A Smarter Way to Scoot Through the City

Development of foldable electric scooter that is shared continues to move forward.

Published: 19-May-2008

If you ride a bike to work this week, chances are that somebody will give you, if not a free lunch, then at least a free breakfast. The meals are one of the activities organized during Bay State Bike Week.

If not even a muffin and a cup of coffee will convince you to start pedaling there might be a less strenuous, but still eco-friendly, two-wheeled alternative in the not-too-distant future: a foldable, electric scooter. Or rather, thousands of scooters, available for use just when you need them.

That, at least, is the vision of Smart Cities, a business concept from a group of students and researchers at MIT’s Media Lab. The electric foldable scooters are more than just an idea, group member Ryan Chin told me.
“We have a collaboration with a Taiwanese manufacturer, SYM, and they are ready to produce them. We also showed a prototype scooter at the Motor Show in Milan last year.”


Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries and two 67bhp (50kW) electric motors to drive the front and rear axles, the Mixim is a four-wheel-drive car with a theoretical top speed of 112mph and a potential maximum range of 156 miles.

Dodge ZEO is 2+2 electric muscle car for the 21st century powered by 200kW electric drive with 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and range of 250 miles.

The Air Car may do better than fuel-cell cars, but experts say that using grid power to charge a battery-powered electric vehicle is much more efficient than using electricity to compress and store the same amount of energy in a tank.


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