Spanish car maker Seat, subsidiary of Volkswagen, has revealed a new electric scooter designed to carve a silent path through crowded city streets, beating most ordinary traffic away from the line in the process.
The e-Scooter is a striking thing, designed almost in parody of what the 1990s thought would be futuristic. It’s also just the sort of thing your mum would say ‘looks pretty nifty,’ which has to count against it. On the other hand it really is a handy thing to get around on.
We get that some people want to buy electric cars. Really, we do. Any car that can run on electricity alone is smooth, calming and relaxing. It’s just what a lot of people prefer for their commute. Not everyone wants to get to the office in a storm of smoking tyres and ringing ears (although it’s nice to have the option).
But even a BEV can’t do anything about the traffic situation. It’s pretty bad, as most of us know, and if you’re just sitting there in a jam, even the smug glow of burning zero fuel is quick to evaporate. That’s where Seat comes in with its new e-Scooter, which is actually built by Barcelona-based scooter maker Silence.
It uses a teeny-tiny electric motor, presumably stolen from something with ‘Tamiya’ on the side; good for 9.4bhp most of the time with a peak overboost of 14.8bhp. That’s about the same as a basic 125cc petrol scooter. The e-Scooter, though, has a serious ace up its sleeve: torque. There’s 177lb ft on hand to launch the little nipper away from a standstill, hurling it to 31mph in a very respectable 3.8 seconds. That’s as much torque as a Honda Integra Type R…
We’d imagine the delivery will be sanitised by Seat’s desire for its riders not to flip the scooter over backwards every time the lights go green, but we’d expect it to kick in quite nicely after five or 10mph. It’ll be perfect for nipping around traffic, into gaps, through amber lights and away from the line.
Its range is a maximum of 71 miles from a removable battery that you can take with you and charge at your desk, if you like. The cost is currently slated at €0.80 per charge in continental Europe, which is about 68p at the time of writing. As you can see, it’s cheap transport.
That said, we don’t actually know a purchase price yet. Discussions are ongoing as to which countries it will come to, the UK being one market over which the company is currently split. Wherever it’s sold, owners will be able to view battery charge and location via a mobile app. Very handy if it were stolen.
The e-Scooter will go on sale in 2020 to fleets, shared services and private individuals. We’ll find out prices at a later date, along with details on the ordering process. We can’t rule out the Seat dealer network as a supplier, but we expect it to lead with an online purchasing model.