Milan has announced one of Europe’s most ambitious mobility schemes, known as Strade Aperte (open roads). Its goal is to reduce cars in phase 2 of the lockdown by increasing bike lanes and pedestrian areas.
Egret One. The electric kick scooter with the same performance standards of an e-bike
If hoverboards set the current fashion trend, an alternative choice would be electric kick scooters, even though they aren’t street legal yet.
It is a small technological means of transport. Lightweight, easy-to-use, and electric, of course. This is the Egret One-S kick scooter, powered by batteries and realised by the Walberg Urban Electrics GmbH based in Hamburg, Germany. The scooter weighs 16 kg with its batteries and motor, and it is one of those lightweight vehicles that can be used on private property, exhibition centres, campgrounds. It is compact, you can easily fold it up or down in three steps.
The electric kick scooter’s road test
Once you’ve opened it and adjusted the handlebar, the vehicle is ready to be used. The on/off button turns the motor on and off and it is located inside the rear wheel. A display that shouldn’t be wet shows the status of the battery, the speed at which we are travelling and the mileage.
On the handlebar there are two levers: the accelerator on the right, the brake on the left, which is indispensable in a vehicle that can exceed 25 km/h. For safety, the electric motor is not activated when the vehicle is powered up, but after the first kick. Egret One-S, actually, can also be used as a traditional kick scooter, without the use of the electric motor.
If you use it as a traditional kick scooter you need to be careful both for its high acceleration and the braking distance. With a single charge you can travel more than 20 kilometres (almost 22) thanks to the engine brake that functions with a regenerative braking mechanism.
The cornering grip is quite good, but perhaps shock absorbers could be “softer”, although the vehicle is comfortable even when you reach 35 km/h. For this reason driving this scooter is funny as well as useful, since you can travel short distances in short time. The vehicle comes with a transformer similar to those used for laptops to charge the batteries and it only takes about 6 hours to recharge it fully.
The limits of the law and the legislative void
The sore point is that according to the rules of the road, an electric scooter cannot circulate freely: the legislative void doesn’t recognise the existence of this type of vehicles, because they aren’t walking speed accelerators (within 6 km/h) nor pedal assisted vehicles, nor mopeds (that require the use of helmets and an insurance). In fact they fall under the category of vehicles subject to approval.
The German company, however, stated that the designer Florian Walberg is in a workgroup of a technical committee in Brussels that is creating the standards of definition of a vehicle without seat as well as the specifications for the new category of “Lightweight Electric Vehicles”. “Our goal is to raise the consumers’ awareness on the future of transportation. We all travel several kilometres daily to commute to work, go to a restaurant or sports centres”. Clearly, if these means of transport were more widely used, the legislature would be obliged to find a legal loophole to make them circulate within the law.
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