Hyundai Wants an Electric Scooter in Every New Car It Sells
So does Audi, by the way, for its eletric rangeby Tudor Rus, on
The electric scooter industry is booming, despite the fact that these things have pushed governments into considering banning them or come up with a new set of laws to regulate their use in urban areas. As it turns out, when used incorrectly, electric scooters can leave their riders with serious injuries, not to mention other innocent people. We’ve covered the topic in greater detail here. However, today’s piece is not about safety issues.
Long story short, Hyundai is launching a new electric scooter that might end up in every new car the Koreans sell, as the company wants to look at ways to improve last mile mobility, a logistical living hell that’s forced carmakers like Ford to develop its own delivery robot.
Why is Hyundai is making an electric scooter in the first place?
Well, there’s more than one answer to that question. For starters, fellow carmakers have been looking at exploring the electric scooter avenue as well - yes, BMW and Audi, it’s you I’m looking at. Moreover, if the trend catches on, it is likely that we’ll see more and more new cars being offered with such contraptions which technically would encourage owners to cover only part of the trip by car and then resort to an electric scooter.
This looks like a potential solution to city congestion in the sense that commuters might use dedicated parking lots located at the skirts of the city to leave their cars and continue the trip to towards the city center on such a scooter.
Now, Hyundai Motor Group’s press blurb mentions that the giant wants to integrate the scooter with future Hyundai and Kia models in such a way that when stored inside a vehicle, the scooter can charge automatically using the electricity produced during driving via a regen braking system the carmaker plans to install in its vehicles. This way, once the car is parked and the owner is ready for the next segment of his or her journey, the battery level will allow for an uninterrupted ride to the final destination.
Another reason for this is profit. Hyundai somehow bases it decision to offer an e-scooter (even as part of a bundle the customer gets when buying a new car) on a set of figures that forecast a growth of the “Last Mile Mobility” market to $500 billion by 2030. The estimate refers to three key markets for the brand: the U.S., Europe, and China.
Hyundai and e-scooters make for a short-lived affair, but that could change
For those who can’t recall this, Hyundai actually debuted a scooter concept back in 2017 at CES Las Vegas, where front-wheel drive was on the table. However, the new proposal we’re dealing with here switches to rear-wheel drive, since Hyundai believes such a configuration adds to the safety and stability due to the weight being positioned near the scooter’s rear end. A suspension system was also added to the front wheel and we’re glad Hyundai thought of that, because the scooter’s minuscule wheels would have sent plenty of shocks right where you don’t want them - that is, your joints.
The scooter, if ever produced, would employ a 10.5-Ah lithium battery pack; at the same time, no details are mentioned on the electric motor.
We are told, however, that the scooter would be able to go as fast as 20 km/h (that’s 12.4 mph) and at the same offer a maximum range of 20 kilometers (12.4 miles, of course) on a full, single charge. Which is not bad at all, considering you won’t be covering the full distance of your commute solely with the e-scooter.
|Range||20 km (miles)|
|Top speed||20 km/h (mph)|
|Weight||7.7 kilos (pounds)|
You also want these e-scooters to be as light as possible and at 7.7 kilos (pounds), Hyundai’s thingamajig should be fairly comfortable to carry on short distances, especially since it packs a tri-folding design that makes it easy to grab and store, nonetheless. In the meanwhile, it will be interesting to sit back and watch how the car+scooter bundle evolves and if it ever catches on. Not that we’re skeptical, but there was a time when carmakers used to come up with concept cars fitted with drones and adjacent landing pads for those drones, yet people - us included - couldn’t be bothered.