An electric scooter can make your commute fun and fast. Zoom past pedestrians and bicycles, then fold down the scooter (in seconds flat!) and lift it into your car, bus, or train. Problem is, even folding electric scooters weigh a lot -- up to 35 pounds (15kg). That's why the new Emicro One is so exciting.
Available this February for the same about-$1,000 price (about £750 or AU$1,500) as most other high-end electric scooters you can buy, the Emicro One isn't one of those big, heavy machines. It weighs far less at just 16.5 pounds, and it's comparatively tiny.
In fact, it doesn't look much like an electric scooter at all. There's no power button, no throttle or brake levers, because the Emicro One doesn't need them. You just push off with your foot, and the motor built into the rear wheel comes to life automatically for up to 10 seconds. Kick again, or just pull the handlebars toward you quickly, and it'll keep on trucking. It travels at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour (25kmh), and boasts a range of 7.5 miles (12km) on a charge.
Plus, it's got regenerative braking built into that rear wheel -- so efficient, the company claims, that you could fully charge a dead battery in just 15 minutes of constant downhill. (Not that you'd ever ride a scooter down a hill that tall.)
Other innovations include fancy new tires that are both soft on the inside and hard on the outside, so you get some cushion going over bumps, and the option to turn off the electric motor completely just by tapping your foot on the rear brake three times. (If your local authorities aren't too fond of electric scooters, you can turn it into a normal kick-scooter pretty quickly.)
I rode the scooter around the Sands Expo here at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, and my first impressions were pretty positive. It's easy to ride, with nice spacious, comfy handlebars that offer plenty of control. And it's definitely way easier to carry than others I've tried. Just make sure you don't turn the wheel too quickly at too slow a speed -- I ate dirt twice while we were shooting the video you can watch at the top of this page.