Small electric scooters have proven themselves popular with economically and environmentally conscious riders. A new product, the iTank, aims to expand the market.
Doohan, the people who brought us the Zeitgeist electric bicycle, have a new product they hope becomes the future of urban transportation.
They call it the iTank Urban Crossover Scooter, which is essentially an upgraded version of a three-wheeled scooter already being sold in Asia and the developing world. The company is hoping to use a Kickstarter campaign to pre-sell some units in the United States.
The electric scooter is powered by a removable battery that purports to give the vehicle a range of about 60 miles, and they claim the motor can power it from 0-to-30mph in about 5 seconds.
“A three-wheeled scooter is the future,” said Doohan’s CEO Kartik Ram. “I truly believe this is going to be the urban mobility future: interesting personal vehicles that can carry stuff. I’m totally committed to this architecture for the next 10 years.”
More robust three-wheel scooters have already carved out a niche in Europe and some have been imported to the USA. In fact, the iTank looks like a cheaper, smaller and less powerful version of the Piaggio MP3. Or a miniaturized Can-Am Spyder.
Cost is where the iTank stands out, as early bird backers can reserve one via Kickstarter for about $4,000 — less than half the cost of a new Piaggio.
Naturally, there are some trade-offs.
“It’s not a scooter, and it’s not a motorcycle,” Ram told TechCrunch, noting that “I wouldn’t take it off-road and climb rocks with it.”
It’s also not practical for hauling groceries, and you won’t be taking it out on the Interstate, but the iTank does seem like an ideal transportation solution for a specific type of young person.
That ideal customer is probably living in an urban area, has a short commute to work, and does most of their shopping online.
Additionally, the company is planning to target police forces and other clients who might use the scooters for commercial applications.
“Where Segway failed, we can do that,” Ram said.
What do you think? Would you buy one?
Sound off in the comments below!