FlyKly founder Niko Klansek called it the logical next move as cities embrace alternative forms of transportation, and batteries have become more powerful and affordable. He’s targeting people on the last mile or two of their commute, after getting off a train or bus. The 24-pound scooter folds down and can be carried.
There isn’t a traditional throttle to accelerate, but the scooter will maintain the speed a rider reaches after pushing off. It maxes out at 16 mph and includes a hand brake. The scooter will hold its speed for 500 seconds before turning the electric motor off. The 16-inch wheels are designed for the rugged pavement in cities. The battery’s range is 18-30 miles and charges in two or three hours, according to Klansek.
FlyKly is launching the scooter, called Smart Ped, on Kickstarter Wednesday and will ship two models — for $800 and $950 — before Christmas.
Klansek envisions the scooters being used on bike lane, roads or sidewalks, depending on the situation. Electric scooters may be appealing to consumers who have passed on cycling given concerns they’ll arrive sweaty, that their clothes aren’t appropriate or that they can’t bring a full-size bike on a train.
Razor, the maker of push scooters that have long been popular with children, sells multiple electric scooters that are designed for adults. They have a seat built in and can travel at speeds up to 18 mph. The company plans to build more models designed for adults.
“People are very ready for a new kind of mobility,” Razor USA president Carlton Calvin told me earlier this year. He thinks the market for electric scooters could eventually be as big as for push scooters.
Momentum seems to be building in the space — take for example the “hoverboard” craze. On Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill allowing the use of motorized wheeled devices, such as scooters and skateboards.
Could you see yourself riding one of these?