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Smart vehicles get even smaller with all-electric smart escooter concept

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September 23, 2010

The smart escooter

The smart escooter

Image Gallery (18 images)

Daimler’s smart brand has managed to reduce the size of its already micro-sized vehicles even further by subtracting a couple of wheels and unveiling a concept scooter. The chassis of the all-electric smart escooter is modeled on the tridion safety cell of the smart fortwo, with its steel and aluminum frame clad in fully interchangeable plastic body panels. The scooter has a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph) with power provided by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 80 Ah that gives the vehicle a range of up to 100 km (62 miles).

Electric motor

The electric scooter is driven by a 4 kW disc-shaped wheel hub motor in the rear wheel, which transmits power directly to the rear wheel via a brushless direct current hub drive that smart says is clean and maintenance-free. Because full torque is available right from the start the escooter should be quick off the mark and able to easily outpace most cars when taking off from a set of traffic lights.

Charging

It can be charged at any standard household power socket within three to five hours via the charging socket at the front of the scooter hidden away underneath a hinged smart emblem, while the charger itself is integrated in the scooter. Additionally, solar cells on the front of the escooter help recharge the battery whenever the sun is shining. The scooter’s lithium-ion batteries are placed behind the paneling in the foot area and provide a low center of gravity and mass centering to improve agility and stability.

The charging socket of the smart escooter is stored at the front of the scooter underneath...

Storage space aplenty

Because the frame of the escooter doesn’t only house technical components, such as the engine, battery or power electronics, there is plenty of additional storage space. Underneath the seat there is a lockable stowage space with enough room for both the driver’s and the pillion rider’s helmets.

A fold-out seat provides room for two, with the footrests for the pillion passenger automatically moving into position when the second set is folded out. If, instead of an extra rider, you’d prefer extra storage space, the pillion seat can also be replaced with a luggage rack.

The smart escooter

Safety features

Safety features include an anti-lock braking system (ABS) specially adapted for a two-wheeler and an airbag integrated in the paneling beneath the handlebars. Blind Spot Assist draws the rider’s attention to vehicles following close behind in the “blind spot” through the flashing of a triangular light in the rear-view mirror. The edges of the foot protection on the front paneling feature illuminated side markers that improve visibility from the side and also act as indicators.

Hitting the brake retards both the front and rear wheels simultaneously – the front wheel mechanically with a hydraulic disc brake and the rear electrically. When the hydraulic disc brake at the front is actuated, an anti-lock braking system kicks in with the wheel hub motor becoming a generator to provide resistance and convert braking energy into electrical energy that is stored in the scooter’s battery.

Smartphone integration

The escooter also puts the rider’s smartphone front and center with a specially designed mount in the center of the handlebars. When a smartphone is placed in the mount it is fully linked with the scooter and serves as the vehicle’s control and communication center. The smartphone will act as a starter and immobilizer, with the escooter being rendered inoperable if the smartphone isn’t sitting in the mount – which begs the question as to what happens if you lose your phone.

The integrated smartphone assumes various functions, including speedometer, 'starter' and ...

The smart drive kit app allows the rider to use online services when making stops on the road and, during the journey, it serves as the scooter’s speedometer. It also displays the range and battery charge level and acts as a navigation system. Additionally, the “GPS Tracking” smartphone app will help users track down their escooter if they forget where they parked. The handlebar heating can also be controlled remotely using the smartphone, presumably so you can warm them up on cold days before reaching the vehicle.

The smart escooter will be making its world premiere at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, so we’ll be sure to have our man on the ground there drop by to check it out.

Check out the gallery for new pics from the floor of the Paris Motor Show.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
10 Comments

This is the best-looking e-scooter ever and I would buy one of a different color if the price was right. I live in Japan and scooters are perfect for around town and nothing would be better than an e-scooter. I hope this turns into a reality.

kinbo1966
23rd September, 2010 @ 06:50 am PDT

Nice little E moped but calling the chassis a safety cell is a joke and the solar panel is close to useless..

What Smart or others need to do is build a real safety cell/tub with a rollcage, an aerodynamic cabin them they could go 70mph on the same energy ones like this would need to go 35mph.

But for inner city use this is a nice little scoot.

jerryd
23rd September, 2010 @ 08:20 am PDT

I love the IPhone integration!

Frank Urbaniak
23rd September, 2010 @ 08:38 am PDT

This scooter is a little beauty, but I bet the price is high. The handlebar heater seems a little bit un-necessary. Most riders would have gloves in cold weather. What happens when the phone gets wet?

It would be fun watching this scooter beat the cars at the traffic lights!

windykites1
23rd September, 2010 @ 11:29 am PDT

Great design, and just in time for the projected explosion in demand for electric powered bicycles, scooters and motorcycles. The onboard solar cells to supplement charging while you are parked is, well, Smart. Looks great, too.

If they can bring this to the U.S. for under $4K and bump the top speed to 35 mph (via options) so to keep up with urban traffic, I would certainly consider investing in one. You may not even have to license a vehicle of this size.

Photon
23rd September, 2010 @ 11:57 am PDT

If it's made by smart expect the price to *NOT* be right! Smart cars like the 2-4 in my area start at $12k and go all the way up to $18k...not a smart choice at all! And since it's battery powered only, expect to be pushing this thing home more often then you want!

You see...there is a problem with rechargeable batterys that most people aren't well aware of...the rate of decay for a discharging rechargeable battery is mainly constant for about 90% of it's capacity. then it discharges suddenly, giving you absolutely no warning that the battery is dying...This idea that battery powered vehicles will save us is ridiculous...

Ed
23rd September, 2010 @ 12:35 pm PDT

@Ed. Battery technology has sure improved in the last 5 years... with pretty steady output rates so one is not left stranded without warning. Most of the computers on these would be able to tell you the amount of time until depletion with steady state usage.

I wouldn't use this for a cross-country drive, but for short hops and commutes under a 50 mile round-trip, this would be perfect.

Here on Okinawa, the ubiquitous scooter is EVERYWHERE. Gas is $6 a gallon, and scooters are an efficient way to get from here to there quickly and cheaply. And, they are able to waeave there way to the head of the line at a red lights, and always outpace the car traffic that way.

Matt Rings
23rd September, 2010 @ 06:59 pm PDT

This is verrrrrry cool...

Only for ones personal zipping around tho.

Still it's light years in front of those stupid clutch dragging Ducati's (but only up to 30Kmh in first gear) and their ever so ungay knuckle dragging fanbois.

Mr Stiffy
23rd September, 2010 @ 07:27 pm PDT

Another interesting E-scooter: www.mygreenmiles.com

Nimrod Sapir
24th September, 2010 @ 01:31 pm PDT

I'll repeat yesterdays comments which were a diss of the smartphone on the dash in all situations (bumps, drops, heads, etc and all weather, which is a killer to my pocketcarried phone here in the N.W.

To address above comments on my similar thoughts: I have a project I call Low Kinetic Human Hybrid (see at dot com) Jerryd gives a simple description , except for ed's addition of a second power source (pedals in my proposal). I agree with Photon and Ed that the price point must meet market, not hope for the market to come to it. Unfortunately at 35 mph you DO have to license the vehicle, as a cycle or "moped" (even without the peds- the speed is the issue in Wa. law) and that brings insurance to the rider AND to the Manufacture .

BTW, Ed, that "ooops empty" has the e-car homebrewers very engaged with onboard, realtime battery monitoring electonics, aka yet another 'added expense.... ."

Facebook User
27th September, 2010 @ 11:51 am PDT
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