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Movito: modular, hubless electric scooter design


March 18, 2009

Movito Electric Scooter

Movito Electric Scooter

Image Gallery (8 images)

We live in a world where the need for lighter, more efficient vehicles is glaringly apparent, and in recent times designers and automotive manufacturers have ramped up their efforts to meet this challenge. Given this climate it's not surprising to see the enviro-conscious "Movito" scooter design receive accolades in the Create the Future Design Contest. Engineer/Designer Tiam Chiem's Movito is a 2-modular design consisting of an upper scooter chassis and the base which provides the drive via an in-wheel electric motor and hubless front wheel. The modular design allows a range of possible morphs, including multiple bodies to be connected to the base or two bases to be connected in parallel to form a two-seater.

The in wheel motor

The use of an in-wheel motor has allowed Chiem to design the structure of the scooter for weight reduction and a dynamic shape and form. Developed by CSIRO Australia, the in-wheel motor which is currently utilized in solar powered racing cars, boasts 98% efficiency, claimed by CSIRO to be higher than any other in-wheel motor. Weighing in at only 6kgs, the direct drive eliminates drive train loss and the motor is charged by Li-ion batteries stored in the central body. Steering

The Motivo’s hubless wheel is based on the technology developed by Osmos and provides, amongst other benefits, for greater precision when riding. The steering pin of the orbital wheel is designed around a second large bearing in the hollow section of the circular runner. Steering is achieved by this inner bearing and the arms that attach the wheel to the main body.

Additional features

The Motivo features an integrated CPU and organic LED touch screen which allows the rider to customize the scooter to their own preference. Along with this are the features that enable the rider to connect wirelessly to the Internet, to access GPS or an iPod dock to listen to music.

The Motivo design was recently awarded first prize in the transport category of the Create the Future Design Contest .

David Greig


For goodness sake stop waffling!

Who stocks it?

Where can I buy it?



We've been down this road before. Hubless wheels weigh more since they have larger bearings. Protecting those bearings from the elements is more problematic. Because they're further from the center of the wheel, they have to rotate faster, creating more wear and heat. Hubless is a solution looking for a problem.


Hubless wheels may be heavier and more vulnerable, due to the reasons mentioned by Spirit. But also maybe the opposite. The extra weight may be more than compensated by loosing the hub itself, its connection to the rim and making the rim lighter, since it will be subject to lower loads. The torsion and shear loads in this kind of wheel will probably be way lower. Also the design may facilitate lighter suspension systems.

Time will show if hubless wheel engineering qualities are good enough. At the moment, this kind of wheels are justified primarily by looking cool. And so they do! The rest of the scooter/concept too. Ready and reliable.... or not: I want one!


I would think the vastly increased size of the bearing surface would make for a cooler bearing compared to the much smaller hub bearings. Also, it would seem the design would allow for better cooling.


The $12,000 price for the in-wheel CSIRO motor (click the in-wheel link) should give you a sense of potential price point...add to that the beauty and simplicity of the design.


Cost and manufacturability are probably going to be two nuts that are hard to crack on this. Most likely just a sexy design exercise?

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