One of the more interesting personal transportation devices we have seen in recent times is the German-made EasyGlider - an electrically-powered wheel with a handle that offers a quite unique motive experience, exhilarating speed and a range of 35km on each charge.
After several years of development of the EasyGlider, the final production version is nearing readiness and the company plans to deliver the first vehicles in September with mass production due to begin in October 2004.
So strong has been the interest in the eco-friendly EasyGlider that the company is holding firm orders for more than 2000 at the retail price of EU890 (AU$1430).
The final Glider will be the fifth redesign of the machine on its way from concept to market as 'an individual transportation device for the future.'
Think of the EasyGlider as a cross between an electric scooter and water-skiing. The single driven wheel acts in the same way that a water-ski boat does, pulling the user along behind, though in this instance the accelerator and brake are hand-controlled by the 'skier.'
The 'skiing on asphalt' mode is typically done in conjunction with the rider using in-line skates or a skateboard, though there is also a wheeled 'char' that can be attached directly to the EasyGlider transforming it into a complete transportation system without the need for blades or a board.
By attaching the char, the EasyGlider turns into what the designers call 'an economic all-day transportation device.'
The EasyGlider is small and compact and can be easily stowed in a car trunk. More details as production specifications emerge. The EasyGlider weighs in at around 22kg, which is around half the weight of the Segway, the device it is most likely to be compared with.