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