While we’re sitting here stewing in all our first world problems, half the people in the world are trying their hardest to eke out a bare existence with a meager $2.50 a day. While we piss and moan about not having enough investing opportunities for the coming age of artificial intelligence, other people are just worried about finding their next meal. For Americans in particular, having a car is pretty much mandatory, and the type of car you drive can even imply your social status. In most other countries though, the petrol cost alone is a deterrent to car ownership so people often ride motorcycles or scooters, like in Vietnam for example:
The above picture was taken in Ho Chi Minh City where the population is 8.4 million and the number of scooters and motorcycles is 7.4 million. These people don’t give a flying fcuk about a new electric car that helps save the environment, they just want powered transportation that is cheap to use as possible. While it’s unlikely that they’ll be adopting electric scooters anytime soon, as lithium battery technology improves, there will be some point where electric scooters become cheaper than gas powered scooters. This picture does a great job of showing you how much maintenance one requires versus the other:
The above picture was taken from a leading electric motorbike company we highlighted in a recent article titled “7 Electric Motorcycles You Can Buy From Startups Today“. If you missed that article, you’ll want to read it because we found the fastest motorcycle in the world. Now we’re going to move on to talk about electric scooters. What we found were quite a few companies in Europe and plenty spread around the world. While this is not a comprehensive list, we picked out a good mix of 8 electric scooters to show you what’s out there.
Bolt Mobility – Netherlands
We’re going to draw a line in the sand with this first electric scooter produced by Bolt Mobility in the Netherlands who raised $1.23 million in a successful crowdfunding campaign late last year. Their electric scooter is called the AppScooter® or the ‘Dutch Tesla on Two Wheels‘. At a base price of $3,206, the AppScooter has a 248 mile range, can go zero to 28 mph in just 3.3 seconds, accommodates your smart phone in a 7-inch digital dashboard, and can fit a full crate of beer (65 litres) for when you get thirsty on the road. Feast your eyes on this thing for a second:
As cool as this electric scooter looks, regular readers will know just how unreliable crowdfunding campaigns can be with some just not delivering at all. Nonetheless, Bolt Mobility is now raising additional funds from investors to really give this thing a go. It’s easy to see the value preposition in a smart scooter with specifications like this one. Let’s see if they can deliver now.
Current Motor Company – USA
Founded in 2009, Michigan startup Current Motor Company has taken in $700k in funding to design and manufacture industrial-strength electric scooters. The Nb Electric Cargo Motorcycle is a heavy-duty bike that can carry 450 lbs, has a top speed of 70 mph, and gets up to 50 miles per charge. Without gears, belts, or chains, the Nb has impressively low maintenance requirements. Right now, Current Motor is marketing their Mini-Fleet-in-a-Box, a package of 4 Nb Electric Cargo Motorcycles nested inside a nifty NB Solar Charging Station for an undisclosed price. The entire package is transported road, rail, sea, or air around the country with the mission of giving couriers and other industries an all-in-one chance to invest in a solar-powered electric transportation method.
Gogoro – USA
Founded in 2011, San Francisco-based startup Gogoro has raised $180 million to build the ultimate electric scooter. The Gogoro S “smartscooter” is an impressively fast and sporty scooter initially launched in Taipei, Taiwan. The company encourages buyers to treat “green lights like launch pads,” taking off from 0 – 30 mph in under four seconds. Gogoro uses words like “power” and “stealth” to sell its glossy, black motorcycle, and though the patented aluminum Aeroframe is light and strong, powdered in graphite gray, the vehicle is also “smart.”
Gogoro’s SmartBrite lights are efficient and intuitive, lighting paths behind upcoming corners, which you can take at up to 60 mph (if you dare) for up to 60 miles on a single charge. Other smart features include Apple and Android connectivity, auto dim headlights, low energy mode, automatic error reporting through a downloadable smartphone app, and an automatic on/off turn signal. Gogoro has sold over 4,000 units in Taipei, and is currently working its way through regulations to roll into the United States. The base model will set you back about $4,000 and apparently it comes in 3.9 million unique configurations.
Scutum – Catalonia
Founded in 2011, Catalonian startup Scutum has taken in $5.26 million to market the S02 AMU, an electric, urban scooter designed for police and other municipal officers, as well as couriers. Though Scutum chose to market their S02 Police model directly to law enforcement agents, the specs are appealing to a much wider audience. The model’s appearance is heavier and stronger than other electric motorcycles, and it has the strength to carry up to 390 lbs so it could be sold to most Americans. Despite its sturdiness, the S02 still has a top speed of 40 mph, and the battery pack is charged with a built-in charger. Scutum’s motorcycles are offered with an option of 4 or 6 kWh of battery power with a 45 – 75 mile range per charge. According to a review by O2W.uk, the bike is selling for about $7,000 and is presently being used by Amazon.com for deliveries in the UK.
Ather Energy – India
Founded in 2013, Bangalore-based startup Ather Energy has taken in $40 million to design and sell a premium electric scooter into the Indian market. Ather’s smart scooter has a built-in touchscreen dashboard integrated with vehicle firmware, and synced with the cloud. Ather’s S340 model boasts features like a connected touchscreen dashboard, a smart LED headlamp, and a top speed of 43 mph: The S340 only has a range of about 40 miles on its lithium-ion battery, but the battery itself can recharge up to 90 percent within an hour. Going from 0-40 in 12 seconds, the Ather S340 is built for practicality over speed. The S340 is not going to be sold through dealerships, but will be delivered to your door through online sales for an undisclosed price.
NIU – China
Hong Kong based Niu has managed to raise $20 million to develop two families of electric scooters that are connected and smart. They also played in crowdfunding with impressive results. Niu had the largest pre-sale in China history selling almost $11 million of the below scooter in just 15 days.
There are 4 models of M1 with different battery sizes offering a range of 50 to 120 km (31 to 75 miles), priced from $490 to $936 (Chinese prices of course). The M-1 should be available in China in the next few months.
Since we have a foreign correspondent in Hong Kong, we may have to pop by and see if we can get this thing to pop a wheelie or two.
Unu Motors – Germany
How beautiful is that bike all decked out in matte black and cognac leather? So the fully decked out unit seen above will set you back about $3,163 USD for those of you who are too lazy to go open up www.xe.com. You can also cruise the streets of Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna on these scooters as since they’re now available in Austria, France and the Netherlands.
GenZe – USA
Founded in 2012, Fremont California startup GenZe has taken in an undisclosed amount of funding to develop an electric bike and an electric scooter. GenZe is actually part of the Mahindra Group, one of India’s largest companies. At a price point of $3,000, the scooter comes packed with some impressive features like a removable 1.6 kWh battery, a 4-digit access code ignition, a decent sized trunk, and full integration with your smart phone. Here are the rest of the specs for the Genze 2.0:
While not technically a scooter, GenZe is also selling an e-bike with a removable battery that charges in 4 hours, a speed of up to 20 mph, and a range of up to 18 miles. At a price point of $1,499, it’s a pretty cost effective mode of transport:
Go ahead and order one on Amazon today so you can start feeling better about yourself for hogging all of the Earth’s resources.
So there you have 8 electric scooters for adults that are street legal and fit for the road (and one bike). While these price points are still far from accessible for your average Vietnamese person, at least we’re moving in the right direction.
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