Volkswagen wheels out E-Scooter in Shanghai

Volkswagen surprised the media at the Shanghai Motor Show by unveiling a battery-powered two-wheeler called the E-Scooter. Tipping the scales at 44 pounds (without its nickel-metal hydride battery), the lightweight E-Scooter features a 350-watt electric motor and boasts a range of 25 miles and a top speed of 30 miles per hour.

VW's director of design for China, Simon Loasby, says that the E-Scooter's range could be extended with a lithium-ion battery pack and adds that the two-wheeler's performance could be enhanced with a 700-watt electric motor. In a somewhat surprising decision (given the flights of fancy some concept vehicles exude) VW elected to focus on keeping weight in check and costs at a minimum in the E-Scooter concept, hence the 350-watt motor and NiMH pack. Loasby told Autocar that:
Our idea was to come up with a solution for affordable mobility in megacities like Shanghai, and to give people who've never owned a car a way into the VW brand. The E-Scooter isn't covered in VW badges, but you know it's a VW from the shape of the frame, the detailing of the head- and taillight, and the premium quality of the product.
Selling the E-Scooter in China won't be easy, where the average battery-powered two-wheeler goes for approximately $500. Still, VW claims that it could offer these little rides for less than $1,000 and says it may roll out a fleet of E-Scooters in a Chinese city sometime in 2012.

[Source: Autocar]

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