Nissan looks to the future
IN San Francisco, Nissan has sent 10 of its electric quads to join 400 electric scooters already serving shared riders as part of the Scoot network.
Executive director of Nissan’s Future Lab Rachel Nguyen, said as mega cities grow, car makers need to understand how transportation is changing and anticipate what future needs will be. Nissan’s electric two-seater city quad has a range of about 128 km and a top speed of 40 km/h and provides tandem seating for two.
Nguyen said Scoot Networks is an ideal partner for Nissan in this research project. Riders in the Bay Area of San Francisco use a Scoot Networks app to find a scooter in a designated garage near them. To unlock the scooter and the helmet in the luggage box, riders have to plug in their smartphones. Once the journey is done, they return the scooter to any designated garage and plug in the scooter to recharge. Rides on the scooters cost about $3 and a monthly rental starts at $5.
Scoot vice-president Mike Waltman said scooter riders have been asking for two seats and luggage space, and the Nissan will meet these needs. Inside seat belts and speakers add to comfort, although the seat belt that snakes across the shoulder from the rear to the front seat needs a redesign. In a test ride, Waltman said that many drivers in conventional cars look at the tandem seater but don’t see it, which can make turning interesting, to say the least.
Putting prices of taxis in SA in perspective, U.S. residents can rent a Scoot Quad at the dollar equivalent of R105 per half-hour, or R1 060 per day.
In the future, expect more electric quads like this to provide rides for two in mega cities.