Segway-Ninebot is taking its expertise in small electric vehicles and applying it to something slightly bigger. Two things, in fact: a new electric moped and an even larger electric Vespa-style scooter.
Both vehicles will be on full display at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada this coming January. But Segway-Ninebot is sharing a lot of information about each ahead of the show.
Let’s start with the scooter, which is called the “Ninebot eScooter” and will be sold in five different variants. The E80C will presumably be the cheapest, as it’s powered by outdated lead acid battery technology, has a top speed of 31 miles per hour, and a maximum range of 56 miles. All the rest are powered by lithium-ion batteries. The next version up, the E90, offers similar specs (34-mph top speed, 62-mile max range), and the E100 can touch 37 miles per hour.
The top two versions of the Ninebot eScooter are where things get really interesting. The E125 has a top speed of 46 miles per hour and a range of up to 74 miles, while the E200P uses a “dual battery” setup to hit 62 miles per hour and travel as far as 124 miles.
Segway-Ninebot says the E200P version can go from 0 to 25 miles per hour in three seconds, and that it uses large disc brakes to help bring the scooter to a stop from that impressive top speed.
Each scooter is water resistant, comes with a trunk in the seat that can fit a full-size helmet, and is equipped with “light-sensing intelligent matrix LED headlights” and a digital display, according to Segway-Ninebot. The scooter is also connected, so riders will be able to check stats about their rides and locate the vehicle on a map, and download over-the-air updates. Buyers will be able to choose from 100,000 different body panel colors and seat cushion options, the company says.
The Ninebot eMoped shares similar smart features, though its performance capabilities are more limited. Segway-Ninebot will sell three versions, all with a top speed of 15 miles per hour. Each eMoped will be powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, with range options of 24 miles, 37 miles, and 46 miles. Unlike the electric mopeds sold by Chinese company Niu (which are used by the Revel sharing service in New York City, Washington, DC, and Austin, Texas), these do come with pedals, meaning they can be ridden like a traditional moped.
Segway-Ninebot also teased on Tuesday a concept version of a small electric motorcycle, as well as a self-balancing and semi-autonomous version of the eScooter, though the company says it has no plans to bring either vehicle to market.
Segway-Ninebot has a ton of expertise when it comes to electric kick scooters, as it became the biggest supplier to the many scooter-sharing companies that popped up over the last few years. While that was good for the company’s bottom line, many of those scooter-sharing services have since spent a lot of their own money trying to develop scooters in-house that are better suited for constant use and abuse. As Segway-Ninebot starts moving into new vehicle types — especially ones that go much faster than a kick scooter — it will be crucial that the company gets the durability side of the equation right from the jump.
One big difference this time around, though, is that Segway-Ninebot is moving into a space with a number of established players. Taiwanese company Gogoro’s electric scooters are all the rage in and around Taipei, and the scooter maker is finally eyeing a move into global markets. Fellow Taiwanese outfit Kymco also makes electric scooters for the Southeast Asian and Chinese markets. As mentioned before, Niu is a big maker of electric scooters in China and has already made moves to supply sharing services outside its home country. Honda and Yamaha have dipped into electric scooters, and so has Piaggio, the long-time scooter company responsible for the iconic Vespa. Piaggio unveiled an electric Vespa in 2016 that finally started shipping within the last year.