The events of shared vehicles, the firms that deploy them, and the locations in which they are deployed have dominated much of the e-scooter debate. However, Carson Brown, co-founder and chief designer of Taur Technologies, a London-based e-scooter company, believes it is time to distinguish scooter sharing from scooters as cars.
Taur debuted in 2019 with a pre-order campaign for its luxury, sleek, white e-scooters, which include a foot deck that allows users to face ahead while riding and a set of big ol’ tyres. Although the goal was to start in London, the United Kingdom has yet to legalise privately owned e-scooters.
Taur is instead debuting in Los Angeles, thanks to a $1.75 million investment from Trucks VC, a San Francisco-based venture capital group focused on the future of transportation. While it would be a stretch to call the electric scooter market mature, it is far enough ahead that the arrival of a new business is noteworthy, if not thrilling.
“I believe sharing was pretty common when we began, and we took the bold, daring, and dumb choice to say, yeah, we think it’s going to transition to ownership,” Brown said. “So we’re taking advantage of areas that are embracing these cars, and we view LA as a terrific location to be, not only because of the product, but because we see branding as a significant part of our work.” We’re going to alter the way scooting seems to the average individual. We’ve done our duty if we can do it.”
In other words, Taur aims to foster a culture change that views scooters as aspirational modes of mobility rather than specialised or “second-class citizen activities.” According to Brown, most scooter firms don’t have much in the way of personality, and they definitely haven’t contributed anything to the culture.
He said, “It’s always been manufacture it as cheap as you can and sell as many as you can.” “The possibility to offer something that was really cutting edge and at the forefront drew us in, and it ended up being the product that everyone referenced.”
Unagi scooters have been dubbed the “iPhone of scooters” by some. The Model Eleven, the brand’s latest version, is a smart scooter featuring sophisticated rider aid capabilities such as object recognition and warning, as well as built-in speakers and other amenities. The Model 3 will cost roughly $2,860, while the Model 1 will cost around $990.
While Unagi has enlisted the help of celebrities such as Iggy Pop to boost the cool aspect of their scooters, Brown believes the firm hasn’t pushed the form factor far enough. Taur’s approach of designing a well-thought-out scooter that looks seductive and is priced on the high end ($1,495), he hopes, will assist create the required cultural change to promote ownership.
The front-facing deck, which enables riders to ride in a “dual ski” posture with both feet on two fold-down foot platforms, is certainly at the heart of that plan. This, according to Brown, offers riders an equal perspective of the road, something they wouldn’t have on other scooters if they stood half sides and half forwards. He went on to say that it also helps with steadiness.
“If you think about skiing, you can vary how much weight you put on each foot, and that, in addition to the handlebars, directs the vehicle,” Brown said. “It has a distinct feel about it.” I’ve had a number of individuals who were typically adamant and said, ‘No, I prefer it the way it is,’ and then tried it and said, ‘OK, I really understand it now.'”
The Continental tyres on Taur’s scooter are 50 percent bigger than those on ordinary e-scooters. It also comes with three lights: the front light is a wrap-around, giving the rider excellent visibility while also allowing other road users to view the light from the side and rear. A specialised brake light is also included, as well as a projection light in the back that beams upward onto the ride to make them completely visible. The scooter also folds up well for convenient storage and ease when travelling.
For the time being, it’s only available in white, but Brown said that this was both an aesthetic and a utilitarian decision, since a white scooter not only sticks out among the sea of black and silver scooters on the market, but also makes it more visible to other road users.
According to Brown, too many scooters on the market are unserviceable by a typical bike store and have inadequate customer service channels. Taur’s scooter is modular, meaning it is made up of five different components that can be switched out for easy maintenance.
“‘Built for ownership’ was there from the start,” Brown said. “You can change a tyre in under five minutes with a spoon if you don’t have a tyre lever.” When you’re a user and creating these cars, you know what the bar is and that no one is going to reach it.”
Taur will begin distributing pre-orders for its scooter this summer, and starting in August, the company will only sell directly to customers in Los Angeles. A 30-day money-back guarantee and a warranty will be included with the scooters. Customers outside of the United States may reserve a seat on Taur’s waitlist by putting down a $100 deposit.
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