Push scooters have waxed and waned in popularity throughout the decades, but mostly remained a toy for children. Now, lightweight batteries and motors may make the humble scooter a common way of getting to work, especially in traffic-clogged towns and cities.
The latest example, rising up on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, is the ElectricMood, an electric scooter designed as last-mile transportation, from train or bus to the office.
A key ingredient to this type of personal transportation is portability. The ElectricMood weighs in at 22 pounds (10kg), making it luggable up and down subway stairs. Photos for the project show a hinge where the front wheel mount meets the riding platform, allowing the ElectricMood to fold into a more compact form. As a little bit of genius, casters mounted at the front of the riding platform let you drag the folded ElectricMood around like a rolly suitcase.
The riding deck, wide enough to stand on with your feet next to each other, seems to hold the battery pack. That pack powers a 500-watt brushless hub motor in the rear wheel, alleviating any need for belts or chains. ElectricMood claims a modest 12 miles of range and top speed of 15.5 mph, both figures completely fine for this type of transportation, as you generally would not want to go much faster than 10 mph on crowded streets.
As we found in testing the, ride quality is very important if you're going to ride for a mile or more. The ElectricMood design looks promising, as it uses 12-inch pneumatic wheels, which should provide a comfortable ride and be relatively safe when going over potholes. There is no sprung suspension on this scooter, however.
Taking a cue from the latest bicycle engineering, the ElectricMood uses disc brakes front and rear. Other features include an LCD charge gauge and speedometer, and integrated LCD lights on the front and back, for safety when riding at night.
The bad news is that ElectricMood will cost $1,199, which is around £785, when it goes into full production. The Indiegogo campaign is offering 50 Early Bird Specials at $795, another 50 at $845 and 100 for $995. That price includes shipping to Europe or the US.
Crowdfunding campaigns can be a gamble, but the technology behind the ElectricMood all seems reasonable, especially at the price.