Smart scooter concept offers a 62-mile range; set for Paris launch next week
29 September 2010

Smart has revealed a new electric-powered, single track vehicle called the escooter at the Paris motor show.

Sources at parent company Mercedes-Benz describe the plug-in concept as the first step in a newly established diversification plan for its stuggling city car division.

The new two-wheeler is being developed as part of a new broad-based mobility strategy aimed at taking Smart into market segments beyond that occupied by its newly facelifted Fortwo and an upcoming rear-engined,-rear-wheel-drive successor to its short-lived Forfour that's due to be launched in 2013.

See the official pics of the new Smart escooter concept

Based around a steel and aluminium frame with interchangeable plastic panels – features mirrored on the Fortwo – the escooter is powered by a 4kW electric motor mounted beneath the seat and driving the rear wheel.

The brushless unit draws energy from a 48-volt lithium ion battery mounted in the floor area with a capacity of 80Ah – sufficient, says Smart, for a range of up to 62 miles in typical city traffic.

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Read more on the Mini electric scooter concepts

Charging is via a socket located underneath the hinged Smart emblem at the front. Additional energy is supplied by solar cells mounted within the panel at the front of the escooter.

Drawing on parent company Mercedes-Benz’s safety know-how, Smart has provided the escooter with energy-recouping brakes that require a squeeze of a single traditional handlebar-mounted lever to operate both the front and rear discs. They also feature an anti-lock system.

Also included is an airbag. Mounted inside the panel beneath the handlebars, it is designed to provide protection to the torso and legs in the case of a frontal impact.

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

Other neat touches include Blind Spot Assist. As with Mercedes’ more recent models, it uses a small rectangular lamp mounted in the rear-view mirrors to warn of objects in the blind spot – the typical cause of accidents on scooters.

The controls are taken care of by a smartphone that slots into the centre of the handlebars to provide information on speed and energy levels, as well as acting as a communication and navigation device. A pop-out seat, meanwhile, is designed to accommodate a pillion passenger.

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Comments
4

22 September 2010

It doesn't look as adventurous as the Mini scooters, where's the different coloured interchangeable panels like the original Smart car?

23 September 2010

[quote saintly78]where's the different coloured interchangeable panels like the original Smart car?[/quote]

'Based around a steel and aluminium frame with interchangeable plastic panels – features mirrored on the Fortwo – the escooter is powered by a 4kW electric motor mounted beneath the seat and driving the rear wheel.'

23 September 2010

I quite like this Smart scooter with its modern and clean looks. As much as I wanted to like the MINI version, I found its colours schemes a bit messy and the style a bit unadventurous. Either way, I think the basic concept is something that would appeal to me. Economical, clean and silent local transport.

23 September 2010

I agree. It's intriguing. I'm curious as to what price they will sell it for, and how that compares to existing scooters.

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