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Circuit Breaker

Hyundai was infuriatingly vague about this cool new foldable electric scooter

A good idea with very little substance

Hyundai just announced an electric scooter concept here at CES 2017. It’s a scooter that shares the same name as the company’s lineup of green cars. But Hyundai stopped very short of offering more detail about what the scooter can do, or when / if it will be real — despite going through the trouble to issue a 500 word press release and mentioning it during their press event. So like we did with TCL’s unnecessarily mysterious new Blackberry this morning, let’s break down what we know and what we don’t.

What we know:

  • The scooter folds up.
  • It has lights on the front and back.
  • There’s a digital dashboard that shows speed, battery life, and range.
  • It can be stored (and charged) in the front door of the Ioniq EV.
  • “Acceleration is controlled by the rider scrolling up their thumb switch, while braking is achieved by pressing a pad over the scooter’s rear wheel or scrolling down thumb switch,” aka it has a throttle and brakes.
  • Hyundai embedded sensors in the scooter that only activate the throttle when someone is on the scooter.

What we don’t know:

  • How fast it goes.
  • How far it goes.
  • The price or release date of the scooter.
  • If Hyundai plans to release it separate from the Ioniq EV.
  • If Hyundai plans to release it at all.
  • Whether or not Hyundai has actually made one of these scooters yet.

A disproportionate chunk of the concept scooter’s press release is devoted the Ioniq car, as well as the company’s commitment to “mobility” — a buzzword that’s spread like a virus in the auto industry over the last few years.

To be fair to Hyundai, this could be a decent solution to the problem of getting to and from isolated EV charging stations. But Hyundai’s also not the first company to think of an idea like this. Audi showed off an electric longboard / scooter combo at the Beijing Auto Show that can be stored in the bumper of the crossover Connected Mobility Concept car.

It’s a shame for fans of weird electric rideables, because last year’s CES was full of them. This year, however, is shaping up to be quite the disappointment.