Audi Wants To Sell You An Electric Scooter You Can Charge In Your Trunk

Illustration for article titled Audi Wants To Sell You An Electric Scooter You Can Charge In Your Trunk
Photo: Audi

From the R8-based E-Tron 10 years ago to the production E-Tron electric crossover introduced back in September, Audi has already shown us more than a few forms its brand of electrification project can take. It even thinks it can grow its marketshare by moving downmarket with a cheaper version of its new crossover. This week Audi took things a step further, targeting not the Tesla Model X and the forthcoming Mercedes EQC, but something smaller, like a Bird or a Lime scooter.

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The handlebar is designed to make the scooter steerable with one hand
The handlebar is designed to make the scooter steerable with one hand
Photo: Audi

Audi’s E-Tron Scooter, which it plans to put into production next year, weighs around 12 kilograms, has a range of 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) and can go up to 20 km/h. Audi says that the handle design they have incorporated is safely usable with one hand.

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Don’t think that you’ll be able to use your free hand to snap selfies and swipe to find a date, though. According to The Verge, the freedom of one-handed steering allows riders to use the directional hand signals you probably forgot an hour after your driving test. Combined with skateboard-like two-wheel trucks at each end of the board, the one-handed handlebar is supposed to provide a riding experience that Audi describes as “like surfing waves.”

Audi intends to market the E-Tron Scooter alongside its growing line of EVs
Audi intends to market the E-Tron Scooter alongside its growing line of EVs
Photo: Audi

The real excitement about Audi’s scooter, though, isn’t its handle. It’s the possibility of integration with Audi’s other electric models. Audi doesn’t just envision this scooter as a transportation solution in itself (though it definitely would love you to ride one around town).

Rather, the goal behind this scooter is to offer it as an option to E-Tron car buyers as a kind of last-mile solution to be stored and charged from a socket in the trunk.

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Illustration for article titled Audi Wants To Sell You An Electric Scooter You Can Charge In Your Trunk
Photo: Miles Goodhew (Flickr)

Now, you’re probably thinking that this isn’t the first scooter offered by a car company as an accessory to a car they sell. You’d be right about that too. We have always loved Honda’s Motocompo, which was designed as a companion to the adorable Honda City back in 1981. The main difference between the Motocompo and Audi’s new toy is the charging model.

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The Motocompo had a tiny 2.5 horsepower gasoline motor inside, requiring a separate supply of fuel to keep it juiced up and ready to go. The E-Tron, on the other hand, just needs to stay plugged in to be ready to go when you get to where you’re going, or if traffic is keeping you from getting there on time.

Not a bad idea when the goal is mobility. Maybe this will catch on with other automakers.

Max Finkel is a Weekend Contributor at Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

This is excellent, I like it. The scooter alone is probably way more stable than any current offerings (even though the electric-assisted bicycle really is the safest option). And being able to charge from your own car is sort of an extension of charging your car at home vs. using a public charger - you know which one will be the most beneficial.

That said: the appeal of scooters is the fact that you can just ride’em and dump’em. I’m not tryna leave my E-Tron scooter outside or on a bike rack, but I’m def not keen on lugging it around with me indoors.