Volkswagen showcasing its micromobility offerings in Geneva with Streetmate and Cityskater electric scooters
The Volkswagen Group is embracing micromobility as part of its electric mobility strategy. At the Geneva International Motor Show, Volkswagen is showcasing two concept electric scooters to address the need for micromobility solutions: the compact Cityskater, a production-ready surfer for the last mile of a journey, and a larger e-scooter, the Streetmate. The two were originally floated as studies in 2018.
The new Volkswagen concepts Streetmate (left) and Cityskater (right).
With mobile solutions such as Streetmate and Cityskater, visitors and residents in cities around the world will soon be able to leave their cars at home, opting instead for smaller zero-emission vehicles to get around. Innovative vehicle concepts such as these scooters have the potential to bring about a permanent change in future mobility habits. The Streetmate has a range of up to 21 miles—it can easily cover relatively long distances and is therefore perfect for daily runs between home and workplace. The Cityskater offers a range of around 9 miles, and is foldable to fit into a trunk or be easily carried.
Streetmate – The medium-range electric scooter. The Streetmate is an alternative to a car in a city, as it offers flexibility like no other vehicle when it comes to medium-range travel. Parking is a breeze, as the compact and agile Streetmate can fit into even the smallest parking space. This avoids stress and saves time. The Streetmate scooter also benefits the environment with an electric drive system with zero local emissions and very low noise levels.
The clear, bicycle-like product design of Streetmate stands out from the appearance of conventional scooters. This visual impression is reinforced by the fact that the Streetmate’s small motor is integrated into the rear wheel hub. It can be driven seated or standing (with the seat folded away), depending on vehicle registration.
The concept scooter is light (143 lbs / 65 kg) and also has a particularly low center of gravity, as the lithium-ion battery is integrated into the floor structure. The battery has a rated capacity of 1.3 kWh. It can be fully recharged in two hours and 15 minutes at a charging station with a charging power of 500 watts.
Alternatively, the battery can be removed and recharged at home or at the office. The Streetmate puts out 2.7 horsepower, has a top speed of 28 mph and can travel up to 21 miles on a fully charged battery, which gives it an optimal range for urban driving, even in larger cities.
It’s easy to drive the Streetmate and use its features. Electric power is called up by pressing a switch on the handlebar with your thumb. Perforated disc brakes and an anti-lock braking system (ABS) ensure safe braking deceleration, whereby the rear wheel-hub motor recovers energy through regenerative braking. The range of the Streetmate can also be extended via an Eco mode. Users would need to have a driving license and wear a helmet in Europe, and the scooter would also have to be registered and insured.
A 5.3-inch weather- and waterproof display (1,440 x 2,560 pixel resolution) in the middle of the handlebars serves as the control center. The light-green monitor shows general operating parameters such as the battery charge state and the remaining range. The display can also be connected to a smartphone and thus obtain navigation data. The linked smartphone uses an app to show information such as the Streetmate’s current location. The app serves a digital key to start the scooter, and triggers an alarm if an unauthorized individual tries to start it.
Cityskater – Electric mobility for the last mile. The Cityskater was designed for last-mile travel—for example, from a parking space or bus or train station to the final destination. The Cityskater moves on three wheels (two in front, one at the back) with electric power through a city.
Unlike a conventional skateboard or scooter, the Cityskater has a footboard with a front wheel for each leg. Steering is similar to skiing, as the skateboard is steered by intuitively shifting weight from one leg to the other; a control rod provides the necessary stability and is used to start, accelerate and brake the double- board.
Operating at bicycle speeds (up to 12 mph), the Cityskater is perfect for bridging distances too far to cover on foot. Its lean angle of 22 degrees makes quick cornering a breeze. The electric motor at the rear wheel has an output of 0.5 horsepower.
The lithium-ion battery has an energy capacity of 0.200 kWh and can be charged to up to 50% of this capacity in less than an hour using a conventional household socket (230 volts in Europe). Range at half capacity is up to 4.7 miles, which increases to around 9 miles at full capacity.
The Cityskater is currently being evaluated for homologation; the goal is to obtain approval for use on cycle paths. This lightweight 33.5-inch long Cityskater, has a height of 46 in when folded out, and can support up to 265 lbs. It has a hill-climbing capacity of 10%. It also comes with front and rear lights, a horn and a disc brake at the back. When folded up, the Cityskater is only 13 in high, which means it can fit alongside an office desk.