If you've ever found yourself rolling your suitcase through the airport and wishing your luggage was self-propelled, Portland, Oregon-based BOXX has something they'd like to sell you. The company's first production electric scooter is just about a meter (39 inches) long and looks like an odd sort of cross between a piece of retro luggage and a giant-sized camera. It promises to move you up to 80 miles (129 km) on a single charge at a top speed of 35 mph (56 km/h) and comes with a price tag starting just under US$4,000.
The cost seems likely to turn off all but a certain type of customer, but nobody ever said being part of the eco-hip elite was cheap. If you want to have that 80-mile range you'll actually need to upgrade by plunking down an extra $500 for a "Core2" system, which is essentially an extra battery pack.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
The basic unit fully charges in about four hours, but another upgrade is offered for $349 that gets you a 1-hour charger.
If you're really tight on cash but absolutely plan to be riding this strange contraption around by 2014, you can order now for that future production run and save $255 on the total cost of the bike.
The BOXX was introduced last week at the Portland International Auto Show and is the design of BOXX founder Eric Vaughn, who started his career in television, eventually working as a visual designer for the series Stargate and earning Emmy nominations before returning to his native Oregon where he eventually wound up in the world of vehicle start-ups.
If the BOXX looks a bit dorky, Vaughn says it's meant to be that way, although he uses the word "non-intimidating." The idea is to attract a wider array of riders, including women and seniors.
A few other interesting aspects of the BOXX - Vaughn claims it's the world's first all-wheel-drive two wheel vehicle, there's storage space for a few grocery bags, and with no gas or oil, it's light and clean enough to store inside a small apartment.
If you're sold, Vaughn says he's ready to sell one to you. BOXX is now taking orders on its website.View gallery - 6 images