Three-wheel urban electric scooter carves the curves
California-based startup X-oto has launched a three-wheeled electric seated scooter aimed at urban riders and delivery services that leans into corners, and could even see folks zipping around town without needing a moto license.
Seated three-wheel scooters that allow riders to lean into corners as if on a two-wheeled motorcycle are nothing new of course, but where Piaggio's MP3 carver rocks a single wheel in back and two up front, X-oto has gone for the opposite configuration with its first model.
This puts the e-scoot's patented self-stabilizing mechanism at the two rear wheels for a maximum 45-degree lean and the promise of "astonishing control, maneuverability, stability, and safety while preserving all the fun of leaning into the curves of the road."
The brains behind the design, Tim Huntzinger, reportedly began working on the project a number of years ago while studying at the Arts Center College of Design, and initially envisioned a tilting four-wheeler. He subsequently went with a trike configuration for the X-oto which, like the MP3, should offer easier access for beginners, while also being a more stable ride for all.
A 3-kW brushless motor in the front wheel hub will pull the rider along via two speed-limited drive modes plus a third that throttles to a top speed of 45 mph (72km/h). The single 2.15-kWh swappable battery is reckoned good for up to 45 miles (72 km) per charge, but a second can be had as an optional extra for up to double the range.
"It is a totally different riding experience," promised Huntzinger in the launch press release. "The mechanism gives stability in a turn even at lower speed. This means you can lean at the full range no matter what your skill level.
"Riding X-oto feels different. It’s safer than a motorcycle and easier to ride, so it removes the barriers that hold a lot of people back. It’s easier to carry a passenger or cargo than an ebike so it should be more useful for most people. In many states, you don’t even need a motorcycle license to ride it."
A limited run of Founder Edition models can be reserved now for a refundable deposit of US$300, towards the rather high starting price of US$7,499. Optional extras include geo-tracking and geo-fencing, a Bluetooth sound system and a rear rack for cargo (coming in the future).
Shipping is estimated to take six weeks and appears currently restricted to California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. The e-scoot is introduced in the video below.
Product page: X-oto 3-wheel electric scooter