Groover e-scooter pops its handlebars for easy charging
Electric kick scooters are 10 for a penny these days, with everything from fat-tired rollers to odd-looking tubular creations making eyes at your wallet. Even big names like Peugeot and BMW have muscled into the party. Austria's Groover has something a little different on offer though, a kick scooter that has its battery cells in the steering column. This can be popped out between rides for charging convenience.
Groover says that by placing the 24 V/9 Ah Li-ion batteries and electronics in the carbon fiber/aluminum steering column, instead of under the deck, users will only have to carry about 2 kg (4.4 lb) to the wall outlet instead of lugging the whole 8 kg kick scooter. The fiber-glass reinforced nylon footboard – which may have accumulated dirt and mud during your travels – can be locked and left in the car or on the street.
The kick scooter won't work without the steering column, essentially making it an awkward, two-wheeled, effectively dead skateboard that should be less attractive to passing thieves.
The footboard is described as flexing like a ski, which explains the lack of bump-smoothing suspension in the design. Groover has 20-inch wheels, with the front wheel being home to a 24 V/200 W hub motor that's promised to get riders up to a top speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), while the batteries are reported good for 20 km (12 mi) per charge. Regen motor braking could eke out a bit more range though, as well as giving the mechanical rear brake very little to do.
The handlebar has everything a rider needs to speed up and slow down, alert others to get out of the way and can even charge mobile devices over USB. Rather than having a tiny display up top to show speed and battery level, Groover has opted for a colored LED ring to provide visual status information. Naturally, there'll also be a companion mobile app for configuring ride settings and checking status. And finally, the kick scooters has front and rear safety lights and reflectors.
Groover is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter, where pledges start at €499 (about US$585). If all goes to plan, shipping is expected to start in April 2018. The pitch video below has more on the project.