Audi Unveils e-tron Electric Scooter, Skateboard Combo
Luxury automaker is entering the booming e-scooter market. The company revealed today a new electric scooter/skateboard called the e-tron Scooter, which combines the power of a battery-powered scooter with the agility of a traditional skateboard.
Production and sales are planned for 2020.
Audi is responding to the urban trend towards multi-modal mobility with scooter-sharing startups filling cities with electric scooters as a way to ease traffic congestion in cities and provide a convenient last-mile mode of transportation.
The shared e-scooter business model allows a rider to use a smartphone app to unlock a nearby scooter, hop on, and go. Riders are charged by the minute after paying a small fee to unlock the e-scooter. When they are done with a trip the scooters can be parked on the sidewalk.
Audi says the e-tron Scooter is designed for sporty riders. Weighing just 26 pounds, the lightweight scooter folds neatly and is designed to provide last-mile mobility. The handle allows the scooter to be pulled like a rolling suitcase. The e-tron Scooter can fit in the back of a vehicle or carried on a bus or train.
The e-tron Scooter folds for easy transport.
Unlike a regular e-scooter where the rider faces forward and steers using handlebars like a bicycle, the e-tron scooter is ridden more like a skateboard, with the riders feet facing towards the side.
Instead of handlebars the e-tron scooter has a handle allowing the rider to control the scooter with their feet by shifting their weight, leaving one arm free for signaling turns, which makes it a bit safer in urban areas.
The steering handle gives stability, holds the battery and the electronics, and carries a display showing the current battery level. Riders accelerate and brake with one hand, by means of a twist grip on the handle.
Audi says the rider experience of the e-tron Scooter is like "surfing waves."
The scooter has a 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) range, which is achieved through the recuperation of kinetic energy when braking, just like with an electric car. The e-tron scooter also has a hydraulic foot brake for additional safety. Top speed of the e-tron scooter is 20 km/h (12.5 mph).
"With the Audi e-tron Scooter, we appeal to customers who are on the move in cities, sustainably and multi-modally – and for whom style and functionality are important," said Thorsten Schrader, project manager for micro-mobility at Audi in a statement.
"Although riders keep one hand on the handlebar, they control the scooter like a skateboard with their feet by shifting their weight. The movable axles with four wheels allow unusually tight curves. "Of course the e-tron Scooter also moves straight ahead. But the feeling of flow only comes when you start carving on asphalt – and that is surprisingly easy with our new concept."
Audi is considering offering the e-scooter to customers who buy Audi e-tron models. The e-scooter could be charged in the car trunk through a dedicated socket, keeping it charged and ready to go.
The Audi e-tron Scooter is fitted with the legally required safety features, including LED lighting, daytime running lights, headlight, tail light and brake light.
A Bluetooth interface allows a rider to make some adjustments to the ride characteristics and provides protection against theft.
Customers will be able to buy the Audi e-tron Scooter for about 2,000 euros ($2,244).
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