Scooters are so hot right now that it seems everyone is trying to get in on them. First, we had companies like Bird and Lime, then Uber and Lyft, not to mention Segway and God knows who else, but the latest company to show up to the party is Hyundai, according to an announcement by the company on Tuesday.
Yep, the South Korean car company that makes vehicles like the Veloster and the Palisade is considering producing a two-wheeled electric scooter, and here’s the kicker — it could be included with future Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
If that sounds like an off-beat but cool idea, know that Hyundai didn’t think of it. Honda offered its tiny Honda City car with a foldable gasoline-powered scooter called the Motocompo in the mid-1980s, and it’s still one of the coolest things ever.
Anyway, the Hyundai scooter prototype has a claimed range of 20 kilometers (that’s around 12.5 miles in old money), do approximately 12.5 mph, and unlike most of those lame rental scooters, this baby is rear-wheel drive. Do you know what that means? Wheelies, dude. Wheelies.
It’ll be powered by a lithium-ion battery, and when the scooter is docked in a vehicle it’ll automatically recharge said battery. Other cool features include the addition of suspension to the scooter’s front wheel, so as you silently waft your way through a major city, you don’t rattle your fillings out because of dilapidated infrastructure.
“This is the vehicle-mounted personal scooter [that] could be featured in future Hyundai Motor Group vehicles,” said DongJin Hyun, head of the Hyundai Motor Group Robotics team. “We want to make our customers’ lives as easy and enjoyable as possible. Our personal electric scooter makes first- and last-mile commuting a joy, while helping to reduce congestion and emissions in city centers.”
Future developments could, according to Hyundai, include a regenerative braking system that would be able to recover up to 7% of the vehicle’s battery charge. Hyundai makes no mention of whether it’ll be able to do sick tail-whips at the skate park though.