PHOTO CAPTION: eLab Wattscooter currently has a range of 20 km

Cape Town Startup Rolls Out Watt Scooter

A pair of third year university students and their advisors have developed South Africa's first electric kick scooter.

Published: 09-Mar-2015

A number of years ago, a Cape Town, South Africa startup called Optimal Energy developed the continent's first electric car called the Joule. Seating six adults, the company hoped to become a serious international player, but lack of funding forced it to close its doors in 2012.

Now three years later a couple of university students, Louw Roets and Mik Wertheim Aymes, hope to accomplish what Optimal couldn't, production of a South African-developed electric vehicle: only this time around, they have set their technology sights considerably lower and thus more achievable. The pair, with the assistance of their advisors, have developed an electric kick scooter they've branded the Watt Scooter. Currently a prototype, it is capable of speeds up to 25 km/h and a range of up to 20 km (12.5 miles). As the slickly-produced demonstration video below shows, it can get out a move, with the market being young urban dwellers who will use it in place of an automobile.

According to Catt Design Thoughts blog, the team, which recently won the Design Indaba Expo Innovation Award, is working on an improved model with better range and greater torque. They also want to have the handle hold so it stows easier.

No pricing has been announced or availability, but if these young men play their cards right, they could achieve what Optimal Energy didn't.

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