) founder will have three electric models for his new brand: Froggy, Kaiman, and Mojo. They are respectively a cabriolet, a hatchback, and a buggy. Yankelovich promised to show us the pictures of the vehicles soon and said he did not like the idea of badge engineering from the very beginning. Now that Nikrob is not involved, he’ll have new cars. Currently, they are based on the Mini EV, but the FreZe CEO believes he can select one of its Chinese competitors to proceed.

Whatever got these companies apart, the good news is that European customers will have more options. Instead of a FreZe Nikrob, they will be able to choose between FreZe or Nikrob. We’ll keep an eye on them to see how this unfolds.

 Download attachment: Nikrob EV PDF (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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