“Urban mobility” is one of the trendiest automaker buzzwords of the moment, and Volkswagen offered one take on the idea at the Shanghai Motor Show. The E-Scooter concept is an electric scooter that could launch in China in 2012.
According to Autocar, the E-Scooter has a 350-watt electric motor and nickel-metal-hydride battery, which can be removed to be charged indoors. The scooter weighs 44 pounds without batteries, and should be able to travel up to 40 miles at up to 30 mph on a single charge. Future upgrades may include regenerative braking, LED lights, a leather saddle, and lithium-ion batteries.
Autocar reports that Volkswagen will either sell the E-Scooter directly to consumers, or make them available for lease from hubs at train stations and shopping malls — similar to existing bicycle rental systems or the Zipcar car sharing service. A trial version of the E-Scooter will be deployed somewhere in China in 2012, and if the testing phase is successful, Volkswagen could roll the scooter out in other global markets. It could be priced under $1000.
Electric two-wheeled vehicles have become incredibly popular of late: the 2010 Paris Motor Show saw the debut of the Smart Escooter concept and the Mini Scooter E Concept, and BMW touted the C1 E Electric back in 2009. Whether the concept fad will translate into real-world production models remains to be seen.
Sources: Volkswagen, Autocar