The cu­ri­ous case of the all-ter­rain elec­tric scooter

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - C.C. WEISS

IF you wanted an au­to­mo­bile to drive over sand, dirt and rock, as well as pave­ment, you’d prob­a­bly start and end your search at mod­els with 4WD. So why shouldn’t the same ap­ply to your scooter se­lec­tion?

The eGroov scooter uses an all-wheel elec­tric drive to keep you rolling for­ward and a mod­u­lar hard­ware set to keep you com­fort­able.

If we were writ­ing a list of “top ve­hi­cles we’d like to take off road”, we think we’d run out of ink long be­fore mak­ing it to “mod­estly pow­ered elec­tric scooter”.

But the minds be­hind Paris-based startup eGroov Mo­bil­ity Sys­tems think there’s a place for a scooter that can go any­where, over any type of ter­rain, with the quiet, peace­ful op­er­a­tion that only an elec­tric drive brings.

The eGroov re­minds us a bit of the Day­mak Beast with­out the sus­pen­sion and so­lar power and with an ex­tra elec­tric mo­tor over the stan­dard model (Day­mak does have a dual-mo­tor model in the Beast D).

The eGroov has a 250-watt mo­tor in each wheel, pro­vid­ing all-wheel drive that helps it tackle pave­ment, dirt and even sand and mud. Those mas­sive tyres are sure to help in those mixed en­vi­ron­ments.

The eGroov can be equipped with one or two 12 Ah, 36 V lithium-ion bat­ter­ies for about 15 to 20 km of range with a sin­gle bat­tery and about dou­ble that with two.

Its top speed is 25 km/h in either case. With a pay­load ca­pac­ity of more than 120 kg, it can carry an av­er­age-sized per­son and all the cargo that rider could pos­si­bly ex­pect to take on a scooter ride.

The sin­gle- or dual-bat­tery pack is in­te­grated un­der the floor­board, help­ing to keep a low cen­tre of grav­ity. The bat­ter­ies can be re­moved for charg­ing by lift­ing the floor­board or charged di­rectly on the scooter. Charg­ing takes five hours per bat­tery.

The ba­sic eGroov comes as a 55-kg stand-up scooter with the afore­men­tioned power and per­for­mance specs, ad­justable han­dle­bars and dual disc brakes. The mod­u­lar eGroov+ is more of a ver­sa­tile work­horse, pack­ag­ing the same me­chan­i­cals with a seat and cargo box. That box can be swapped out for other sold-sep­a­rately ac­ces­sories, in­clud­ing a child seat and a surf­board car- The eGroov+ has a listed weight of 65 kg.

EGroov Mo­bil­ity Sys­tems is try­ing to raise money on Kick­starter, of­fer­ing the stan­dard eGroov at pledge lev­els start­ing at €1 690 (R25 048) and the eGroov+ (with seat and cargo box) start­ing at €2 190. The start-up es­tirier. mates re­tail pric­ing at €2 190 and €2 590, re­spec­tively. Both Kick­starter pledge lev­els in­clude a sin­gle bat­tery, while a sec­ond bat­tery can be added for €290. If all goes ac­cord­ing to plan, eGroov will be­gin de­liv­er­ies next year.

The eGroov looks handy for very spe­cific uses, like car­ry­ing a surf­board over a few kilo­me­tres of beach to your favourite break, but it looks too huge and heavy to be a ver­sa­tile ur­ban com­muter and way too un­der­pow­ered, rigid and slow to be a fun off-roader.

Does this 2WD elec­tric scooter make your list of use­ful off-road/on-road mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions, or does it leave you scratch­ing your head?

“The sin­gle- or dual-bat­tery pack is in­te­grated un­der the floor­board, help­ing to keep a low cen­tre of grav­ity.”

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The eGroov scooter uses an all-wheel elec­tric drive to keep you rolling for­ward.

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