In 2010, at the Paris Motor Show, MINI unveiled three Scooter electric models and the automotive world has already begun to ask if “MINI has gone too far”. A recent report from Autocar UK shows that MINI was on the right track. Volkswagen is the latest brand to pickup the electric scooters trend and unveiled their own version at the Shanghai Motor Show.
According to Autocar, the E-Scooter has a 350-watt electric motor and nickel-metal-hydride battery, which can be removed to be charged indoors. The scooter weighs 44 pounds without batteries, and should be able to travel up to 40 miles at up to 30 mph on a single charge. Future upgrades may include regenerative braking, LED lights, a leather saddle, and lithium-ion batteries.
Volkswagen plans to sell the electric scooter directly to consumers or introduce them in a lease program around major cities. A trial version of the VW E-Scooter will begin in China in 2012.
The MINI Scooter E’ drivetrain is based on that of the MINI E: a single electric motor is integrated into the rear wheel hub, and power comes from a compact lithium-ion battery stored under the seat. The battery can be charged from any standard A/C power outlet, via a retractable cable at the back of the scooter. Its driving autonomy is estimated between 50 and 60 miles with a recharge time of four to five hours. While not officially confirmed, top speed is rumored to be between 28 and 31 mph.
We expect other automakers will follow this trend in the future.