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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
smart electric scooter - escooter
Image: © 2010 Daimler AG

smart's electric concept scooter - The 'escooter'

PARIS, FRANCE - smart cars has gone two-wheel with the introduction of their concept study vehicle the smart 'escooter'. smart will introduce the electric escooter at the upcoming 2010 Paris Motor Show. The smart escooter has a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack, giving the scooter a top speed of 45 km/h (27.96 mph) and a range of up to 100 km (62.14 miles).

smart has equipped their electric scooter with safety features such as ABS brakes, an airbag mounted on the handlebars, and Blind Spot Assist which monitors the side mirror's rear blind spot region when making lane changes. The escooter also has regenerative braking to charge the battery during deceleration and it uses the reverse polarity of the rear hub motor to accomplish this. As part of both the ABS and the regenerative braking systems, the front and rear wheels are monitored dynamically during braking, giving the scooter excellent safety characteristics.

smart says that charging their electric escooter takes between three and five hours using a standard household outlet. The charger is integrated into the scooter, and the charge socket is located hidden under a hinged smart emblem at the front of the vehicle. The frame of the escooter is constructed of steel and aluminium and all of the plastic body panels can be replaced if damaged, just like the design on the smart fortwo car. Another feature taken from the latest in automobile technology is LED lighting, and this is used on the headlamp, the backlight and the brake light for visibility and style.

The smart escooter is powered by a brushless direct current 4kW hub motor mounted directly in the rear wheel. This design saves space and provides for direct drive application of power. There are even solar charging cells at the front of the escooter to help provide battery charging when it is parked in the sunlight. Under seat storage is lockable and there is enough room to stow both the driver and passenger helmets, or groceries when doing shopping. In the handlebars there is also a heating feature for warming the hands during cold weather riding.

Another advanced feature in the smart escooter is the smartphone, which is a multi-function communication device for the scooter. A purpose built mount for the phone is used and when the rider arrives at the escooter, the phone is placed in the mount which deactivates the immobiliser and anti-theft systems, allowing the scooter to be started. The phone is also used for display functions like the speedometer, charge status, and as a GPS navigation system. The GPS system of the smartphone can also be used to track and find the scooter in a parking lot if the rider forgets where they parked their scooter. At this time, there is no known mass production date for the smart escooter, but more may be revealed at the Paris Motor Show at the end of this month.

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