When everyone was speculating about what would be Volkswagen’s new car arrival in the Shanghai Motor Show, the German automotive giant unveiled a battery-powered two-wheeler called the E-Scooter. That was indeed a surprise to the media and auto worlds.
Weighing approximately 44 pounds (without its nickel metal hydride battery), this lightweight E-Scooter features a 350-watt electric motor and boasts a range of 25 miles and a top speed of 30 miles per hour. Power comes from the nickel metal hydride battery, which is small and light enough to be removed and charged indoors.
While talking to the media, Volkswagen’s director of design for China, Simon Loasby, said that the E-Scooter’s range could be extended with a lithium-ion battery pack. You can also enhance the performance of this two-wheeler with a 700-watt electric motor.
Loasby said, “Our idea was to come up with a solution for affordable mobility in megacities like Shanghai, and to give people who’ve never owned a car a way into the Volkswagen brand. The E-Scooter isn’t covered in Volkswagen badges, but you know it’s a Volkswagen from the shape of the frame, the detailing of the head- and taillight, and the premium quality of the product.”
However, selling the E-Scooter in China will not easy. “There are already 20 million electric scooters a year sold in China,” Loasby said. “Typically they cost about $500, and they’re quite cheap, disposable things. There’s no reason why we couldn’t fit premium features to one – LED lights, glossy plastics, a nicely trimmed leather seat and a sophisticated trip computer – and still charge less than $1000 for it.”
Volkswagen is planning to roll out a fleet of E-Scooters in 2012 in China and will offer a price less than $1000. If this scheme becomes successful, the company will launch this little ride worldwide.