Not wanting to be the only German economy car brand without an electric scooter concept, VW dropped this eScooter at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this week. What makes it any different than the MINI Scooter E and Smart escooter (some naming conflict there)? Well VW’s building this thing not for European cities, but for Chinese ones, which means a sub $1,000 price, NiMH batteries and a weight of just 44lbs (without those batteries).
What makes the VW eScooter relevant enough to report on? Well, it’s part of a recent surge of interest among carmakers in the electric scooter market. As those car companies attempt to inundate emerging markets, they’re finding that even their cheapest models are only affordable to relatively mature, affluent buyers and need a way to involve younger people in their brands. Electric scooters are being evaluated as an affordable, practical means to do just that and, as such, are receiving the R&D attentions of some of the biggest companies on earth.
Because this little VW is so cheap and light, it doesn’t offer much in the way of range or speed. Just 25 miles and 30mph. It does, however, come with removable batteries and VW hinted at a more powerful version should the eScooter ever reach markets outside China, where it’ll be rolled out in small test fleets next year.