Small car makers both show off electric scooter concepts ahead of the Paris motor show
9 September 2010

Smart has revealed plans for new two-wheeled concept in the form of a plug-in electric scooter at this month’s Paris motor show, as first reported by Autocar in July.

The new two wheeler, depicted here in a series of official sketches, is set to form part of Smart’s upcoming Paris motor show spread, which will also feature a lightly facelifted version of the Fortwo – the company’s sole model prior to the arrival of the reborn Forfour, which is to be built in Renault’s Slovakian production plant from 2012.

Chas Hallett blog: What's going on in Mini's design studio?

Described as a concept with a possible production future, the traditional-looking scooter is being evaluated as part of plans to significantly broaden the Smart line-up in coming years as parent company Mercedes-Benz moves to alter its focus from that of manufacturer of quirky-looking small cars to a company offering a wide variety of mobility solutions, including two-wheelers.

Read Autocar's original scoop story on the new Smart scooter

No official technical details have been released, but insiders say the Smart scooter uses a lithium-ion battery and is capable of travelling up to 60 miles on a single charge. It is also rumoured to use a specially adapted airbag to provide added protection for the rider in the case of an accident.

Not to be outdone by its German luxury car rival, BMW-owned Mini is also planning to reveal its take on the plug-in electric scooter theme at the Paris motor show with a trio of retro-styled two wheelers, each flaunting the same basic design overlaid with three individual trims, including one styled to resemble the Mini E.

As with the Smart scooter, Mini is not revealing much about its new concept until closer to its public debut on September 30 but does say it uses a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged by a retractable lead in the rear fairing.

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Comments
4

9 September 2010

The vehicle people will buy and use is a combination of a Piagio MP3 front end, Vetrix electric drive (60mph) and the BMW C1 body (Roof, seatbelt proper seat). I can't believe this vehicle is not on the market right now but someone must be developing it.

9 September 2010

[quote PhilM4000]The vehicle people will buy and use is a combination of a Piagio MP3 front end, Vetrix electric drive (60mph) and the BMW C1 body (Roof, seatbelt proper seat). I can't believe this vehicle is not on the market right now but someone must be developing it.[/quote] As hardly anyone bought the BMW C1 or the Piaggio MP3 I am sure that an electric version would only compound the marketing error. There are already electric scooters on sale in the UK and they sell poorly due to high prices, poor range and speed. If you want easy parking, traffic queue passing then only two wheels will do with an internal combustion engine. Any of the 125cc four stroke twist and go ( automatic ) scooters will prove more economical than any heavy battery powered device that consumes more fossil fuels through electricity production and transmission of electricity to the city. As for wanting a roof, proper seat and seatbelt on a two wheeler I can only conclude you have no experience of riding two wheelers. Once when inching my way through a traffic queue on a BMW R1100R a car driver said to me that it was unfair of me to go to the front of the queue, I asked him if when it rained he always opened his roof or windows so he got wet to make it fair to motorcyclists that he suffered as well.

9 September 2010

What are Mini doing? who knows, I expect that they are trying to tell us that they are attempting to remain faithful to the original model's ideal of affordable motoring while still giving us proof that they are looking into the usability of electric motors. Unfortunately it still looks as though they are trying to stretch the brand to new and pointless levels of irrelevance.

9 September 2010

[quote Maxycat]As hardly anyone bought the BMW C1 or the Piaggio MP3 I am sure that an electric version would only compound the marketing error. There are already electric scooters on sale in the UK and they sell poorly due to high prices, poor range and speed. If you want easy parking, traffic queue passing then only two wheels will do with an internal combustion engine. Any of the 125cc four stroke twist and go ( automatic ) scooters will prove more economical than any heavy battery powered device that consumes more fossil fuels through electricity production and transmission of electricity to the city. As for wanting a roof, proper seat and seatbelt on a two wheeler I can only conclude you have no experience of riding two wheelers. Once when inching my way through a traffic queue on a BMW R1100R a car driver said to me that it was unfair of me to go to the front of the queue, I asked him if when it rained he always opened his roof or windows so he got wet to make it fair to motorcyclists that he suffered as well.[/quote] The C1 was an example of a product ahead of it's time and 3 wheels are required for safety, motorcycles are too easy to drop. I spent my childhood on farm bikes so understand how to crash a bike, also had a 1200gs for a couple of years but am by no means an experienced road biker. It is just my opinion that to get most people onto scooters in volume in the UK stability and weather protection need to be addressed.

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