— Urban Transport
The SSIKE personal electric scooter
SSIKE adds to the growing list of last-mile transport options
Like a cross between a genetically flawed Segway and a YikeBike, the Spanish-designed SSIKE e-Scooter looks to be more inner-city toy than serious people mover. However, aesthetic prowess aside, its reasonably zippy top speed, light weight and portable design could make it a viable addition to the growing list of last-mile transport options out there.
Following the old school configuration of tiny pivoting wheel follows larger driving wheel, the SSIKE uses a 250 W "high torque" brushless electric motor. Mounted in an industrial styled housing encompassing the front wheel, the e-motor provides adequate performance stats for a scooter. With a top speed of 20 km/h (12 mph) and a purported range of 40 kilometers (24 miles) – depending on the weight of the rider, terrain, etc. – the SSIKE allows a rider to move silently about Barcelona’s urban landscape with relative ease.
An anti-skid braking system with regenerative abilities helps replenish the battery during spirited braking. Weighing in at only 12 kilograms (26.4 lb) and boasting a fold down handlebar, the SSIKE can also be carried or mounted on a backpack when taking in Gaudi’s unfinished La Sagrada Familia.
The SSIKE’s low center of gravity should help with maneuverability; however the rider’s forward-leaning position and ultra-short wheelbase could prove crotchally hazardous in the event of sudden braking, perpendicularly challenging curbs, or small fat children. Old world, manual foot power can be employed should the scooter lose e-power. Despite what appears to be a highly un-friendly pushing position, going manual will then help to recharge the batteries, allowing the rider to carry on dodging civilians.
The manufacturer, Asen Innovacio, claims riders can learn to "comfortably" acclimatize themselves to the scooter’s unique architecture in just 15 minutes. To enhance handling a combination of the rider’s lean and a "patented" rear wheel steering system (found on all WWI biplanes) appear to give the SSIKE decent maneuverability traits for an urban person mover. Now to work on the finished aesthetics.
The SSIKE is priced at €1590 (around US$2,130) +VAT, which is comparable with the YikeBike, even though it does seem expensive for a scooter. See it in action in the video below.
About the Author
Born on the cold, barren Canadian plains of Calgary, Alberta, Angus MacKenzie couldn’t decide between marketing, automotives or an entrepreneurial path - so he chose all three. With an education in automotives and marketing, Angus has rebuilt the carburetor on his 1963 Rambler Ambassador twice, gotten a speeding ticket in an F430 once, and driven & photographed everything from Lamborghinis to Maseratis to various German and Asian designs. When not writing, Angus has for the past six years been Editor-in-Chief for elemente, an internationally recognized architecture/design magazine.
All articles by Angus MacKenzie
The range seems a bit optimistic, but if it's a light as claimed it might well be possible with regenerative breaking.
Looks a surprisingly neat and compact design. The suggested price is not much more than a mid-range commuter bike.
I'm all for progress, but a Brompton folding bike is the same size, same price (fully equiped), likewise noise-free, and provides exercise.
"rear wheel steering system (found on all WWI biplanes)"
WW1 aircraft didn't have steerable tailwheels - in fact almost all of them had no tailwheel at all, they had a skid.
I really like the simplicity of it all. Better than a Segway in many respects (oh so many). I assume something could be done to add some small cargo capacity, like a skinny basket in the rear. Made in EU means it is more expensive than if it were it made in the Orient, but the Spaniards need the work.
Bruce H. Anderson
I WANT ONE.
A skateboard is much lighter, and more compact, has no range limitations, and is infinitely cooler.
Actually the video shows it to be one of the more promising personal mover thingies I've seen in the last ten years or so. Basically does about what a Segway does but simpler, lighter, narrower, cheaper. Probably a Segway would be better for patrol type stuff where you don't have to negotiate steps. But this would be better because you see how easy it is to carry it up steps or around other obstacles or into a crowded elevator. If it were $500 I would think you might start seeing them around towns. And then of course they would be a problem and would end up making pedestrians angry and getting banned from ped areas. But of course that won't happen because like all these gizmos the price is too high.
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