The latest electric concept from Hyundai Motor Group features rear-wheel drive and is powered by a lithium ion battery, but it's not an electric car.
It's the automaker's new prototype scooter. It could be mounted on future Hyundai and Kia models, giving drivers a way to cover the first or last mile of a journey while keeping their cars parked.
Hyundai joins several other automakers in navigating first- and last-mile mobility with scooters or bicycles at the same time they are developing new electric vehicle technology.
When mounted on a vehicle, Hyundai's scooter is charged automatically using electricity created while driving, according to the group.
DongJin Hyun, head of the Hyundai Robotics team, said in a statement that in addition to addressing first- and last-mile mobility, the auto group seeks to reduce congestion and emissions in city centers.
Builds on concept
The model builds on the group's Ioniq Scooter concept, unveiled in 2017. The automaker has added suspension to the front wheel in the new design.
The concept could be charged while folded on the inside of the front door of the Ioniq Electric, an EV developed as part of Hyundai's Project Ioniq, an r&d effort focused on the future of mobility.
The new prototype reaches a top speed of nearly 12.5 mph. The scooter features a tri-fold design and digital display showing battery status and speed. The scooter has a range of about 12 miles on a single charge, though Hyundai plans to install a regenerative braking system to increase that.
Hyundai did not announce which vehicles the prototype would be housed in. Hyundai also did not provide a launch date.
E-scooters such as those made by Lime, Bird and Ford Motor Co.-owned Spin, have dominated micromobility in recent years, providing urban customers with multimodal travel.
Many of these brands, however, face problems with rider safety and regulations.
Audi unveiled its combined electric scooter and skateboard, the e-tron Scooter, in August. It has a range of 12.5 miles and can go up to 12.5 mph. The scooter, which a rider can operate with one hand, can be folded and stored in the back of a vehicle.
Audi said the scooter could be available as part of a fleet in urban areas or offered as an extra to customers who buy Audi e-tron models, some of which can charge a scooter through a socket in the trunk. The scooter is to be available late next year.
BMW Group, in collaboration with scooter developer Micro, announced its City Scooter in May.
The scooter has a tri-fold design and a range of 7.5 miles. BMW's scooter is expected to be available for $890 at select dealers in September.
Volkswagen presented a pair of concept scooters this year: a more traditional e-scooter, Streetmate, and a foldable Cityskater "electric street surfer," which has two front wheels and one rear wheel.
Ford has also tried to enter the micromobility sector with its foldable bike concept.
Ford and Dahon released a prototype folding electric bicycle in 2015. The MoDe:Me e-bike, part of the automaker's Smart Mobility plan, was designed to integrate into a vehicle's trunk.
Consultant group McKinsey & Co. expects the last-mile mobility market in the U.S., Europe and China to grow to $500 billion by 2030.
-- Alexa St. John