[NBR] MINI & smart Scooter Concepts

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[NBR] MINI & smart Scooter Concepts

Post by ericalm »

Thanks to NathanielSalzman for alerting me to the pics!

MINI and smart (aka BMW and Mercedes, respectively) are both unveiling electric scooter concepts at the Paris Auto Show, going on now.

The MINI concepts were unleashed today. Though many blogs seem to be commenting that they're '60s styled, scooters didn't look like this until maybe 2000. In fact, they kind of resemble SYM Mio 50s to me (only better).

My favorite of the three MINIs:
Image

Image

This might get you beat up, ha:
Image

Zut alors!
Image

This. Yes. Please.
Image

Image

Image

More pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigblogg/s ... 016122598/

I like a lot of what I see there. The style is sufficiently modern and functional. There's nothing on here that screams, "Have these people ever actually ridden a scooter?!"

Info:
http://www.automobilemag.com/green/news ... index.html
http://www.bmwblog.com/2010/09/23/first ... auto-show/
http://rumors.automobilemag.com/6686375 ... index.html


More on the smarts in next post…
Last edited by ericalm on Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ericalm »

The smart concept looks much more concept-y and much less functional. There's a lot here that screams, "Have these people ever actually ridden a scooter?!"

Image

Image

Is this a passenger seat? For children?
Image

Nothing about the smart gives me the feeling that they're serious about this, that it's anything more than an exercise or an accessory to make the electric smart look better.

This whole concept kind of bugs me, really.

Info:
http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/News/Searc ... -pictures/
http://www.kilometermagazine.com/artman ... ooter.html
http://jalopnik.com/5644717/smart-escoo ... omfortable
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Post by Syd »

The Mini does look a lot like the Mio. Better, eh. More leather-y, certainly.

I'll take the opposing view on the Smart though. I like it, especially in a if-you're-going-to-be-different-be-really-different sort of way (though the jump seat is a bit much). Oh, you're also right in that the Smart looks much more like a design exercise than a production scoot.
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Post by jasondavis48108 »

I love the look of the green one with the tan seat. I really want to get my sh150 painted that color with a custom tan leather apolstered seat. The smart is crazy and please tell me that that dinky little green pad in the back is not the passenger seat :lol:
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Post by Halloweenie »

I like them, but I have concerns. Why expend the energy pushing heavy batteries around? What is the real benefit changing from petrol to electricity, electricity being derived predominately though the burning of coal in the US? Why not use the existing electric motor in conjunction with a small hydrogen fuel cell? Burning hydrogen gives off little to no toxic emissions and is plentiful. Another alternative would be a hybrid HCNG fuel which could work as well if you just want to avoid petroleum. Just a couple thoughts in my head...
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Post by ericalm »

Halloweenie wrote:I like them, but I have concerns. Why expend the energy pushing heavy batteries around? What is the real benefit changing from petrol to electricity, electricity being derived predominately though the burning of coal in the US? Why not use the existing electric motor in conjunction with a small hydrogen fuel cell? Burning hydrogen gives off little to no toxic emissions and is plentiful. Another alternative would be a hybrid HCNG fuel which could work as well if you just want to avoid petroleum. Just a couple thoughts in my head...
Well… Yeah.

The coal burned to provide an electric charge for these is still better in terms of overall carbon footprint than burning the equivalent gas. I suppose the idea is that someday we'll move from oil and coal to cleaner sources of energy for the grid.

Me, I have the perfect spots for a solar array once the right electric plug in vehicle (for me) comes along.

Hydrogen (fuel or cells) is a great idea but the hydrogen future we were promised now seems mostly vaporware. The batteries still aren't up to snuff and the price points aren't right for a scooter. There are also production issues with Hydrogen. No infrastructure, even in CA which has put a few hundred million or something like that into it.
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Post by jasondavis48108 »

If your charging your scooter off peak hours then you are using electricity that would have otherwise gone unused anyway. Also, many folks get thier electricity from hydro or some other clean source. My dream is that one day I will own an electric scooter that gets 100+ miles to a charge and is charged using solar panels or wind turbines (not mine of course) :D
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Post by Jackie F »

I like the Mini's. I'm mechanical as a stick so I won't go there.

