This may not look like much but it is already there. The day of the inexpensive electric scooter is coming and their convenience will drive the market. Until now, scooters have not been really convenient because of the gas powered regime. As electrics they make suburban and urban living easily more convenient than cranking up the car for short trips.
My daughter who is an assistant building inspector for the City of Vancouver is using an electric scooter as a pilot project for the city and has found it extremely handy, you can visit their scooter website here to find more about them.
It also becomes an excellent alternative for that five minute commute to Starbucks from your home and that is certainly far better than hauling a ton of car out of your driveway. Even better it disturbs no one.
Superior electric bikes are also becoming available for those who want the option of exercise, but then that is always technically much more challenging. Actually, I think it is time to get rid of the whole chin rigging for bicycles and replace it with a simple electric using super magnets and with a drive pedal system that operates a charging rotor with super magnets in combination with a rechargeable battery pack.
It would be easy to adjust the loading to match demand if that is desired or not.
An Electric Scooter That’s Made More Naturally
Electric scooters, with their small physical footprint and non-gas powered drivetrain, are pretty good for the planet right? Sure, but there’s always room for improvement, especially when you consider what toxic materials were likely used to construct the two wheeled vehicle beneath your butt. That’s where the Amsterdam-based design studio Waarmakers comes in, recently unveiling for sustainable mobility company Van.EkoBe.e, a scooter mostly made from “natural fibre-reinforced composites” (NFCs) or, more simply put, mostly made from good old Mother Nature.
The Be.e, noted the designers, is a frameless, bio-composite electric scooter with a monocoque body made from flex and bio-resin. It doesn’t get much more complex than that. The vehicle’s external skin is of a unique construction that “supports the load, similar to an eggshell, eliminating the need for a frame and the usual numerous plastic panels.” This exterior, more natural shell is believed to be so tough that Van.Eko has put behind it a four year warranty.
In choosing what materials would go into the scooter’s frame, Van.Eko pointed out that while even common plastics found in other scooters come from natural sources in a sense, they are derived from crude oil where once a tree, a plant or an animal. However, it took over a million years to convert these organic origins into oil, to then manipulate the oil in refiners to make the base materials for current plastics. In the case of NFCs we use organic material of modern provenance. So the materials we use took just one harvesting season to be created, we then manipulate these resources to be made into a durable material and use it in a scooter that will be around for another 10 years or more before we return the materials into the resource cycle.
Specifications of Be.e indicate a maximum speed of 55 km/h (34 MPH) and a maximum range of 80 km (49 miles) if the scooter is driven an average of 25 km/h (15 MPH). It operates on a 48V 40AH battery, according to Inhabitat, and has “the option of a second battery that is able to be installed and juiced by a 600W charger.” It also sports a 4kW electric motor.
Other features of note include USB charging sockets, a smartphone holder, cruise control and “boost function.” Be.e is currently in prototype mode, and is envisioned for riding around the streets of Europe.