Guys, guys, guys. I was strolling through the never-ending booths full of micromobility companies at the Eurobike 2023 trade show today when I stumbled upon what may be the coolest electric scooter to date: the S80 Solar Scooter. This very well could be the first electric scooter that never needs to be recharged.
Or perhaps I should say it’s the first electric scooter that never needs to be plugged into a wall charger. Instead, it gets all of its recharging needs met with solar panels.
That’s because the S80 Solar Scooter is quite literally covered head to toe (or feet to folding bars) with photovoltaic cells.
I’m not kidding – just look at this thing!
The miniature rolling solar array is split into two roughly equal-sized panels. The first is mounted on the steering column, and the second is mounted on the deck, or perhaps it is the deck.
Sure, the front panel’s nearly vertical orientation isn’t exactly a model for peak solar efficiency. And yes, standing on the deck solar panel probably cuts into its effectiveness. But stop raining on my parade, folks. I’m already in love!
The Chinese factory’s representatives at the booth explained how the scooter works, offering somewhere between 35 to 70 watts of solar power to recharge the scooter. Considering the 468 Wh battery on board, that means a full recharge takes between 7 and 14 hours of sunlight.
In other words, you can probably get between half to a full charge per day when the scooter is parked outside.
For anyone who only uses half of their scooter’s battery each day, that means you’ll never have to plug it in! With a rated range of 35 km (22 miles), the back-of-the-envelope math tells me that you can cruise around town for roughly 11 miles a day on purely solar-generated electricity.
On the performance side, the 350W rear motor offers a top speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph), which is likely a regulation-inspired software limit to keep the scooter legal in Europe. But the company has also completed the necessary certifications for sales in the US as well, so don’t think that we’ll be left out of the S80 Solar Scooter fun.
The scooter features built-in GPS for location tracking and anti-theft. The dashboard on the handlebars offers up all the ride data you could need, including speed, trip distance, battery charge, turn signal icons, cruise control indicator, and even a check engine light.
It’s a much more elegant setup than some of the DIY solar-powered micromobility solutions we’ve seen or even the DIY projects I’ve created myself.
What do you think of the S80 Solar Scooter? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below. And if you want to see the scooter in action, just check out this video. Heaven knows they could use it; the view count is in the single digits at the time of publishing.
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