Inspired by the Velib one-way bicycle rental service in Paris, students at MIT have developed a foldable electric scooter. Using only 150 parts to the typical gasoline-powered scooter’s 1,000, the new design could significantly lower production costs. A non-folding version would be even simpler and is envisioned for cities with lower-income residents and more space than Paris.
By placing a small electric motor in each wheel, the transmission of power to the road is simplified as much as possible and keeps the overall size compact and lightweight. Once folded, the scooter can be rolled like a suitcase, opening up a whole new set of possibilities beyond short-term rental. We’d keep one in our apartment, taking it with us on train journeys, using it to explore our destinations.