Mercedes-Benz have finally announced details on their upcoming new electric scooter, and all the available information seems to suggest it’ll be a rugged, durable little device.
Announced without much fanfare at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the new scooter was being designed and developed in collaboration with Micro Mobility Systems AG, a Swiss company that specialises in scooters of all varieties, from plastic kids’ models to electric versions like the new Mercedes model. Earlier this year they released a new “flagship” model, the Micro Explorer, which is being used as the base template for Mercedes’ scooter – which has just gotten a trailer revealing a few more specifics.
Simply referred to so far as the “Mercedes-Benz eScooter”, and not yet given an official price or release date beyond simply 2020, this model boasts some of the following features:
- 25km range
- 20km/h top speed
- 500w motor (peak)
- 280Wh battery
- Dual-wheel suspension
- 13.5kg weight
- 3-3.5 hours charging time
- 20cm diameter wheels
- Up to 5,000km of use
It’s certainly got something of the Mercedes design to it – mainly being black and nondescript, in an expensive-looking way – but the two things that feel most notable are the way the scooter seems geared with off-road suspension in mind, and that Mercedes continues to make a very small deal about all this.
The suspension thing is an oddity, but not a completely bizarre one. Suspension is important on any transport and though the scooter’s wheels are a bit larger than average, that’s probably smart: not everybody who wants an e-scooter is going to be a metropolitan hipster who just needs a set of wheels to get them to the local cereal cafe. In order to break out of being a niche, e-scooters have to be built for all people in all locations.
The lack of attention, though… that’s more surreal. Mercedes drew so little attention to their new project when they announced it last year that you’d think they were embarrassed about it, bundled into a press release between several vastly-less important products. Why not advertise a little? It was downright difficult to find the original copy of the trailer on YouTube, there was very little mentioning of it on any Mercedes website, and even Micro themselves seemed to have forgotten to mention it online. I get that e-scooters are a niche market and you don’t want to over-advertise, but you don’t build up an audience, a fanbase, or even just a pool of interested customers if you keep forgetting to tell them you’re selling a product.