It is tough for a new entrant to drum up excitement in a niche as crowded as electric scooters. But GoTube has shown that that is not impossible, thanks to its minimalist design aesthetic and extreme portability. No, seriously, when its makers call it the “world’s most portable electric scooter,” they are not kidding; the scooter weighs just 12.85 pounds (5.83 kgs) and folds up nicely to fit into a carrying case that can be worn over the shoulder. The Kickstarter crowd put the GoTube on the fast lane to mass production by together raising over 600 percent of its campaign goal.
The GoTube is like a less impressive Transformer in the way in which it goes from electric scooter to tubular carrying case. The chain of actions starts at the handlebars, which fold into the body of the scooter. Then the central bar (or stem) folds down towards the base, and the entire body takes on a cylindrical shape. All you need to do after that is to pull out the strap, which can be worn over the shoulder or back when transporting the scooter. And given its 12-pound weight, that should not be tough to do at all.
In addition, the GoTube boasts a pretty decent feature-set. The front and rear wheels both have shock absorbers to ensure a smooth ride. The handle can be inclined to a maximum of 10 degrees to make riding slopes easier. There is a night riding mode which engages a light at the front of the scooter. A tachometer combined with a push-button control can be used to alter the speed. Also, on board is a USB port to charge your phone, which is only feasible when the device is folded up, obviously.
Since it is an electric scooter, the GoTube will have to be taken off the streets to top up its batteries now and then. Thankfully the 36V batteries which are linked to a 120W motor take only a couple of hours to be restored to full capacity. Once fully charged, the scooter can traverse 7 miles before it needs to meet a power socket again. If the batteries run out before you can get to one, it can still be peddled like a regular scooter.
The GoTube has already raised over $130,000 on Kickstarter with help from over 390 backers. The campaign, which originally set a goal of $20,000, ends this week. Early bird units of the GoTube are available on Kickstarter for a price of $299–$200 USD off the $499 retail price. Deliveries are expected to commence in March 2017.
Prateek Jose is a writer and engineering undergrad from India with an unhealthy obsession for obscure historical trivia. Conversations about absurdist fiction and the technological singularity make his day. He’s already uploading parts of his brain to servers by writing for websites such as this one.