This super cute electric scooter might be just the thing to get “the youths” into motorcycling. Maybe.
unu (that leading lowercase is intentional) is a European brand of electric scooters based in Berlin, Germany. It has recently redesigned the “classic” scooter into a thing of solid adorableness. While a wide expanse of flat plastic is generally not attractive on a traditional motorcycle, on a scooter, that same rounded-flatness with clean lines and no gaps is absolutely aesthetically correct. Instead of needing to look badass, it’s okay if an electric scooter looks like a fun plastic toy. And it does!
This new scooter has a 45kph (28mph) top speed, will carry two people, comes in fantastic colors (including a matte coral that I cannot resist) and has what they term “portable” batteries.
The batteries’ compact portability means you can remove and replace those batteries, and buy spares, so that you can charge your extra batteries while you’re riding, and just swap in the full ones when you get home. The scooter ships with one battery but can accommodate a second. Each battery is rated for a 50km (31 mile) range. Two batteries, then, will hopefully get you to 100 (62 miles). Each battery needs an “overnight” (around 7 hours) to charge from depleted. If you don’t have long distances to travel but also don’t have a lot of down time to sit and wait for batteries to charge, this thing might be just right for your needs.
unu claims the batteries will last for 7-10 years, and they’ve partnered with well-known electronics brand LG to be their battery supplier. That gives me some hope. The drive train is made by Bosch, which is pretty good at electric motors. The scooter has an integrated display (just like a touchscreen cell phone) supported by Vodafone that powers built-in navigation, theft protection and a sharable digital key.
This second-generation scooter from unu is available for preorder now, with promises of delivery by September.
We need some enterprising young businessperson to see the potential these things have for an electric city scooter in the US and bring a whole huge fleet of them here, because they’re not shipping to the States. If you wanted to go through the hassle of importing, these little things will retail at a starting price of right around three grand US. If you want a fantastic color you’ll have to upgrade; the fully upgraded 4,000W motor in matte coral will run you $4400 US and that’s still really affordable.