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smart, MINI Unveiling Electric Scooter Concepts at Paris Show; Central Role for Smartphones

The smart escooter. Click to enlarge.

Both smart and MINI are unveiling electric scooter concepts: the smart escooter and the MINI Scooter E Concept; both will premiere at the upcoming 2010 Paris Motor Show.

smart escooter. The smart escooter is driven by a disc-shaped wheel hub motor in the rear wheel, which offers 4 kW despite its compact size. The brushless direct current hub drive transmits its power directly to the rear wheel, and is clean and maintenance-free. As the motor does not take up any space in the chassis, more stowage space is available there.

The smart escooter has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). The traction current is supplied by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack. With a capacity of 80 Ah, ranges of up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) are possible. The escooter can be charged at any standard household power socket, within three to five hours. The charging socket is stored at the front of the scooter underneath a hinged smart emblem, while the charger itself is integrated in the scooter.

Front and rear wheels are each mounted on a single-sided swingarm. A 130/60 R13 tire is fitted at the front, while its rear counterpart measures 140/65/R13.

The electric scooter’s supporting chassis structure is consciously modelled on the tridion safety cell of the smart fortwo. Its steel and aluminium frame is clad with fully interchangeable plastic bodypanels.

When the hydraulic disc brake at the front is actuated, an anti-lock braking system kicks in to ensure maximum braking effect even during emergency braking. The rear wheel is braked in parallel to the front wheel, though not mechanically but electrically, for regenerative braking. This task is performed by the wheel hub motor in the rear wheel.

Solar cells at the front support the charging of the state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack whenever the sun is shining, also when the scooter is moving.

The smartphone plays a special role for the escooter, serving as the scooter’s control and communication center. Before starting the electric scooter, the rider simply places the smartphone in a specially-designed mount in the center of the handlebars. At the same time, immobilizer and anti-theft protection are deactivated, allowing the electric scooter to be started.

The new, further developed smart drive kit app allows the rider to use online services when making stops on the road. During the journey, the smartphone serves as the scooter’s needed speedometer. It also displays the range and battery charge level and acts as a navigation system. Should the rider ever forget where he parked his escooter, the “GPS Tracking” smartphone app can help him identify the position.

The handlebar heating can also be controlled remotely—a comfort feature especially ideal on cooler days.

MINI Scooter E Concept. Click to enlarge.

MINI Scooter E Concept. The MINI Scooter E Concept is also powered by an electric motor integrated in the rear wheel. The motor’s lithium-ion battery can be recharged at any conventional power socket using an on-board charging cable.

The cockpit of the MINI Scooter E Concept comprises a Centre Speedo in the circular shape familiar from MINI, with a smartphone integrated in the middle. The wraparound speedometer is in the form of a tube filled with fluid, the content expanding in line with the speed rather like a thermometer. In the lower area of the Centre Speedo, a battery charge level display indicates the range currently available. The design of all the control elements for lights, direction indicators and other driving functions corresponds to the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel of MINI cars.

The inside of the round instrument comprises a snap-in adapter for a smartphone, which operates simultaneously as the vehicle key, display and central control element. As soon as the rider docks his mobile phone and switches it on, the vehicle is ready to go. This configuration in the MINI Scooter E Concept yields new initiatives for integrating infotainment, communication and navigation functions in a two-wheeler.

While the scooter is in motion, the smartphone can be used as a navigation system, music player or telephone as required. A wireless Bluetooth interface can be connected to a helmet from the MINI Collection. This is fitted with a microphone and headphones so that riders are able to use the telephone function or access their personal music collection while on the road.

The operating concept creates a network between the rider, the vehicle and the environment which paves the way for numerous new interactive functions. Building on the MINI Connected services already available in current MINI production cars, specific features can be implemented by adding further smartphone applications.

The electric drive unit, concealed beneath a painted cover inside the rear wheel, is powered by electricity supplied from a lithium-ion battery. Apart from the compact battery, a charging system and connecting cable are integrated snugly in the rear of the MINI Scooter E Concept. The charging cable has a plug which fits into any conventional domestic socket.

Plugs and cables are accommodated underneath a cover similar to the round tank flap in a MINI car. After opening the illuminated flap, the plug and charging cable can be pulled out to a length of up to five meters and connected to the power system. After the battery has been charged up, a button-operated spring mechanism ensures that the cable is retracted and coiled in a space-saving compartment.



Beautiful e-scooters.

How could these be promoted over the ICE versions?

Sales taxes, registration fees, inner city permits, subsidies etc?


"The smart escooter has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). The traction current is supplied by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack. With a capacity of 80 Ah, ranges of up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) are possible."

A turkey imho as far as the US market is concerned. A fair weather friend costing a small fortune in batteries alone for the same range and cargo capacity obtainable from any electrically - converted heavy duty bicycle. I get can get comparable speed and range for 8 A-h on a more comfortable, serviceable, and lighter platform, as I see it. Fully-faired electric vehicles would be more useful in NA. What do the trikes look like?


Sorry, re-crunched A-h numbers and I need 16. And I need to pedal. But still....

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