Peugeot has teamed up with Micro to produce an electric-assist kick bike, designed to give riders an extra boost of momentum. The e-Kick has a chunky-looking industrial design, typical of today's e-scooters, while folding up to let the user push or pull it along when it's not in use.
Like other e-scooters, this one is being marketed as a "last mile" solution, something to take along on the bus or train, and make that last leg quicker and easier. There's a lithium ion battery built into the platform of the scooter, which takes about an hour to recharge, and a motor integrated directly into the back wheel.
The scooter is equipped with what the company calls its "Motion Control" system, which is designed to vary the amount of powered assistance provided based on the level of user input. That means that the motor will propel the scooter forward faster depending on how hard the user kicks, up to a maximum speed of 25 km/h (15 mph).
The foot-brake over the kick bike's back wheel might look ordinary, but it's equipped with a regenerative engine braking system, designed to juice the battery up a little every time you push it down. Peugeot rates the e-Kick's powered range at 12 km (7.5 miles).
Peugeot's new product is a lot like another partially-powered scooter known as the Smart Ped. That scooter has a longer, 30 mile (50 km) range, with the same 25 km/h top speed. On the other hand, Peugeot's hardware is significantly lighter, weighing in at 8.5 kg (18.7 lb) to the Smart Ped's 11 kg (24 lb).
While the Smart Ped folds down to a manageable carrying size, the e-Kick works a little differently. Rather than the footbay splitting in two, the device simply hinges near the front wheel – an action that supposedly only takes a few couple of seconds to complete – while the handlebars flip around to form a single handle.
Once converted, users can roll the folded scooter along its front wheel, which Peugeot says is a better solution that lugging the nearly 19-lb vehicle around. Carrying e-scooters when you aren't using them is easily one of the biggest problems with today's models, so perhaps this rolling solution will be an acceptable workaround until future models get lighter.
The e-Kick was unveiled today alongside the company's new 3008 SUV, which is set to feature a docking station for the scooter, charging the battery during driving.
There's no word yet on what the electric-assist kick bike will cost, but we do know that it will ship in Q4 2016.
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