The need for new methods of urban mobility growing every day. With millennials become less and less interested in traditional car ownership, other methods of personal mobility are becoming incredibly popular, especially in urban cities. Rather than owning cars, more and more young people are choosing to use ride hailing or car sharing services. But a new trend is emerging, especially in places like California, which is to use electric scooters to get around cities and beach towns. So the folks in Ingolstadt figured they’d try their hand at something similar. Welcome to the Audi e-scooter.
This new Audi e-scooter is essentially a combination of an electric scooter and a skateboard. So it still has a handle bar, much like a scooter, but it’s only operated with one hand. The rider actually stands sideways, as if they were riding a skateboard or a surfboard. The accelerator is a twist-grip at the top of the handle bar and it brakes via regenerative braking or a hydraulic foot brake. But the way the rider actually uses the Audi e-scooter is more like a skateboard or a surfboard than a traditional scooter.
So rather than just go straight ahead, Audi e-scooter riders will find themselves sort of carving up the street, slaloming around, which not only looks more fun but also seems a bit more fluid, more capable of moving through crowds easier and safer.
“With the Audi e-tron Scooter, we appeal to customers who are on the move in cities, sustainably and multi-modally – and for whom style and functionality are important,” says Thorsten Schrader, project manager for micro-mobility at Audi. Like a skateboard, the Audi e-scooter has movable axles and four wheels, rather than a scooter’s two fixed wheels. “Of course the e-tron Scooter also moves straight ahead. But the feeling of flow only comes when you start carving on asphalt – and that is surprisingly easy with our new concept.”
That steering handle also holds the battery, all of its requisite electronics and even a display screen to show how much battery is left. It’s Bluetooth capable, so it can be connected to a smartphone to adjust settings as well. It has a max range of around 20 kilometers (12.5 miles), which is pretty good for an urban electric scooter, and it can reach a top speed of 20 km/m (12.5 miles). It’s also compact enough to fold up and bring with you when you finally reach your destination or it runs out of battery.
Admittedly, it’s not super light, at 12 kg (26 lbs), but it can be pulled along like a suitcase on wheels once it’s folded up. So it’s pretty easy to carry around. It’s small enough to fit in the trunk of a car if necessary or even carry onto a train. So it’s a versatile means of mobility in a dense city. Complying with German regulations, the Audi e-scooter has LED headlights with daytime running lights, a rear taillight and a brake light.
The Audi e-scooter will go on sale in 2020 and will cost a very hefty 2,000 euros. That’s a lot of money for an e-scooter. However, the folks in Ingolstadt are also thinking of making it an option for the Audi e-tron, which is actually quite cool. So you can drive your e-tron into a city, then park it and take the scooter the rest of the way. Once you drive your scooter back to your e-tron, you’ll be able to charge it from the e-tron’s trunk.
Audi isn’t the first brand to come up with something like this. However, it is the first skateboard-like one we’ve seen and is quite unique. It’s very expensive and likely isn’t worth it to a lot of customers. However, if it can be worked into the deal of an Audi e-tron, we actually think it makes a lot of sense for young city-dwellers.