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Rover electric scooter prepares to tackle road or dirt

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June 21, 2013

The Rover electric scooter from Works Electric

The Rover electric scooter from Works Electric

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Kick scooters like those from Razor can make first/last mile journeys a bit more fun, but they can also be hard work. If you've got a bit of time on your hands, and some technical know-how, you could funk it up a bit with an electric drive and chunky tires for both street and off-road action. For those who prefer to buy an e-scooter that's ready to roll without needing to hit the toolbox, news from Portland may well ignite a spark of interest. Having set out on a quest to build the world's greatest compact electric vehicle, the folks at Works Electric say they've succeeded with the Rover.

The Rover electric scooter has a reported fuel economy equivalent of 606 MPGe, and is claimed to offer the highest power to weight ratio of any vehicle in its class. It benefits from aluminum construction and is hand-built in Portland, Oregon (with many components sourced locally). The e-scooter is 50 inches (127 cm) long and 15.25 inches (38.8 cm) wide at the deck, and stands 46-inches (116.8 cm) high in riding mode, but collapses down to 21 inches (53 cm) for between ride transport.

"The folding mechanism is very special," says Brad Baker from Works Electric. "It incorporates a sleeve locking mechanism that makes folding and unfolding the front end extremely easy. To fold the front end you pull the outer sleeve of the mechanism towards you and depress the button, once the sleeve passes over the button, the mechanism disengages and the front end can be folded. To unfold the front-end you simply lift the front end back into the upright position and the outer sleeve automatically pops back into the locked position once it hits the correct spot. The whole process takes all of about 5 seconds to do."

The Rover's folding mechanism incorporates a sleeve locking mechanism for ease of folding ...

There are actually two models in the offing, both having a 3-phase brushless DC motor and 120 amp controller, with an Omega HP belt driving the rear wheel. The Rover features Avid disc braking at the front and a foot brake at the back. There are three travel modes, steady glow LED lights point forward and backward, and 6-inch wide, 13-inch diameter chunky tires make it good for both road and dirt.

The handlebar sports a smartphone cradle that can also charge the docked device via USB, and there is a Rover-specific app in development that will display performance information relating to the scooter. Baker told us that customers will be directed to favored speedo apps in the meantime. If standing's not your thing, a custom-made seat can be fitted to the rear of the deck.

The standard model tips the scales at 84 lb (38 kg) and packs a 36 V, 770 Wh Works HE36-20 Li-ion battery pack that should power the motor for up to 18 miles (29 km) between charges, with regenerative braking helping a little. Charge time is 3.5 hours using a portable outboard charger. Works Electric reports that the battery should be good for "well over 10 years if cared for properly, but if you want to change it out it's pretty darn easy, and can be done by the owner." This version has a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h).

The Rover has a 3-phase brushless DC motor and 120 amp controller, with an Omega HP belt d...

The BR version has been treated to a 36 V, 1,540 Wh Works HE36-40 Li-ion battery pack for a range of up to 36 miles (58 km) and a top speed to 33 mph (53 km/h). As you might expect, charge time is double that of the standard model and the it's slightly heavier at 96 lb (43.5 kg).

The standard model in black or white is priced at US$4,970, while the BR comes in at $5,920. If you want a different color, that will cost you at least $200 extra.

As a thank you for your belief in the company, the first ten buyers will also get a small share in Works Electric, unlimited technical support for 12 months and a say in the design of new products. Shipping of the first models will start in September. Beyond that, a new small-scale production run will commence every two to three months.

Source: Works Electric

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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8 Comments

I keep seeing these expensive, solution-without-a-problem "inventions" cropping up.

You can get a VERY comparable Schwinn 36v, 1000-watt scooter for under $500, more like $400 if you shop around. If anything, the Schwinn (made by Currie) is better suited for last-mile transportation. It only takes you about 12 miles, not 36, but who really needs to go that far on one of these things? The lead-acid batteries are far less expensive, they are recyclable, there is plenty of torque, and it weighs less. The Schwinn-Currie even comes STOCK with a removable seat.

So why would I want one of these for literally more than 10x the price? I just don't understand this thinking. It's a nice gadget, and I like that it supports the local economy, but sheesh! If you want my business, SHOW ME SOMETHING THE OTHERS DON'T HAVE, FOR LESS THAN 3 TIMES THE PRICE.

Then maybe I'll get excited. This ain't it.

Anne Ominous
21st June, 2013 @ 12:18 pm PDT

OMG! 33mph-scooter (read: short wheelbase, tiny wheels compared to bicycles, low inherent stability) seems like an ideal device to guarantee job security for facial reconstruction surgeons, and the 96-pound weight will sure to make orthopedic surgeons happy as well. Win win win.

sk8dad
21st June, 2013 @ 05:38 pm PDT

Doesn't really solve the last mile problem. A Razor scooter can be stuck into a shopping cart and does not take up the whole trunk.

Slowburn
21st June, 2013 @ 09:56 pm PDT

They just won the "BITE ME AWARD"! Unbelievable! Another example of the greedy mindset!

BJB
22nd June, 2013 @ 01:00 pm PDT

I agree totally with A.O. - Yet another overpriced reinvention of the wheel! There seems to be another of these popping up every week, each one 'better' 'more efficient' 'goes further/faster than' each other. It is like soap powders - you buy a 'brightest colours' 'better cleaning' 'best ever product' packet only to see a new box on the shelf the week after, from the same company, and boasting 'new improved formula' Come on!

The Skud
23rd June, 2013 @ 08:01 pm PDT

It appears electric vehicles are quite appealing to tinkerers all over the world, and many try to 'do something' electrical. Seeing something one built actually running round the neighborhood is also an exciting experience and I recommend everybody go to their garage and try this. That is a nice hobby and can be quite educative, plus building a Scooter is more affordable than a car, after all. Maybe make a bike next time, and attempt a car next year?

Still, there is no market for electric scooters, because they do not actually solve any of our traffic problems. If they are bulky, overpriced, and well ... a bit ugly too, there is even less demand. This one meets all of the above criteria.

martinkopplow
24th June, 2013 @ 02:47 am PDT

I think it's totally hilarious that you're comparing this thing to a Schwinn. What, do you live in the '80s? Who uses lead acid anymore? This thing is sturdy with custom construction and can haul balls, uses lithium ion batteries with a range of 18 miles! Try taking your Schwinn downtown and see if anyone talks to you. This scooter is a head turner and I want one.

ElectroCo
26th June, 2013 @ 09:11 am PDT

Ugly and Sweet at the same time. :-)

Personally I would rather have one of theese than a Segway. A quick comparison tells me this thingy is cheaper, faster and lighter. The BR version also has better range.

Small and fat tires make a lot of rolling restistance and standing creates a lot of drag though. I suppose a recumbent version of this with narrower wheels would have even better range and also be faster - but probably less fun.

Conny Söre
27th June, 2013 @ 07:59 am PDT
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