GenZe a ‘mo­bil­ity app’

Mahin­dra’s out-of-the-box so­lu­tion for those who would rather ride than drive

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

MAHIN­DRA’s GenZe scooter goes on sale in three states in the U.S., with prices start­ing at $2 999 (R39 800), ac­cord­ing to the Salt Lake Tri­bune.

It is a big experiment for Mahin­dra, as scoot­ers ac­count for less than seven per­cent of mo­tor­bike sales in the U.S., with just 3 528 sold last year across Amer­ica.

Mahin­dra said, how­ever, the GenZe was not de­signed to be the ba­sic trans­port unit it is in other parts of the world, but to help solve the prob­lem of ur­ban mo­bil­ity. “We have cast aside tra­di­tional as­sump­tions about trans­porta­tion to de­velop outof-the-box so­lu­tions that make your life eas­ier. Our start­ing point was not scoot­ers, cars or public trans­port — rather, we fo­cused on get­ting you from A to B in the most ef­fi­cient man­ner pos­si­ble, with no has­sles.”

Viewed as a “mo­bil­ity app” for Gen­er­a­tion Z, those young­sters born into a world of cell­phones in ev­ery pocket, the GenZe scooter comes with an on­board lap­top charger and sev­eninch touch screen dis­play.

Be­hind the tra­di­tional stor­age area un­der the seat, the scooter also has a small or large car­ry­ing bin, sold with ei­ther hard or soft “cargo cover”. Both bins are wa­ter­proof and the larger op­tion can lock up a full-face hel­met and a shop­ping bag.

The scooter will be sold in Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon, and Michigan, where it is as­sem­bled. Mahin­dra plans to tar­get col­lege cam­puses and sup­ply ve­hi­cles to scooter-shar­ing pro­grammes.

The GenZe has a top speed of 48 km/h and fea­tures a 13 kg re­mov­able bat­tery pack that riders can take in­side to plug in.

It recharges in three-and-ahalf hours and can do about 50 km on a charge, depend­ing on the rider’s weight and the to­pog­ra­phy.

All the in­for­ma­tion per­ti­nent to the ride, from the bat­tery charge to the speed and map, shows on the touch screen.

Mahin­dra said 300 buy­ers have put down a $100 de­posit for a GenZe scooter to date. The com­pany says it can make 3 000 scoot­ers in the first year of pro­duc­tion.

If more stu­dents take to the scooter, Mahin­dra will be the first car builder with an an­swer on how to sell ve­hi­cles to a gen­er­a­tion that do not want to own cars, but rather share a ride on Uber.

PHOTO: MAHIN­DRA

Mahin­dra’s GenZe scooter, shown here with the small stor­age bin.

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