The Evolution of scooters- From the kick scooter to the electric scooter. How did it all begin?
Electric scooters have gained popularity in recent years and have become the ultimate choice for many commuters. Like most inventions, the development of the modern model of electric scooters did not happen overnight. This blog on the evolution of electric scooters will take you through the various stages of the development of scooters to the modern model of the electric scooter we have now.
Evolution of scooters- What did the first scooter look like?
We can never talk about the evolution of electric scooters without making mention of the kick scooters. They are the first type of scooter to be used. The use of kick scooters goes back to the 19th century. As the name implies, the kick scooter is propelled by using your foot to push the scooter. Most kick scooters were made of wood with skate wheels. It was used for very short distances. It was very popular among kids because it was ideal for playing especially racing with it.
Another evolution of scooter is the when the kick scooter was revolutionized in the latter part of the 20th century. The inventor of this model of the kick scooter designed it to ride (how to ride an electric scooter) from his house to his favorite local bar. The distance between his house and the local bar was quite a small distance to drive and a long distance to walk. Wim Ouboter decided to invent a new model of the kick scooter which was small, portable, adjustable, and easy to ride. He made his dream come through in 1996 when he launched the company Micro Mobility to manufacture small lightweight kick scooters.
Evolution of scooters- Motorized scooters
This model of electric scooters was far better than the kick scooters, Production of motorized scooters also commenced in the 19th century, Autoped Inc., a company in the United States began the first production of motorized scooters. It was invented by Arthur Hugo Cecil Gibson.
The motor of the Autoped scooters was powered by gasoline. The Autoped scooter was ridden on a wheel of 10 inches. Although it seems similar to the modern model of electric scooters, it had a different way of operation. The rider controls the electric scooter by using only the handlebars and steering rod. The clutch is activated by pudding the handlebars and steering rod forwards and it is deactivated by pulling the handlebars and steering rod backward to trigger the brakes of the scooter, slowing it down and eventually stopping. Acceleration is controlled by a lever on the handlebar used as the throttle. The Autoped scooter had a horn, taillights, headlights, and a toolbox for easy repair when it develops a fault. The engine was situated over the front wheel. It was an air-cooled, 4-stroke 155cc. Just like modern models of electric scooters, the Autoped could be folded for easy storage and transportation.
An exclusive right for Autoped was granted in 1916 though it was applied in 1913.
Autoped scooters were used by workers from all walks of life due to their affordability. Postmen could deliver letters early with Autoped scooters. The police also made use of Autoped scooters to patrol during the day.
Autoped did not only take people from one place to the other but also a symbol of woman empowerment. Because it was easy to operate activists like Lady Florence Norman, a Brit suffragette usually used it as a mode of transportation to work.
The use of gasoline in Autoped scooters made it more efficient, However, it was not widely distributed and they ran out of production in 1922.
The evolution of scooters gets interesting as we move on. Krupp scooter was very similar to Autoped Scooters but used a 191cc engine. Unlike the use of levers to accelerate in an Autoped scooter, the Krupp scooter made use of throttle to increase the speed of the scooter. Apart from these two, the mode of operation of the Kropp scooter was the same as the Autoped scooter. This was the first scooter designed in Germany. It was designed in 1919 and production also ended in 1922, just like its counterparts in the US. Krupp scooters were manufactured under license to Autoped. It was manufactured by Alfred Krupp.
The first electric scooter
In 1996, Peugeot shook the world with their mass production of electric scooters. Although. It was not a stand-up scooter like what we have today, the evolution of scooters cannot be completed without mentioning Scoot ‘Elec– the name given to Peugeot’s electric scooter. Scoot ‘Elec was powered by nickel-cadmium batteries of 18V and 100Ah which were not so environmentally friendly. The maximum speed of the first electric scooter was 31mph and could cover a distance of 25 miles. it weighed (find out how much an electric scooter weighs) about 254lbs(115.2kg)
The modern-day electric scooter
We are gradually getting to the end of the evolution of scooters but before we end, let us take a look at how the modern-day scooter came about. After Autoped and Krupp ran out of production, the manufacturing of a stand-up scooter came to a standstill. GoPed started manufacturing gas-powered scooters in the 1980s similar to that of Autoped. With the production of sustainable batteries, GoPed manufactured the first modern-day electric scooter we see today in 2001.
This model does not make use of only handlebars and steering rods like the Autoped scooters. It has buttons on the handlebars for various functions which allows the rider to operate the electric scooter more effectively. The controller in the electric scooter receives a signal from the buttons and other parts and sends information to the required part to do its job. It can also be folded like the Autoped.
Brands like Micro and Razor also started mass production of electric scooters to make them available to a large number of people,
The evolution of scooters did not end with the stand-up electric scooter. What followed next? The self-balancing electric scooter is popularly known as a hoverboard. Hoverboards are the latest addition to the list of the evolution of scooters.
Self-balancing scooters (Hoverboards)
In 2013, Shen Chane designed and built the first model of the modern hoverboard. Initially, the hoverboard was designed to be used indoors. Due to insufficient space, Shen Chane introduced larger wheels to suit different road surfaces.
The mode of operation is different from the stand-up electric scooter. Self-balancing scooters have gyroscope speed sensors and tilt on each wheel. After the boarding of the hoverboard and tilting, the gyroscope transmits data to the logic board to move. The logic board then commands the motor which propels the wheels.
The logic board of the hoverboard and controller of the electric scooter can be compared to the processor of a computer
Electric scooters are now part of the world. The evolution of scooters can be traced as far back as the 19th century. The development of electric scooters has greatly improved due to the use of Lithium-ion batteries and electric motor technology. Lithium-ion batteries make charging very easy. As the years go by, I look upon seeing more features such as the solar panel added to it to be greater and safer to use.