Californian startup X-oto has recently revealed a ground-breaking three-wheeled electric seated scooter, targeting urban riders and delivery services. The design features a unique leaning system for cornering, which could potentially enable users to navigate city streets without the necessity of a motorcycle license.
While the concept of a three-wheel scooter that allows riders to lean into corners isn’t novel, X-oto’s first model employs a configuration different from its competitors. Unlike Piaggio’s MP3 model, which uses a single rear wheel and two front wheels, X-oto’s scooter inverses this arrangement. The scooter’s patented self-stabilizing mechanism is positioned at the two rear wheels, enabling up to a 45-degree lean. This design offers “astonishing control, maneuverability, stability, and safety while preserving all the fun of leaning into the curves of the road,” according to the company.
Tim Huntzinger, the mind behind this innovative design, started working on the project several years ago while studying at the Arts Center College of Design. Huntzinger initially envisioned a tilting four-wheeler but ultimately decided on a trike configuration for the X-oto. This should provide an easier access point for beginners and a more stable ride for all users.
Powering the X-oto scooter is a 3-kW brushless motor situated in the front wheel hub, which offers two speed-limited drive modes and a third mode that accelerates to a top speed of 45 mph (72km/h). The scooter houses a single 2.15-kWh swappable battery that provides up to 45 miles (72 km) per charge. However, the option of a second battery can double the range.
Huntzinger, in the launch press release, emphasized that “the mechanism gives stability in a turn even at lower speed. This means you can lean at the full range no matter what your skill level. Riding X-oto feels different. It’s safer than a motorcycle and easier to ride, so it removes the barriers that hold a lot of people back.”
Currently, a limited run of Founder Edition models is available for reservation, with a refundable deposit of US$300. The base price of the scooter is on the higher side, set at US$7,499. Customers can also opt for additional features such as geo-tracking and geo-fencing, a Bluetooth sound system, and a future rear rack for cargo.
As of now, the delivery of these electric scooters is estimated to take approximately six weeks and is limited to California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. The innovative design and the potential benefits it brings to urban mobility make the X-oto a compelling option for those looking for a safer, more maneuverable means of city transportation.