See ya, Segway! We've got a suitcase electric scooter now

A designer with sports car design street cred creates a sleek, easy-to-pack electric scooter for commuters.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
MUV-e scooter
Better dry-clean your "Tron" suit. Amir Zaid

Segway scooters are still kind of cool, but they have the disadvantage of being big. It's a bit difficult to just pack one up, take it on your morning public transportation commute, and then saddle up to ride it to the office. Israeli designer Amir Zaid is thinking smaller than Segway when it comes to his all-electric MUV-e scooter. It's small enough to fold up into a suitcase-size bundle.

Zair's resume includes design work for Ferrari and Fiat, so you know the MUV-e isn't going to look like other scooters. It has three wheels and lots of rounded edges. There's even a bit of a Tron aesthetic at work here in looking at the renderings for the final product. Dare I say, it looks a little sporty? Not at all like this boxy scooter we saw recently.

While the MUV-e doesn't have Segway's self-balancing wow factor, it will weigh between 25 and 30 pounds, go about 10 miles on a charge, and hit speeds up to 15 miles per hour. The scooter has an expected price tag of $2,000 for the base model, going up to $3,000 for a fancier model with a larger battery capacity and customizable look.

The MUV-e also won't have much of a learning curve for operators.

"We didn't want it to be awkward or force people to get used to gyroscopes or strange mechanisms," Zaid told online news magazine Israel21c. Operators can connect their MUV-e scooters to their smartphones to monitor battery charge, speed, and navigation.

Zaid's idea is becoming a reality partly due to a software investment from Autodesk through its Clean Tech Partner Program. The MUV-e is in working prototype form at this point. Perhaps its lower price tag and portability will attract customers whom Segway couldn't sway.

MUV-e all folded up.
Portability is a big feature of the MUV-e. Amir Zaid

(Via Israel21c)