Two Wheels

ATX 8080 electric scooter raises a ruckus on Kickstarter

Some of the most compelling designs are also the most simple, and stripped down, bones-showing vehicles certainly grab our attention. The ATX 8080 from Austin Electric Powersports is one such exoskeletal head-turning effort. Almost halfway through its life-giving Kickstarter campaign, it's also approaching the halfway mark to being a funded reality.

With a look reminiscent of the Honda Ruckus, this electric scooter pushes past the 49-cc limits of that Japanese gas burner, requiring riders to possess a motorcycle endorsement. In return for that bit of red tape, this totally tubular two-wheeler takes you from traffic-cone status to viable commuter, with an 80-kph (50-mile per hour) top speed and 80-kilometer (50 miles) range (hence, its 8080 nomenclature).

The heart of this battery-powered beast is the "oneDrive" system from KLD Energy, which is the progenitor of this project. This patented power unit is a low-voltage, high-frequency, hub motor design that said to be good for 147.5 pound-feet of torque (no kW rating is given). From a performance perspective, this translates to 0-to-25 mph in 3.2 seconds, and 0-to-50 mph in 9.4.

Speaking of batteries, the ATX 8080 uses Samsung-sourced cells – good for 90,000 km (55,923 miles) of riding – to create a somewhat ponderous 33-kg (72.75-lb) 3.14 kWh box. Charge time to 80 percent is two hours, through any household socket. It will need to stay plugged in twice as long to completely top it off, though.

The price offered through the Kickstarter campaign is $5,250, or a matching set for $10,000 even. If you just want to offer support, they have some interesting rewards, such as a three-day pass to the 2016 Moto GP event and/or a weekend pass to the Austin City Limits Music Festival. You can keep up with the ATX 8080 over on its Facebook page, and if you haven't already, check out the video above to get the whole pitch and see the scooter in action.

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