Audi takes a one-handed approach to last mile e-scooting
There are many electric kickscooters to buy or hire and, with a few notable exceptions such as the Uno Bolt Mini and the CityRabbit, they pretty much all follow the same basic design blueprint. They have two wheels, a deck that's home to a battery bank, a rear hub motor and a T-shaped handlebar column. Audi's new e-tron Scooter is a little different, sporting four wheels and a one hand-friendly triangular steering handle.
Audi's electric scooter folds up like most of the last mile e-scooters already available, and can be pulled along like a trolley when not in use, or stowed away in the trunk of your brand new electric Audi. But the company is promising a ride experience similar to surfing, but on the streets.
This feeling comes courtesy of the skateboard-like wheel configuration, where steering is undertaken by riders shifting their weight, with movable axles catering for "unusually tight curves."
Both hands can be placed on the triangular steering handle, which holds the e-scooter's battery and electronics, but the design also allows for one-handed operation so riders can use the other hand to give hand signals or to wave to friends as they zip past. An integrated display shows battery level status, and acceleration and braking is achieved by twisting the handle's grip. The e-scooter recovers kinetic energy when braking this way, though there is a hydraulic foot brake too.
Range per charge is reported to be up to 20 km (12.5 mi), depending on riding style, and users could get all the way up to 20 km/h (12.5 mph). The deck will come in either wood or carbon, and the 26 lb (11.8 kg) e-scooter will be fitted with LED lights, shaping up as a headlight, daytime running light, rear light and brake light. It will also come Bluetooth ready, allowing for anti-theft measures and parameter tweaking through an app.
The Audi e-tron Scooter is just a concept for the moment, but production is slated to start at the end of next year. The expected price is around €2,000 (about US$2,240), though Audi is open to fleet use and may include it as an option for e-tron car buyers – with the e-scooter charging in the trunk through a dedicated socket.