XO2 Folding Scooter

With electric vehicles become more and more common, the XO2 electric scooter shouldn’t surprise anyone based on it being powered by electric. One of the more interesting features of this electric scooter is that you can fold it up and bring it in to your apartment for charging. Granted it’s still pretty big when it’s folded, but if you’re going to keep it in your house to keep it away from the thieves, you’ll be grateful that it can shrink itself a little. The scooter sports between 60km/h for the XO2 50 Urban and 105km/h for the XO2 125 Urban. You’ll be able to charge the scooter to about 80% within a few hours, and get about 50-70km out of it. There isn’t any information on pricing or availability just yet, but stay tuned, and we’ll update you as soon as we get wind of those details.

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Ferrari-styled OutRun arcade machine set for crazy scooter transformation?

If you're a child of the '80s and a gamer to boot you surely remember OutRun, the game that rocked a generation with only some parallax effects and pixelated blonde hair -- though the giant arcade cabinet with gold wheels certainly didn't hurt. Now "contemporary artist" Garnet Hertz (creator of the twitching, crunchy frog server) is proposing to give that very cabinet a new lease on life, and a motorized one at that. Hertz wants to take an arcade machine and merge it with an EVT America Electric Trike, making those stylized five-spoke rims actually move. But that's only half of it. He plans to power the display with an iPhone 3GS and use it to render a sort of halcyon 16-bit view of the world ahead, with every road a 64-color dream lined with palm trees. A recent video showing off some of the tech is embedded below, and while we think this is about as likely to turn a wheel as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet is to travel in time, we'll certainly be first in line with four quarters if it ever does.

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Source: engadget.com

Techno Scooter

The Geek Wheels techno-scooter will definitely appeal to geeks for obvious reasons - it contains more than enough technology within to keep geeks happy regardless of whether the journey is a few miles away or one is in for a long haul ride. A 1.2GHz VIA processor with 1GB RAM runs the proceedings from within, and you even have an operating system stored on its 2GB SSD. Other features include an 8" LCD touchscreen display with an integrated TV antenna - just keep your eyes peeled on the road and leave the TV watching to the passenger! Good thing a DVR has been built-in as well so that you can catch up on the action once you've arrived at your destination. A webcam is also placed right under the headlight, allowing you to transmit that visual information to whoever is interested via its integrated Wi-Fi access point. Other features include a built-in FM transmitter and GPS navigation. This is not for sale though, and is just an exhibition unit. Bummer!

Source: www.ubergizmo.com

Scooter's Speed Limit

ELECTRIC scooters marketed at children can hit speeds of up to 60km/h, according to online discussions.

Christmas catalogues from major department stores show the scooters are meant to have a top speed of about 16km/h.

However, popular websites contain detailed instructions on how to modify them to go more than three times as fast.

Kidsafe SA executive officer Helen Noblet said the scooters were dangerous even when they were just travelling at 16km/h.

"The serious injuries obviously are the head and face injuries and the common ones are wrist and forearm fractures," she said.

"You only have to be on a slight slope and the speed increases."

The manufacturers of the popular Razor scooters warn they can be hazardous and warn against modifications.

Ms Noblet said Kidsafe wants children to be physically active, but safer alternatives included non-powered scooters, bikes and skates, worn with the proper protective gear.

She said the main problem with the electric scooters was that while they are meant to be ridden only on private property, many people did not have the room to accommodate them so children ended up on footpaths and roads.

Linny, 8, of Milang has an electric scooter with a top speed of about 16km/h.

His mother, Sue Biggs, said training, supervision and a helmet were important.

"You have to make sure they know how to operate it properly. He is very capable and he rides motorbikes as well," she said. "We've got an acre block just for the kids."

Source: www.news.com.au

About Piaggio MP3 500

As I was moving the car out of the driveway to get easier access to my motorcycle, my neighbor came up to me and said "I saw you come in on a really weird motorcycle thing yesterday and what is it?"

Never one to pass up an opportunity, I replied in my best B-movie space alien voice, "It is an alien space vehicle."

"Oh. I thought so."

