September 1, 2019 weblog
Hyundai scooter prototype to woo last-mile city riders
If the active and the restless in cities today want to go places as efficiently and emissions free as possible, then we can see why there are such warm fuzzies around the concept of the last-mile scooter. Transportation-watcher Sebastian Blanco in Forbes said one can always be ready to go "after you drive as close as you can to your destination and scoot the rest of the way."
Hyundai had no problem recently winning eyes on their new prototype scooter for that reason. It's foldable in a compact tri-folding design and, as an on-board scooter, is meant to integrate with future cars from Kia and Hyundai.
You store it in the car until you are ready to complete your trip on the scooter. This last-mile "on-board" electric scooter is meant to integrate with future Kia and Hyundai cars. To top up the trek to work or meetings, the scooter, when mounted to a Hyundai or Kia vehicle, gets charged through electricity produced while driving.
The scooter has a 12.4-mile range, and a 12.4 mph top speed. It has a 10.5 Ah lithium battery. The scooter weighs 7.7kg (16.9 lbs).
A video titled "Last mile mobility for the future, Hyundai·Kia 'Vehicle-mounted electric scooter' revealed" shows a cartoon rendering of a red car pulling up with a scooter neatly tucked away. The model fixes her smartphone to the scooter and she's off.
Yes, this is a prototype. The scooter has a digital display that shows its battery status and speed. Riding at night? The scooter has two front headlights and two rear tail lamps.
DongJin Hyun, Head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Team: "Our personal electric scooter makes first- and last-mile commuting a joy, while helping to reduce congestion and emissions in city centers."
Nonetheless, Hyundai seems to have had scooters versus bumps at least on its mind. Jon Fingas told his Engadget readers that "The new version includes some functional tweaks. It moves from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive to improve stability, and suspension at the front should provide a less jarring experience on bumpy surfaces."
Fingas also stepped into a bigger picture view: "Like Audi, Hyundai is faced with a changing transportation landscape where people will use multiple methods to reach their destinations." Electrek's reaction was similar with regard to the big picture: "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."
Where Elektrek expressed concern, though, was, just like that reader comment in Engadget, whether one could manage potholes, and also noted a matter of small wheels. "Sure, the speed is a bit slow, though I could live with that. I'm talking more about those wheels," said Micah Toll. "They look barely bigger than my fist...A true city commuter needs to have large-enough wheels to not stumble on sidewalk cracks or medium-sized potholes."
What's next: Further potential development. According to the company site, plans are to install a regenerative braking system to increase the scooter's range by 7 percent.
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