Ujet electric scooter cruises cities on hubless wheels and carbon nanotube tires
As flashy as electric cars like the Byton Concept and Fisker EMotion are, the most eye-grabbing vehicle debut from CES might just be a two-wheeler. The Ujet electric scooter looks vaguely like your average scooter, but perhaps something else entirely. Ujet calls it a sculptural, asymmetrical design, and it's driven by distinctive equipment like the center-less orbital wheels, alloy-composite construction and full connectivity. Enjoy a little extra flash and tech while scootering your way around the city.
The Ujet is just one in a long, ever-growing line of folding scooters designed for nimble urban mobility. But it's one that absolutely stands out from the pack. Ujet's description of a sculptural, asymmetrical frame is spot on, especially up front. The single-sided fork shows a twisted form and crisp edges that appear crafted for visual impact more than traditional functionality. Similarly, the rear wheel is attached on just one side.
The asymmetrical construction of the mixed magnesium alloy and carbon fiber frame is helped along by the 14-in hubless wheels, which are really the heart and soul of the Ujet. It's here that you'll find the integrated suspension and large-diameter disc brakes. The rear wheel houses the 5.4-hp/65 lb-ft motor that keeps the scooter rolling forward for up to 93 miles (150 km) per charge and provides regenerative braking.
Such a high-tech wheel deserves a high-tech tire, and Ujet touts the boosted performance of its nano-augmented tire technology, a rubber compound enhanced with Tuball single-wall carbon nanotubes. It calls them the lightest tires in the class and claims grip improvements in both wet and dry conditions and better abrasion resistance.
Ujet lists top speed at 28 mph (45 km/h) and offers two lithium-ion battery options, the base good for 43 miles (70 km) of range and the larger pack for the full 93 miles (150 km). The small battery charges in 1.5 to 3 hours and the large battery in 3 to 6 hours, depending on whether you're using the onboard charger or optional fast charger. The removable battery pack can even pop off the scooter and roll like a carry-on, with its two wheels and telescopic handle. It can also play music with integrated wireless speakers and charge external devices via two USB ports.
The frame construction, powertrain and removable battery are just the start of the Ujet's impressive technology suite. Its 7-in fold-up dash computer keeps connected via GPS, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and offers voice and touch control. A series of conveniently mounted buttons provide easy-access hard control when the rider is gripping the handlebars, while a smartphone app offers remote monitoring, tracking and control.
Additionally, the Ujet has a front-facing HD camera for easy video recording. Its LED front lights include smart sensor control, automatically adjusting brightness to ambient light conditions. An anti-theft system alerts the owner of tampering and includes a remote shutdown feature within the smartphone app.
The Ujet scooter looks like a rigid frame, but it's actually a folder, compacting down in three simple steps. At 95 lb (43 kg) with the small battery and 108 lb (49 kg) with the large one, you probably won't want to lug it around on your shoulder too far, but its wheels line up side-by-side for easy rolling.
Ujet revealed its scooter at CES this week, and the Luxembourg-based company plans to launch it in major European cities like Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam in the first half of 2018, with US and Asian launches to follow in the second half of the year. It estimates pricing at US$8,900 for the 43-mile version and $9,900 for the 93-mile model. Options will include two frame styles, high and low seats, and six different colors. Ujet will also offer accessories like a fast charger, helmet and touch-friendly leather riding gloves.
The video below provides a nice overview of the Ujet's design and features.
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From my understanding, a hubless wheel does not include an axle about the diameter of the wheel with a bore just slightly smaller than that to achieve the "hollow" looks.