Well, actually, it's a Piaggio MP3 500. Piaggio, perhaps better known as the manufacturer of Vespa scooters and owner of Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Gilera, and other brands, calls it a "maxi-scooter", and the MP3 series is unlike anything else except the closely related Gilera Fuoco, at least on this planet. The "3" comes not from any music formatting, but from three wheels. The rear wheel is conventional, if larger than the old-school scooter norm. The usual single front wheel is replaced by two, placed close together, and connected by a patented parallelogram multilink suspension system that ensures they turn and bank together. The front wheels can be locked by an electro-hydraulic mechanism so that the MP3 stays upright when stopped, with no need for the rider to put their feet on the ground. That locking system, and a parking brake, means that the center stand doesn't normally need to be used.

At $8,899, the MP3 500 is as expensive as many motorcycles.

Source: Cnet - CarTech
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Scooter safety becomes an issue

When a professional driving instructor suggested Jack Lucas wasn't fit to drive any more, the White Rock resident turned in his licence.

Two years later, he's found a new way to get around the town centre and up and down the hilly Semiahmoo Peninsula -- behind the wheel of his late wife's motorized scooter.

If he wanted to, Lucas, 87, could zoom through town at top speed, ride in the middle of traffic or head his own motorized scooter gang with the hundreds of others who ride "personal mobility vehicles."

That's because the Motor Vehicle Act is silent on motorized scooters and when, where and how they can be used in B.C. Although scooters have been around for years, there are no formal safety standards or regulations surrounding their use.

But that could soon change.

Following three deaths on Vancouver Island, the B.C. Coroners Service is asking the provincial government to amend the Motor Vehicle Act to define personal mobility vehicles and whether their users are motorists or pedestrians.

"There really is no limit where these vehicles are piloted at this moment...," coroner Jeff Dolan said. "What we want is to ensure these people are operating them safely."

According to the ICBC website, scooter users don't need a driver's licence, vehicle registration, licence plates or insurance, and can drive them on sidewalks or roads, following the same rules as pedestrians.

But the coroners' report said there aren't enough rules to keep all the riders -- whether they are using the scooters for health reasons or because of age -- safe on the roads.

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Electric scooter 'zuums' into play

Self-described tinkerer and car enthusiast Tom Boyd was a successful salesman with no engineering training 3½ years ago when he came up with an interesting idea for a vehicle steered by its rear wheels.
Yesterday, the San Diego inventor zipped around a North Harbor Drive parking lot atop the first incarnation of his concept: the Zuumer electric scooter.

With one wheel in front and two in back, the Zuumer could be called a poor man's Segway or an oversized skateboard with handlebars.

“I like to call it the smart man's Segway,” Boyd said. “It's faster, maneuvers better and costs half as much.”

While the Segway never lived up to its hype, Boyd and colleagues from ZuumCraft Inc. hope to build a San Diego business by capturing a sense of “cool” with a scooter that can literally do circles around Segway.

They just completed a two-week trek on the scooter, from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. In what was part publicity stunt and part demonstration of the vehicle's durability, Boyd rode along the coastal highway, pausing every 20 miles or so – more frequently when he had to climb hills – to swap fresh batteries.

The $2,195 Zuumer, scheduled to go into production in January, is capable of hitting nearly 20 mph and will go about 20 miles before recharging.

The scooter is considered a motorized bicycle in California, and generally can travel in bicycle lanes and on local roads where bicycles are allowed, according to ZuumCraft. It's also subject to local regulations and restrictions.

The Zuumer gets its power from an electric motor in its front wheel, but the steering is done from the back as the rider shifts his weight from side to side.

The back of the scooter turns separately from the front, like an articulated bus turning a tight corner. At the same time, the wheels lean into the turn, like a motorcycle, and they steer like a long firetruck with a driver for the back end.

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WPD’s new scooter ‘a fast little thing’

It’s only been on the job for two days, but the Watsonville Police Department’s newest toy is already a hit.

Officer James Ihlen was out showing off the department’s T3 motorized, three-wheeled scooter Friday at the Watsonville Certified Farmers’ Market behind the plaza, as a steady stream of passers-by ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the device’s shiny lights and android-like body.

“It’s a fast little thing,” said Ihlen, a foot patrol officer, whose title is now quite misleading. “I’m kind of old-style, but it’s fun. It really gets around.”

The department unveiled the $10,000 scooter a few days ago. It is the only such vehicle in the department’s fleet, and is meant to be used by beat patrol officers and, potentially, parking enforcement.

Scooter campaigners take fight to equality commission

HUMAN rights activists are being asked to step in to the Metro scooter ban controversy.

A ban on all mobility scooters was imposed on the train system last month.

