Hyundai has just released details on the company’s newest electric vehicle. But this is no electric car — it’s an electric scooter!
Hyundai isn’t the first car company to get into the electric scooter game.
But Hyundai’s new electric scooter is unique in that it is designed to truly complement the car as an on-board, last-mile solution.
Hyundai electric scooter
The small electric scooter folds up into something the size of a briefcase and mounts onto a Hyundai or Kia vehicle. According to the company, it is charged from electricity generated while driving. That’s presumably electricity generated while braking via regenerative braking, though the company is light on detailed tech specs.
As Hyundai describes the lightweight scooter:
Weighing around 7.7 kg (17 lb), the scooter is highly portable, while its unique and compact tri-folding design means it is lighter and more compact than any similar product. Enhancing its usability further, it features a digital display that shows battery status and speed; while, for nighttime riding, the new scooter is equipped with two stylishly curved front LED headlights, and two rear tail lamps.
The Hyundai electric scooter features a rear wheel hub motor and is designed to travel at speeds up to 20 km/h (12 mph). Not blisteringly fast, but still faster than electric scooters in some countries.
Of course you can still buy faster scooters on Amazon for not much more than $200 these days, but they don’t fold up as small as a Hyundai electric scooter, that’s for sure.
Hyundai claims that the electric scooter should be capable of a range of 20 km (12 miles), thanks to its 10.5 Ah battery.
It also has built-in lights, which are important for night riding, of course. I always prefer electric scooters that come with a nice light suite.
According to DongJin Hyun, head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Team:
This is the vehicle-mounted personal scooter that could be featured in future Hyundai Motor Group vehicles. We want to make our customers’ lives as easy and enjoyable as possible. Our personal electric scooter makes first- and last-mile commuting a joy, while helping to reduce congestion and emissions in city centers.
I think it’s too soon to tell whether this is a gimmick or a real solution that Hyundai is pursuing.
In theory, I think it makes a lot of sense. Being able to park on the outskirts of a city and ride in on an electric scooter has a huge number of benefits. In general, I’m all for this idea of equipping cars with their own last-mile solutions.
This execution leaves something to be desired though. Sure, the speed is a bit slow, though I could live with that. I’m talking more about those wheels. They look barely bigger than my fist. I think some of my electric skateboards might have larger wheels, to be honest. At least one of them surely does.
A true city commuter needs to have large-enough wheels to not stumble on sidewalk cracks or medium-sized potholes. I’d hate to hit a pothole on this scooter — it looks like I’d go flying.
So I give Hyundai an A for effort and a C+ for execution. The foundation is there, but the scooter needs some tweaks.
To see it in action, check out Hyundai’s video below.
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