While there has been a huge amount innovation in light electric vehicles over the last few years, such as 60 mph (97 km/h) electric bicycles and 400 mi (644 km) range electric tricycles, most of the innovation has been in performance – not design. Until now, that is.
Here’s a wacky new electric scooter design that has been finding a surprising amount of success around the world.
“What am I looking at?” you may be asking yourself.
This little EV is the MIKU MAX, and it’s something of a hybrid between a standup electric scooter and an electric moped, sans pedals of course.
Produced by the Chinese electric vehicle company Jiangsu Xinri E-Vehicle Co., Ltd., more commonly known to us Westerners as “SUNRA”, the MIKU MAX is already popular in its home country.
SUNRA is an EV powerhouse in China, employing 5,000 workers including over 500 engineers across 6 domestic production facilities. The company produces 4 million EVs annually, including electric scooters like the MIKU MAX as well as other e-bikes, e-scooters and full size electric cars.
The MIKU MAX is single-seater electric scooter with a distinctive “C” shaped steel frame. The scooter’s 800W rear hub motor is sufficient to reach speeds of 45 km/h (28 mph). The MIKU MAX also includes a 60V, 20Ah detachable lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 1.2 kWh. Charge time from 0-100% capacity is 4 hours.
The 9 kg (20 lb) battery is sufficient for 60 km (37 mi) of range and is rated for 1,000 complete charge cycles.
In addition, front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, dual suspension and a digital display meter round out the list of features.
At 70 kg (154 lbs) without the battery, the MIKU MAX is a hefty scooter. All the more reason it has a removable battery, so a rider can leave it parked on the curb while charging the battery from an indoor outlet.
While the MIKU MAX costs closer to $700 in China, the price is a fair bit higher in Russia at approximately $1,300 after export.
So far there isn’t a US importer for the MIKU MAX, but it is apparently possible to buy the vehicles directly from China. Though that’s probably an adventure best left for the brave – especially considering the Trump Administration’s growing trade war affecting electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles imported from China.
If you’d like to get on an electric scooter sooner (and prefer something a little more traditional looking), we did a rundown of the electric scooter and moped options currently available in the US.
It looks weird.
It probably feels weird.
But for some reason, I kind of like it.
Look at all that space – you could use it for all kinds of things that a normal electric bicycle, scooter or moped wouldn’t allow you to do.
Add a bungee net on either side and you’ve got a serious cargo bay for moving stuff around. Plus, its open rear means you could probably carry long and weird shaped things too. Need to a move a potted plant? Or a step ladder? Here’s a light EV that could probably do it.
Plus, if you wanted more than the 60 km (37 mi) of range that SUNRA advertises, look at all the space you could fill with auxiliary batteries! As someone who has spent years building my own custom Li-ion battery packs, I’m just drooling over the possibilities that such a large space available so low on the vehicle could provide. I could fill that thing with batteries and travel halfway across the US on a single charge… if I could just get one of these scooters to the US, that is.
What about you? Do you love it or hate it? Let us know in the comments below!