And now Nancy Porter has sent a dossier of Chronicle cuttings and statements from scooter users to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

She claims the ban is in conflict with human rights and disability discrimination laws.

The Commission will now consider the evidence and decide whether to call an arbitration hearing.

Nancy, 58, of Falstone Square, Gosforth, Newcastle, has recently bought a £2,000 scooter.

“I’ve lost my freedom now,” said Nancy, who slipped a disc 13 years ago. “We want somebody independent to hear both sides. We really feel our human rights to be able to travel and live have been walked all over.”

Nancy, a former nurse, added: “I collected 1,000 names on a petition from people against the first ban. It’s affecting people’s freedom and social lives.”

A spokesman for Nexus today stood by the decision, which covers all Metro stations, adding: “We don’t believe our actions to be discriminatory.

“We have taken the decision to ban mobility scooters for safety reasons.”

The ban came after a series of incidents where users cheated death or serious injury.

Nexus imposed the new rule, which overrides the restriction laid down in April banning scooter users unless they were accompanied.

Defending the ban, Nexus chiefs released CCTV footage of scooters and their passengers shooting off platforms and ploughing through train doors.

In one, a woman was seen boarding a train and crashing through doors on the other side of the carriage on to the track – minutes before another train hurtled through the station on the opposite line.

Bernard Garner, director general of Nexus, said: “If a scooter fell on to the Metro line, its user could be killed. That risk is not acceptable.”

Nexus will review the ban in six months. There were around 200 to 300 mobility scooters using Metro trains before April’s initial ban on lone travellers.

There have been four accidents in the last 15 months in which scooters have fallen on to lines.

Source: www.chroniclelive.co.uk

Piaggio to up production in India, launch scooters

Piaggio (PIA.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) will step up production in India and launch scooters in a market that is set to play a greater role in the Italian firm's global operations, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Faced with a stagnant market in Europe, Piaggio is investing in China, India and Vietnam, and expects Asia's contribution to total sales at 30-35 percent by 2010 from about 20 percent now.

"The Asia-Pacific region offers immense opportunity," Roberto Colaninno said at a news conference.

"We are very positive about our growth in these markets -- they will play a major role in the group's worldwide vision."

Piaggio is looking at setting up research and development centres in Asia, including India, forging new agreements with key partners and tap more sourcing opportunities, he said.

A strategic cooperation agreement with Daihatsu Motor (7262.T: Quote, Profile, Research), for example, is being extended to supply components, engines and powertrains for Piaggio's light transport vehicles.

It has also entered a new agreement with India's Greaves Cotton (GRVL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) for diesel engines for three-wheelers.

The maker of the famous Vespa scooter sells motorised three-wheelers in India and has launched a mini truck to take on leader Tata Motors (TAMO.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) (TTM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) in the fast-growing segment.

Piaggio had a venture with LML (LMLL.BO: Quote, Profile, Research) for scooters, and plans to re-enter the scooter market by 2010 with a hybrid design.

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Electric Scooter/Cycle Guide

Electric bikes, mopeds and scooters currently come closest to matching consumer expectations in terms of cost, performance and reliability of any electric-drive vehicle now available.

They also come in a dizzying spectrum of styles, capabilities and prices from inexpensive "toys" to moderately expensive maxi scooters soon to debut in Europe and North America. A handful of prototypes are even powered by miniature fuel cells.

While toy scooters are coming under increasing scrutiny by local law enforcement, statutes regarding adult-sized machines generally coincide with their gasoline moped counterparts on a state-by-state basis.

Speeds are typically limited to 30 mph for all machines in this class, so what is more important is the size of the battery pack in terms of amp hours -- the more the better -- and sustained wattage output of the electric drive motor -- again, more is better (see guidelines below). Distance on a charge is a function of battery amperage, terrain, speed and the weight of the driver (and rider). Expect less than 5 miles out of "toy" machines and up to 25-30 miles for more classic motor scooters

Two words of advice: don't trust the wattage numbers proffered by many Asian clone scooter makers -- they are usually grossly over-inflated. Second, buy as much amperage and wattage as you can afford. You won't be disappointed.

