Hyundai launches foldable 17lb electric scooter for last-mile trips

On Monday, Hyundai Motor Group unveiled the latest prototype of the compact electric scooter concept first announced in 2017; the model boasts a 20-km range and can be folded up and carried into the office.

At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hyundai introduced the world to a foldable electric scooter concept complete with a small digital dashboard between the handles, and a set of lights on the front and back ends. Yesterday, the company announced a prototype based on the two-year-old concept, which has several of the same features although with a 2019 update.

The 7.7-kilogram (approximately 17-pound) model is powered by a 10.5 Ah lithium battery which delivers energy to the rear wheel; in contrast, the concept featured front-wheel drive. Shifting the drive to the rear will allegedly make the scooter both more stable and more safe. While the model is still equipped with a set of front and rear lights, those on the prototype are more 'stylish' than those of the concept.

According to Hyundai, there are plans to integrate the scooter with future Hyundai and Kia vehicles which will automatically charge the micro-vehicle "using electricity produced while driving."

The company claims that with a full battery, the prototype can reach a top speed of 20km/h (about 12 mph) and achieve a range of 20km (about 12 miles).

Hyundai is said to be looking at integrating regenerative braking into the model as well, which could potentially increase its range by 7 percent.

No launch timeline has as yet been disclosed.