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Hyundai patent application hints at upcoming Ioniq electric scooter

Will Hyundai offer a foldable e-scooter to complement its Ioniq Electric car? Maybe.

Hyundai Ioniq Scooter concept

During its CES 2017 presentation, Hyundai casually showcased an Ioniq electric scooter to complement its Ioniq Hybrid and Electric cars… and never mentioned it again. Until last Friday when the automaker filed a patent application (PDF) for a very familiar-looking scooter.

The battery-powered Ioniq scooter that we saw two years ago was operated with either a foot pad or a thumb switch and folded down compactly when not in use for easy carrying via a shoulder strap or handle. The collapsed scooter could even be slotted into the Ioniq's door pocket where it would be automatically recharged with energy from the car's battery pack. The idea is that the e-scooter would serve as last-mile transportation for Ioniq drivers to and from their car and for use around urban areas that cars can't access.

The patent application shows an identical folding mechanism and door storage capacity, but doesn't specifically mention whether it can be charged by a host car. This of course raises the question of why it took Hyundai so long to file this patent.

I've been asking Hyundai about this e-scooter concept at every opportunity over the past two years and have only gotten tight lips and sheepish grins in response. Does this new application mean the automaker is finally getting around to building the Ioniq scooter or is it just covering its intellectual property bases with the patent? I'm crossing my fingers for the former.