I am a bit confused with the iphone part of it. One pic was displaying iphone Maps which does not give you the "Avoid highways" option. Could it play music?
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Post by Halloweenie »

I know that the hydrogen infrastructure in the US is less than minuscule, however, other countries are already developing them so there is foreign interest. I live in the Philadelphia suburbs and our electricity is mainly supplied by several coal fired power plants as well as a large nuclear plant. Our area is not conducive to either solar or wind farming. For urban dwellers I still support the use of hydrogen or hydrogen hybrid fuels. Honda even has a home hydrogen manufacturing unit in the works! I advocate a government socialized fuel system. If the government could stop funding unnecessary wars and actually try to improve life on our own shores they could have a system in place in only a few years. We need to stop pouring money into the hands of the petrochemical companies. At least if the H2 stations are government controlled you'd be putting money back into a system to help Americans. I know socialization of utilities is not popular, but it works. The way I see it, no one should be making money on the necessities of life. Sorry for the rant I got carried away...
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Post by ilektron »

I prefer a vehicle that doesn't hurt Mother Earth. It's a *scooter*, powered by my own sense of self-satisfaction.
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Post by Skootz Kabootz »

ilektron wrote:... It's a *scooter*, powered by my own sense of self-satisfaction.
lol Now that's funny :lol: I want one too.
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Post by ericalm »

Please let's keep politics out of this and stick to the Guidelines. We always walk a fine line when we talk about electrics, energy policy and so on. Let's stay on the right side of that line, thanks. :)

Aesthetically, I think my problem with these is that I prefer the look of a traditional scooter but also think that an electric should look different… even different than the modern style scoots on the market.

I think KLD was on the right track with their designs but it looks like they've (wisely?) gotten out of the scooter business and are now just trying to license the engine and their technology. Too bad; the specs and price points for the scooter (specs similar to Vectirx VX-2; under $4K) were in the sweet spot for an electric to be successful.
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Post by killbilly »

Put me in the camp that likes the Smart concept on the scooter. It's pretty snazzy, I think, and if it had a little speaker that made the noise that George Jetson's car made as it went by, I would totally mortgage my first born for one.
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Post by ericalm »

Oh yeah, forgot about the one electric concept that really hit the spot as far as my tastes, the Honda electric SuperCub!
http://green.autoblog.com/2009/10/23/to ... roduction/

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com ... o_0004.jpg
drooool
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Post by NathanielSalzman »

The MINI Scooter E Concept looks very Mio-like at first glance, but if you take a closer look at the side profile of the rear section, there is definitely Lambretta in the bloodlines.

You all may also be interested to know that I have it on good authority that there are serious and concerted efforts to bring this bike to market. Unlike the Smart concept, which is so over-wrought with gadgetry that I doubt it has any real future beyond being a nice piece of porn for industrial designers and scooter heads.
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Post by dawg onit »

Did you guys think I wouldn't? :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFMtBibwrgY
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Post by gearhead »

looking.... FRESH!
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Post by ericalm »

I took a closer look at the MINI; I looked at some of the large pics so I could see the details.

There's a lot I like, and a lot that's growing on me. The details are very nice: stitching on the seat, the grips, even the instrument cluster.

I think the wheels are badass, too.

It's that legshield… I dunno.

Any word on performance or other specs?
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Post by Halloweenie »

I assume it is using the IPhone as a speedometer? Odd that...
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Post by TVB »

They both look like they're missing an engine. I find that troubling. :)
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Post by cheez37 »

Halloweenie wrote:I like them, but I have concerns. Why expend the energy pushing heavy batteries around? What is the real benefit changing from petrol to electricity, electricity being derived predominately though the burning of coal in the US? Why not use the existing electric motor in conjunction with a small hydrogen fuel cell? Burning hydrogen gives off little to no toxic emissions and is plentiful. Another alternative would be a hybrid HCNG fuel which could work as well if you just want to avoid petroleum. Just a couple thoughts in my head...
All good ideas, but there are problems. As Eric said earlier, fossil-fuel produced electricity has a much lower carbon footprint (per mile) than gasoline. With the emphasis on hybrid cars, battery technology should improve battery power density and life to make a 100 mile/charge scooter viable in 5-10 years. Maybe.

