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VW joins scooter market

2011-04-29 10:48

THE PEOPLES' SCOOTER: Volkswagen will release an electric scooter, but chances are it may never see South African streets.

Not content with Smart and Mini being the only car manufacturers with electric motorcycle concepts, VW has now also jumped on the bandwagon with the VW e-Scooter Renting Concept.

Unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show, Volkswagen's e-Scooter programme promises to work similar to bicycle rental schemes in many international cities. E-Scooters will be made available for rental from one of a number of hubs and, once your journey has been completed, you can deliver it to another hub elsewhere in town.

According to VW, prepaid e-Scooter Mobility Cards will allow customers access to e-Scooters, making their commutes more convenient and better for the environment. The Mobility Card will later offer an expanded range of services provided by Volkswagen Financial Services.

LITTLE LIGHTWEIGHT

One major difference in the approach VW is following compared to that of its other carmaker-turned-scooter-manufacturer competitors, is that the company is developing the e-Scooter for clogged-up Chinese streets, not European cities. Accordingly it is expected to cost less than R6 500 and will weigh only 19kg (without batteries).

Needless to say scorching performance was not at the top of VW’s priority list, and the e-Scooter will only trot for 40km before it needs to be recharged, and can’t go faster than about 50km/h.

VW will start rolling out a small test fleet in China in 2012 and has indicated that more-powerful versions could be launched if this model is later expanded to countries outside China.
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