The name Terra Motors may ring a bell for you. It has developed an awesome electric tuk-tuk, which we wrote about back in April. Well, the company has also developed an iPhone-connected scooter.
With the A4000i, you just plug the iPhone into it (see pic above) and it supplies you with data about your electric scooter. For example, it can show you how much battery charge you have left, your power consumption, your average speed, and your mileage (or kilometerage?). With the use of an app, it can also help you to find where you are and how to get to your destination.
Interestingly, and one would hope this will change soon, the A4000i only works with an iPhone3G-5.
Terra Motors has a very cool cost comparison tool on the A4000i page which lets you put in different assumptions and compare the total ownership cost of a A4000i versus a standard gas scooter. Here’s a screenshot of the default calculation (note that 69,095.00 JPY = 690.825 USD as I write this):
Two other interesting things Terra Motors notes about its iPhone electric scooters are that: 1) the batteries can easily be removed and carried, and 2) the batteries last much longer than a standard electric scooter battery.
The A4000i is being targeted at Asian countries where scooters are already in heavy use. The factory where they are being built is in Vietnam, and the goal is to sell about 2,000 of them for $4,500. I think the higher initial price of the scooter, compared to a conventional gas scooter, might make sales harder than expected in such countries, even though total ownership costs will presumably be lower. However, 2,000 scooters is not a high target.
I think Terra Motors should bring the scooter to North American shores. An EV revolution is beginning there, and many people are looking for a way to avoid high gas prices through smaller vehicles and electric vehicles — the A4000i is both. Perhaps I’m optimistic, but I think the electric scooter market could grow a great deal in the US in the coming years.