Hydrogen is another story, however. Although it burns completely clean (water is the only byproduct of the combustion process) we are decades from seeing it used in cars, let alone scooters. The first problem is infrastructure (already discussed.) Second is fuel cell technology. Fuel cells are complicated and very, very expensive. They are years away from being commercially viable in cars. To get them into scooters will take another generation of the technology to minaturize and maintain power. The third problem with hydrogen is storage. Currently, the tanks that are used in cars are large and heavy. They need to be able to handle 3000+ psi hydrogen. This means they have to be heavy! Also, to get any reasonable mileage at those pressures, the tanks take up a third of the trunk. Making tanks smaller and useable on a scooter is difficult. We use high-pressure reusable tanks in the space program, and they are very fragile and massively expensive (hundreds of thousands of dollars each.) I have no idea how long it will take to make these scooter-sized.

I hope I didn't burst anyone's bubble on this, but I thought I would share.
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Post by Rippinyarn »

ericalm wrote:Any word on performance or other specs?
Top speed is reported as 31 mph, range 62 miles. Disappointing, even one year after I reviewed and actually sort-of liked a sort-of home grown electric scoot http://www.examiner.com/scooter-in-detr ... g3-scooter but faulted it as too slow for the real commuting world.

A better solution was the "performance" electric scooter that I took a look at during this year's Dealer Expo. Very tasty, but I've never heard of this company again. They also haven't updated their site with the swapped 0-60 specs for the performance version of the scooter. http://www.examiner.com/scooter-in-detr ... ic-scooter The ability to go even 40 mph with some way to recharge a battery at one's desk (so that you can have maximum performance) should be entry level for a realistic electric-powered commuter scooter.

The big stumbling blocks to speeds higher than 30 are battery performance/range problem and a licensing issue. Anyone with a regular license can ride a "moped" here in Michigan (and many other states). It seems that e-scooter manufacturers are wary of relying on the smaller pool of "M" or "C" endorsed "motorcycle" riders to pay the extortionate prices that many of these electric scooters seem to be selling at. I don't think that 30 mph is fast enough to be really useful on real roads. I also think that the over $3k asking price for electric scooters is a little rich, at least for what you get currently. Get it? "Currently" heh. 8)
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I Like Them

Post by malakai »

I don't think electric cars or scooters are the solution to energy crisis, but they are here as an experiment. we need to reinvent fuel, energy sources and the minds of scientists seem to produce NADA. But that is another subject. To me scooter designs on the article look good and I question why should we keep the design to old styles if we are generations apart. The whole idea suggests there is no room for creativity any more in the human mind and that the new generations cannot design anything better? O challenge the designers and inventors. Create something new to create jobs and move the economy. This at least, is an attempt and if it catches on with the public shoudl generate lots of jobs abroad and in the USA.
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Post by BootScootin'FireFighter »

dawg onit wrote:Did you guys think I wouldn't? :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFMtBibwrgY
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Post by Jackie F »

Halloweenie wrote:I assume it is using the IPhone as a speedometer? Odd that...
No, but an iphone does start it.

<object style="height: 390px; width: 640px"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vqDe94Y0Koo?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vqDe94Y0Koo?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="390"></object>
Last edited by Jackie F on Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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[NBR] MINI & smart Scooter Concepts

Post by michelle_7728 »

Now if only we could get a smaller scooter to do this...

Hybrid & 140 mpg!

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/1564/Moto ... ybrid.aspx
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Post by loodieboy »

Both scoots nicely complement their lineage, but I think my Smart's little brother is much more handsome. Meep! Meep!

