Our avid readers will know that we’ve been keeping a finger firmly on the pulse of electric vehicles lately, combing the industry for the best of the best—the innovative renegades, the up-and-comers, the concepts that ignite our curiosity and set our senses tingling. We’ve featured electric cars, motorcycles, bikes, and even a surfboard, but now we’ve a new product on our radar from a different corner of the market altogether: the electric scooter.
MiniFalcon (oh, what a name) is a company comprised of experienced engineers and product designers. The savvy-but-scrappy team aspires to transform and improve the products we use in the day-to-day, and when it comes to transportation, their focus narrows to a laser point: they believe, quite firmly, that urban transportation stands to be made far more user-friendly and practical to those who rely on commuting for a livelihood. Working under the mandate that e-scooters should be utilized widely in densely populated areas, the team is pooling its expertise in mechanical engineering and the automation industry in order to shake things up.
Toting the MiniFalcon as “the first packable high-performance electric scooter,” the U.S.-based company has created a product capable of fitting into a backpack. Folding the scooter to a diminutive 23 inches—less than 2 feet—is possible in three quick steps. One: fold down the handlebars. Two: collapse the height. (The steering pole is capable of contracting to a third of its size.) Three: fold the deck and stow!
That contractable steering pole, which the company refers to as a “telescoping shaft,” represents another first in the world of e-scooters; this one has three adjustable heights to suit the rider’s own height and preferences.
Ok, so we know it’s convenient to carry around. But what about the ride?
The MiniFalcon is manufactured using aerospace grade aluminum, a lightweight but incredibly strong material that allows the scooter to hold up to 220 lbs and accelerate to a maximum speed of 16 mph, which is plenty adequate for urban commuters zipping through traffic-dense streets. This is made possible thanks to its 350W brushless (and noiseless) motor. Hidden shock absorbers in both the front and rear wheel enhance comfort and safety around potholes, unexpected curb sides, or speed bumps.
A thickened steel magnet provides 1.5 times the torque of its competitive e-scooters. For those new to the scooter world, that means faster starts, stronger accelerations, and an all-around better experience when it comes to ascending hills.
MiniFalcon is also one of the first e-scooters out there to offer adjustable speed gears. This is key when driving an electric vehicle, as it allows the rider to ration power accordingly and achieve optimal power distribution based on road conditions. (A high-torque, low-speed gear works best for steep hills, for instance, while a high-speed gear is ideal for when one wishes to fly down open, flat roads.
While electric vehicles are getting smarter and smarter, and the ability to connect with a smartphone has become pretty much a base requirement of…well, everything, the engineers at MiniFalcon understand the need for information in real time—and the importance of facilitating a safe way to receive it. A digital display on the foldable handles provides info on speed, battery life, gear position, and mileage, providing everything you need to know in a single glance. (After all, who can fumble with a cell phone on the road?)
Another safety feature? An electric brake and a manual brake, for double the reassurance. The manual brake will provide a sudden and quick stop, while the electric brakes allow for the rider to maintain complete control of handling when a sudden stop is called for. An ABS anti-locking system jumps to action in the event that you need to slam on the brakes suddenly; this feature prevents the scooter from skidding or sending the rider flying.
While the tires may look small, those tiny wheels pack a lot of power. Made from polyurethane, they are four times more resistant to wear and chemicals than rubber tires.
As for the electric capabilities of the MiniFalcon, the scooter runs on a Ternary 5C Strong Electric Discharge Battery. The company explains on its Indigogo page that this means an even power distribution that keeps speeds consistent, even when the charge is running low. At top speeds, the battery will last for nine miles, and recharging it afterwards will take a mere two hours—simple, fast, and efficient. Best of all, a Kinetic Energy Recovery System recycles excess energy; whenever the rider brakes or goes down a hill, energy is converted and added to the battery as additional charge.
Curious to try the MiniFalcon for yourself? Order now (at a special early bird price, no less) and take this speedy, silent baby for a spin when it ships in February.
Photos via MiniFalcon @ Indiegogo