Hipster-Friendly Smart Escooter Concept
Taking what appears to be a similar strategy to MINI, Smart has been developing an all electric scooter concept for this year’s Paris Motorshow (2nd – 17th October). The Smart Escooter is pretty similar to its future MINI built rival with a rear hub mounted electric motor, a lithium-ion battery system, regenerative braking and a top speed of 28mph – all wrapped up in a sleek, heavily Jonathan Ive influenced design.
A unique design feature of the Smart scooter is the central console (pictured below) which uses an iPhone 4 as the primary instrument cluster, this is a clever idea as iPhones are all equipped with GPS as well as more than enough computing power to manage the scooters onboard systems. The only potential drawbacks are weather proofing (you can’t ride in the rain with an exposed iPhone) and the inability to use a Blackberry, Nokia or non-Apple branded phone.
Smart might be better off pursuing an interchangeable Blackberry/Android/iPhone phone mount and they may well do on the final concept, locking yourself to one manufacturer in a volatile market like the cut-throat mobile devices arena could be a decision that is viewed as a mistake in the long term.
Not to mention if your phone gets stolen, you can’t ride home.
The Escooter is powered by a 4kW (5.36 horsepower) electric motor, not an earth-shattering amount of power but more than enough for the urban commute in most European and American cities. The battery system will be able to charge from 0-100% in 3-5 hours from a standard 220v outlet, although surprisingly Smart opted not to integrate a retractable cord/plug into the scooter, this would be a handy feature for café hopping hipsters who will undoubtably make up a significant portion of the Escooters global sales.
Stay tuned for more info once the Paris Motorshow kicks off.