Daimler AG is taking its two-seater Smart car into a two-wheel version at least in concept form.
The Smart electric scooter is being introduced as a study at the Paris Motor Show later this month, but it aims to draw from the car's design cues right down to interchangeable thermoplastic body panels over a metal safety cell while providing another alternative for urban transportation.
Its use of exterior plastics expands beyond body panels to translucent thermoplastics for the windshield and in vertical trim along the front paneling along the footwell. The trim can be illuminated with light-emitting-diode lighting to provide better visibility, the company said in a Sept. 22 news release about the introduction.
Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler began making the Smart mini car in 1998 and is continuing to update it with new colors and trim in its interchangeable plastic panels. An all-electric version powered by lithium-ion batteries launched in Europe late last year.
The escooter's battery pack will be capable of running up to 62 miles on a charge.
The space that would be taken up with an engine in a normal scooter is available for cargo storage. The charger port is housed within the front plastic panel, while solar cells also located at the front of the scooter provide an additional energy supply to supplement a plug-in charge.
Smart's scooter would add new technology as well, relying on the user's smart phone and an application in place of a traditional set of instrument panel gauges. Users insert their phone into the scooter's body and use its display to track their speed and distance. They also can tap into the phone's navigation system to both find their way to a place, and also track down their scooter if they have forgotten where they parked it.