Barq brings some high-end style to its Rena Max electric scooter
Abu Dhabi startup Barq is set to begin manufacturing an attractive, highway-capable electric scooter tailored to the unique needs of Middle-Eastern and North African (MENA) delivery riders. What's more, the Rena Max looks like a two-wheeled Gucci bag.
Specifically, I'm thinking something like the GG Marmont small shoulder bag. The dark leather and quilted diagonal matelassé print would match Barq's ornate Callum-designed look quite nicely, if the team at the Gooch were to size and structure those babies up as pannier bags. I'm not saying this is happening, I'm just putting ideas out there folks.
Spunky though it may look, this is a delivery platform first and foremost. Barq developed the concept in partnership with Saudi delivery platform Jahez, and Kuwaiti food group Americana, which operates over 1,200 food and beverage outlets in the MENA region including KFC, Pizza Hut, Hardees and Krispy Kreme. Perfect food to be pulling out of Gucci panniers, if you ask me.
Or, I guess, the delivery box Barq is building. It's an electronically lockable box, with temperature control, insulation and configurable shelving, and it logs and tracks every time the box is opened and closed, to ensure that your wicked wings and original glazed donuts travel in warhead-grade security as well as climate-controlled comfort and a degree of style normally reserved for the small dogs of rich socialites.
Barq CEO and Founder Abdallah Abu sheikh says "to date, Automakers have not built vehicles specifically for our region. We have been consumers of Western and Chinese built technologies that don’t cater in a holistic way for the precise needs and challenges of the region."
As well as the high-end handbag looks, the company says it's including "multiple engineering innovations from battery cooling, to IoT and fully integrated software to custom made storage and delivery areas" in order to specifically cater for MENA areas. Cooling in particular will certainly be an issue in Abu Dhabi, which averages a brutal 37 °C (99 °F) in the month of August, and last year saw temperatures as high as 50.9 °C (123.6 °F) in the shade – arguably even more scorching hot than the GG Supreme Canvas Padlock minibag, which has been declared by Editorialist as the hottest bag of the season.
The 5.6 kWh battery packs are removable for swapping or charging, and Barq says they'll deliver up to 150 km (93 miles) of range. Barq delivers its bite through a 9kW (12 hp) motor, which makes the bike highway-capable, if not fast lane-friendly, with a top speed of 97 km/h (60 mph). There's a huge 8-inch integrated touchscreen above a comprehensive and attractive-looking LCD dash. Indeed, it looks like an actual tablet's stuck in there, with a front-facing camera and everything.
With its single-sided swingarm, covered-over wheels, buttock heat-lowering textured seat and early iPhone-reminiscent glass windshield, the Rena Max is an attractive little scoot that might sell nicely in many markets at the right price. But as Barq gears up to begin production later this year, with a target of 50,000 units by 2025, the focus is very much on deliveries. It'll be leased out through the delivery companies for a "low monthly subscription," direct to courier riders, who will haul their sixteen tons of number nine coal around town in supreme style, but will owe their souls to the company store.