Electric scooters are seemingly omnipresent these days, largely thanks to scooter-sharing companies like Bird and Lime. But just because the ubiquitous form of the modern electric scooter is everywhere doesn’t mean that’s how they should really look.
As it turns out, there’s a better way.
At least that’s what a team from consulting firm Teague claims, and their mock up looks pretty darn convincing.
As you can see from the image below, the first thing they’ve done is switch from a standing scooter to a seated scooter format.
Not only does that make the vehicle more stable by lowering the center of gravity, but it also lowers the rider’s line of sight closer to that of other pedestrians. That helps remove the psychological imbalance similar to that of SUV drivers towering over other cars.
Instead of having scooter riders flying a head taller than pedestrians (an issue made even more severe by large and powerful electric scooters with more ground clearance), seated electric scooters help put everyone on a more level field — literally.
Next, the scooter’s wheel size has been significantly increased.
Many electric scooters have wheels in the 7-8.5″ range. While some electric scooters are starting to embrace larger diameter wheels, they are still a rarity. Larger wheels help improve ride safety and comfort by more easily overcoming obstacles in their path.
In addition to improved safety, other features have been added to improve utility.
A bag hook is provided under the seat, which helps fill the negative space and take advantage of the open frame design. It also takes the weight of a bag off of the rider’s shoulders and reduces the center of gravity of the vehicle. New riders on standing electric scooters can sometimes be thrown off by the extra weight of a heavy bag on their back, and removing the bag-balancing-act entirely can help prevent such single-rider accidents.
The bag hook is designed to lock when the kickstand is up, which both secures the bag and encourages riders to park the scooter correctly (i.e. not on its side). If you want your bag back, you’ll have to park the scooter on its kickstand.
That kickstand, by the way, appears to be a double kickstand. That would reduce the chance of the scooter tipping over, and is a design that has recently been embraced by some other popular shared electric scooters.
A rear rack has also been added to carry various-shaped objects and for cases where the rider doesn’t come with his or her own bag.
While I enjoy a certain thrill that standing electric scooters offer, I definitely prefer seated electric scooters for longer trips.
Not only are they more comfortable, but they simpler feel more stable and less stressful to ride. I enjoy standing scooters for the same reason I enjoy riding horses — they can be exciting and sometimes unpredictable. But I also don’t commute on a horse for the very same reason.
The seated electric scooter with larger wheels and built-in storage solutions seems to me like the natural evolution of the electric scooter. Bird has already gone part of the way there with its electric mopeds, but I think I like Teague’s version even better as a more utilitarian option.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
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