As more scooters (and some motorcycles) go electric, the line between the two vehicle types continues to blur. With modern combustion versions, most scooters come with continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), while most motorcycles require the use of a clutch and a shifter. Some exceptions do exist, like Honda’s dual-clutch transmission (DCT) or MV Agusta’s smart clutch system (SCS).
Electrification changes things, though, because the need for shifting the same way just isn’t there. As such, the dividing line between an electric scooter and an electric motorcycle seems to largely be an aesthetic one. High-powered electric bikes like LiveWires and Energicas get all the glory, but it’s small-displacement-equivalent commuters that do most of the everyday work—as it also is with combustion bikes, when you’re talking about the rest of the extremely wide world outside America.
Bearing all that in mind, do you remember STILRIDE and its sheet-metal origami electric scooter? The Swedish startup first unveiled its prototype for this scoot a couple of years back, and the aesthetics instantly wow you now, just as they did then. Now that it’s 2022, the company is pleased to announce that it will be bringing the production version of the Sport Utility Scooter One (SUS1) to market very soon. Exact details have yet to be announced, but it’s apparently no longer just a prototype, nor a cheap excuse for an Among Us joke—the launch is planned for some time in Autumn, 2022.
Gallery: STILRIDE Sport Utility Scooter One (SUS1)
Although the SUS1 will be STILRIDE’s first production bike, it plans to use its steel-folding technology (which it calls STILFOLD, naturally) to make other things as well. Cargo bikes and trailers are first on the list. (There’s also no mention of future Dune crossover plans for STILSUITs, but we can certainly hope.)
While the SUS1’s unique design requires significantly fewer components, labor, and materials costs, STILRIDE aims to reduce its carbon footprint as much as it possibly can. Thus, it’s exploring the possibility of flat-pack-shipping its steel sheets to local factories throughout Europe. Upon arrival, they can then be folded into shape to fit the hub motor and battery pack, and then roll out into customer hands not far from those same factories.
It sounds exciting, but will the end result deliver? With a claimed top speed of 100 km/h (about 62 mph) and a range of 120 kilometers (about 74.5 miles) on a single charge, and arrestingly good looks (at least, on the prototype), it should be pretty interesting to find out. Here’s hoping it lives up to expectations!