California-based startup X-oto has launched a three-wheeled electric sit-down scooter aimed at urban riders and inclined delivery services that even see people zipping around town without needing a motorcycle license.
Sitting three-wheeled scooters that allow riders to lean into corners like a two-wheeler are certainly nothing new, but Piaggio’s MP3 carver rocks one wheel at the back and two at the front, and X-oto uses the opposite configuration in its first model.
This puts the e-scooter’s patented self-stabilizing mechanism on the two rear wheels, allowing for a maximum 45-degree tilt, and promises “amazing control, maneuverability, stability and safety while retaining all the fun of leaning into the curves of the road”.
Tim Huntzinger, the brains behind the design, It is said I started working on this project a few years ago when I was a student at the Art Center College of Design, initially envisioning a tilting four-wheeler. He then went with a three-wheeler configuration for the X-oto, which, like the MP3, should offer easier use for beginners, while also providing a more stable ride for everyone.
A 3 kW brushless motor in the front wheel hub will propel the rider forward through two limited-speed drive modes and a third drive mode with a top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). A single 2.15-kWh replaceable battery has a range of 45 miles (72 km) per charge, but a second battery is optional to double the range.
“It’s a completely different riding experience,” Henzinger promised in a launch press release. “Even at lower speeds, the mechanism provides cornering stability. It means you can lean in all directions, no matter your skill level.
“Riding an X-oto feels different. It’s safer and easier to ride than a motorcycle, so it removes barriers for a lot of people. It’s easier to carry passengers or cargo than an e-bike, so it should be more useful to most people. In many states, you don’t even need a motorcycle license to ride it.”
The limited-edition Founder Edition model can be pre-ordered now for a refundable $300 deposit, starting at a rather hefty $7,499. Optional extras include geotracking and geofencing, a Bluetooth sound system, and a rear luggage rack (coming in the future).
Shipping is expected to take six weeks and is currently limited to California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada. The video below introduces the electric scooter.
XOTO creates lightweight, self-stabilizing electric vehicles for urban mobility and transportation.
Product page: X-oto Three Wheel Electric Scooter