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/loodie/5020405344/" title="Smart Scoot by loodieisthebestest, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4131/502 ... 28bd6e.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Smart Scoot" /></a>
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Re: [NBR] MINI & smart Scooter Concepts

Post by Coffeejunkie »

ericalm wrote: This. Yes. Please.
Image
Well it took a little time, but Apple will soon be able to say they have an app for that.
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Post by Smellen »

ericalm wrote:Oh yeah, forgot about the one electric concept that really hit the spot as far as my tastes, the Honda electric SuperCub!
http://green.autoblog.com/2009/10/23/to ... roduction/

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com ... o_0004.jpg
drooool
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Post by Smellen »

I found this on the world wide web also - Honda electric scooter EVE-Neo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U3SsfWpcZc
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Post by Jackie F »

From Huffington Post:

Mini has taken the wraps off of three designs for zippy electric scooters, the first two-wheel concept in the carmaker's history.

The zero-emission scooters come in three flavors: there is a two-seater model, a sportier, single-seat version, and a "British racing green," 1960s-inspired scooter based on the design ethos of the Mod era.

According to Wired, "Mini didn't offer any specs beyond saying the E-Scooter is powered by an electric motor and recharged from a wall socket. Instead of a key, the scooters start with a smartphone app. Sillier still, GPS software will alert you to other E-Scooter riders in the area and flash your headlights when you pass them."

"Here we are at the beginning of what could possibly become another icon," said Mini's Adrian van Hooydonk, senior VP of of BMW group design, of the Mini Scooter E Concept line.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/2 ... l?ir=Green
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Post by ericalm »

Smellen wrote:I found this on the world wide web also - Honda electric scooter EVE-Neo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U3SsfWpcZc
But the Cub is byoooootifulll…
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Post by killbilly »

Jackie F wrote: According to Wired, "Mini didn't offer any specs beyond saying the E-Scooter is powered by an electric motor and recharged from a wall socket. Instead of a key, the scooters start with a smartphone app. Sillier still, GPS software will alert you to other E-Scooter riders in the area and flash your headlights when you pass them."
For some reason, this annoys the crap out of me. The novelty of such a thing, I fear, would lead to a lot of people buying these to be seen, to have their lights flash (OMG! Someone flashed at me! I need to update Twitter/Facebook!) without taking the ride seriously.

Then again, maybe I'm just getting old and curmudgeonly. Excuse me, I need to yell at some kids to get of my lawn...
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Post by ericalm »

killbilly wrote:
Jackie F wrote: According to Wired, "Mini didn't offer any specs beyond saying the E-Scooter is powered by an electric motor and recharged from a wall socket. Instead of a key, the scooters start with a smartphone app. Sillier still, GPS software will alert you to other E-Scooter riders in the area and flash your headlights when you pass them."
For some reason, this annoys the crap out of me. The novelty of such a thing, I fear, would lead to a lot of people buying these to be seen, to have their lights flash (OMG! Someone flashed at me! I need to update Twitter/Facebook!) without taking the ride seriously.

Then again, maybe I'm just getting old and curmudgeonly. Excuse me, I need to yell at some kids to get of my lawn...
Quite a few people get into riding because they think scooters—electric or gas—are fun little toys. Many of them will ride for a while then get bored with it, some will stop after their first drop or close call, and a few—a small few—will catch the scooter bug and grow into serious long-term riders.

The rest will let their scooters sit in their garages for a few years before selling them. And that's how people get '01 ET4s with less than 100 miles!
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Post by Smellen »

ericalm wrote:
Smellen wrote:I found this on the world wide web also - Honda electric scooter EVE-Neo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U3SsfWpcZc
But the Cub is byoooootifulll…
I totally agree. The Cub is a lot better looking. The EVE-Neo is kinda... cheap looking? Hahaha I was just posting that to show another new scooter by them!
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Post by Wheelz »

I do like the body integrated side stand and flip out passenger pegs of the smart concept.
The Mini is a much more "scooter" looking than the smart though.
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Post by charlie55 »

I like them both because they're visual novelties. However, should they ever hit the market, I do hope that they're not pitched in such a way as to completely ignore the fact that they are indeed motor vehicles (and carry inherent risks in their operation), not fashion accessories.
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