Urban Transport

Suitcase-sized folding e-scooter goes Lite, rolls for longer

Suitcase-sized folding e-scoot...
Sun Tech says that the eFoldi Lite has been designed for folks with restricted mobility, though anyone can use it
Sun Tech says that the eFoldi Lite has been designed for folks with restricted mobility, though anyone can use it
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Sun Tech says that the eFoldi Lite has been designed for folks with restricted mobility, though anyone can use it
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Sun Tech says that the eFoldi Lite has been designed for folks with restricted mobility, though anyone can use it
The eFoldi Lite can unfold super quick by opening a single latch, releasing a pin and rolling it out
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The eFoldi Lite can unfold super quick by opening a single latch, releasing a pin and rolling it out
The eFoldi Lite tips the scales at 15 kg, but can get down to 12 kg by removing the battery bank and rear wheels
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The eFoldi Lite tips the scales at 15 kg, but can get down to 12 kg by removing the battery bank and rear wheels
The eFoldi Lite tips the scales at just 15 kg
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The eFoldi Lite tips the scales at just 15 kg
The eFoldi Lite's removable battery sits below the rider's feet in the footplate
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The eFoldi Lite's removable battery sits below the rider's feet in the footplate
Sun Tech says that the eFoldi Lite has been designed for folks with restricted mobility, though anyone can use it
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Sun Tech says that the eFoldi Lite has been designed for folks with restricted mobility, though anyone can use it
The eFoldi Lite has a top speed of 6 km/h and a per charge range of up to 22 km
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The eFoldi Lite has a top speed of 6 km/h and a per charge range of up to 22 km
The eFoldi Lite's rear wheels can be removed to reduce unit weight
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The eFoldi Lite's rear wheels can be removed to reduce unit weight
The eFoldi Lite can unfold super quick by opening a single latch, releasing a pin and rolling it out
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The eFoldi Lite can unfold super quick by opening a single latch, releasing a pin and rolling it out
The eFoldi Lite's removable battery sits below the rider's feet in the footplate
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The eFoldi Lite's removable battery sits below the rider's feet in the footplate
On the left, 2016's eFoldi and on the right, the new eFoldi Lite
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On the left, 2016's eFoldi and on the right, the new eFoldi Lite

We've seen a number of folding electric trikes over the years, including 2005's Rider, the adaptable Scuddy, the teeny Trikelet and the suitcase-sized eFoldi. That last one has just had a design refresh that sees it lose weight, gain speed and get a welcome range increase.

The original eFoldi was the work of father and daughter Jianmin and Sumi Wang, and could carry its rider at 4 mph (6 km/h) for up to 6.3 miles (10 km) per charge. It folded down for travel on public transport or to be stowed in the car's trunk, or could be made into a chair when at the cafe.

On the left, 2016's eFoldi and on the right, the new eFoldi Lite
On the left, 2016's eFoldi and on the right, the new eFoldi Lite

Like 2016's electric trike, Sun Tech's new Lite version is taking a Kickstarter route to production, and has already exceeded its funding goal with about two weeks remaining on the campaign clock.

Aimed at users with restricted mobility, but designed for everyone, the eFoldi Lite's 180 W high-torque hub motor and Panasonic Li-ion battery bank should see it trundle along at up to 6 km/h (4 mph) for 22 km (14 mi) per charge. It has a turning radius of one meter (39 in), is made from magnesium alloy body and has two wheels to the rear and one to the front. There's a cushioned seat with high back support, and room for both feet on the short footplate area below, which is also home to the battery pack.

The eFoldi Lite tips the scales at just 15 kg
The eFoldi Lite tips the scales at just 15 kg

All in, the Lite tips the scales at just 15 kg (33 lb) but can carry up to 120 kg (260 lb). The battery bank and rear wheels are removable, so unit weight can go down to 12 kg if necessary, and it's been designed to be airline-friendly.

Stopping power comes courtesy of an electromagnetic braking system, which should also keep the Lite in place on slopes when parked up – and that could be useful given its ability to climb 1 in 5 gradients. It can go all-terrain too, thanks to an 8 cm (3.1 in) ground clearance, though Sun Tech does advise that the Lite is designed for pavement and indoor use.

The Lite can be folded down to 62 x 53 x 31 cm (24 x 21 x 12.5 in) dimensions for transport, and can unfold super quick by opening a single latch, releasing a pin and rolling it out. The e-scooter is waterproof, but a lack of included head and tail lights will mean you will have to add your own if you intend to roll along after sunset.

The eFoldi Lite's removable battery sits below the rider's feet in the footplate
The eFoldi Lite's removable battery sits below the rider's feet in the footplate

Kickstarter pledges for an eFoldi Lite start at £1,199 (about US$1,500), which represents over 50 percent off the suggested retail price. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in December. The video below has more.

Sources: Sun Tech, Kickstarter

eFOLDi Lite: Award Winning Electric Folding Scooter

4 comments
PAV
This is a great design. My only critiques are the lack of lights, and the seat height apears to require too much bend at the knees. Typically a rider is using this because they are having difficulty walking, which can be because of bad knees.
Elizane09
$1500.00 is a lot of money for what you get. I spent $800.00 for my Scout and I can put it in the trunk of my car.
jerryd
With current E rental scooter tech one could just use the front end, motor, controller to pull an epoxy/plywood box with wheels attached to the side and a seat on top. I you make the front end so it can tilt it can take curves amazingly fast I've had 3 so far that way, so would be a wheelchair of 14mph or so you can just ride into work, home. If the box isn't enough load space, no reason why it can't tow a bike trailer. I guess I'm going to hit the police auctions for building supplies!
ljaques
Considering that the original efoldi is going for $2,767USD now, I like this price better. I agree with others that it should have a lighting kit installed. A 3 watt LED up front and a pair of motorcycle tail lights in the back wouldn't have added more than a pound to the overall weight, and it would make the scooter a lot more safe all day, every day. For $10-15, it should be done by the owner ASAP. Given the taller steering column and seat back, people with weak knees shouldn't have any problem getting down to (or back up from) the seat. Padding looks sparse, tho. I wonder if they did away with the faster speed choice due to giddy seniors running down pedestrians. ;)