Finally, a word of caution: making a business out of manufacturing electric bicycles and scooters is a daunting undertaking, especially for the North Amercian market where bicycles and scooters are viewed more as recreational diversions than serious commuting/errand running machines, as they are in parts of Europe. The likes of Ford Motor Company (Th!nk brand) and Lee Iacocca (EBike brand) have tried and failed to make a business out of it, as has Wavecrest Labs. Be aware that while these brands offered quality products, they may no longer be supported with parts and service

TVS rolls out 7 vehicles, forays into 3-wheelers

TVS Motor Company, the country's third largest two-wheeler maker, today created a launch record of sorts in the Indian automobile market by rolling out seven new vehicles, including a three-wheeler and an electric scooter.

The products will be launched in a phased manner between October and November this year and the prices will be announced at the time of the launch, the company chairman and managing director Venu Srinivasan said.

The company made its first foray in the three-wheeler market with the launch of a 200cc, two-stroke three-wheeler in three versions � petrol, LPG and CNG (factory fitted). The company will manufacture these vehicles at its greenfield facility at Hosur, which has a capacity of 100,000 units per annum.

H S Goindi, sr vice president (three-wheeler), TVS Motor Company said, "The three-wheeler market has grown faster than commercial vehicles, and two-wheelers in the last five years at a rate of 18% CAGR. We feel that as the economy develops, the public transport system will not be able to cope up with the demand. A large section of the public will turn to autorickshaws for their transport. So, there is a big growth potential for us."

Indian three-wheeler output in 2006-07 was 5.56 lakh units, of which, the market leader was Bajaj Auto, accounting for 57% share. But during April-July (2007-08), Piaggio caught up with a market share of 41%, against 42% of Bajaj Auto. Bajaj Auto's products are priced in the range of Rs 56,000 to Rs 75,000 (ex-factory). TVS is likely to price them a bit lower.

Goindi said TVS aims to capture at least 30% of the three-wheeler market in the next three years.

He said the company will also come out with a cargo version of the three-wheeler in petrol, LPG and CNG platforms. The CNG and LPG market is rapidly expanding as more state governments are encouraging cleaner fuels. The company also intends to launch their autos in the 4-stroke engine category in the next 6 months in all the three variants, Goindi added.

The company also aims to export the three-wheelers and is looking at an opportunity to assemble them its Indonesia plant in about a year's time, Goindi said.

The cargo version of the three-wheeler would be in the diesel category at a payload capacity of one-tonne. The vehicle is fitted with a higher capacity engine with the peak torque at lower rpm to take care of gradability without frequent gearshifts.

Seen/scene: No roar, no smoke -- the Vectrix scooter is all electric

As the only owner of a Vectrix electric scooter in the state of Washington, Dave Denhart is in a world of his own. He whirs rather than roars down the street, emission-free, never needing a fill-up.

Vectrix Corp. hopes to see more urban commuters like him take to its high- performance, battery-powered scooters. The Green Car Co. of Kirkland, one of only six dealers in the country, had around 70 people test ride the Vectrix at an event a few weeks ago. The scooter has a suggested price of $11,000, excluding taxes, delivery fees, etc.

What else is different about this baby? It has no clutch, no engine and can go from zero to 30 mph in 3.1 seconds. Designed in the U.S. and made in Poland, it's faster than other electric two-wheelers -- reaching up to 62 mph.

Denhart, who commutes to Microsoft from his home east of Redmond, still owns a car and a "dormant" motorcycle. But he said riding the Vectrix makes an impact.

"Electric is a good way to start to get us away from the dependence on oil," he said.

And it's enjoyable, too.

"Part of the fun is you're cruising around and you're not hearing engine noise," he said. "So, you're like, 'This is cool in a Jetsons sort of way.' "

At 48, he fits the local customer profile -- male baby boomers with motorcycle licenses.

"Baby boomers are more willing to embrace something new and environmentally friendly. And they have the money," said Susan Fahnestock of The Green Car Co.

It's intriguing enough that Harley guy -- and self-described internal-combustion engine lover -- Bob Sternoff may buy one.

"It's a lot quieter than my Harleys, so it's something I can use without ear plugs," said Sternoff, a member of the Kirkland City Council. "I'll still wear my helmet that says 'loud pipes.' "


Some Vectrix stats: weight, 462 pounds; range, 68 miles at 25 mph; maximum speed, 62 mph; battery, nickel metal hydride, 3.7-kilowatt-hour capacity; recharge time, two hours (80 percent charge); estimated operating cost, 2 cents per mile (based on 16 cents per kilowatt hour). More information: vectrix.com,


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