July 12, 2013
Electric Scooter That Integrates iPhone Hits Asian Markets Soon
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
One manufacturer of scooters has revealed an electric scooter that is able to connect with an iPhone.Terra Motors' A4000i is currently being showcased in Tokyo and will soon be emerging in Asian markets. The iPhone will integrate with the scooter, giving the rider navigation and scooter-status updates to take riding to the next level.
According to Slash Gear, this will be the first time a motor bike has been developed with the ability to interface with a smartphone. Scooter riders will be able to keep track of the vehicle's remaining battery charge, mileage information and average driving speed all with their iPhone.
Owners will be able to download apps that are free of charge. Terra Motors said these apps will help owners find recommended stores in their local area, as well as provide other navigational assistance. The scooter will be compatible with iPhone versions 3GS and up.
"The most valuable data is location information," Terra Motors said in statement. "By collecting and analyzing the location information of users, new services such as personalized advertisement will be possible."
Terra Motors said that in the automobile industry, manufactures have provided car navigation systems. However, Google and Apple hope to eventually reign in this industry. The company said it plans to sell 2,000 units of the scooters at first, with hopes of hitting 100,000 units by the end of 2015.
In the South East Asian market, smart phones are starting to prevail. However, since the main means of transportation there is still motorcycles, there are few companies that provide information services related to location," the company said. "Therefore, Terra Motors is going to provide an electric scooter with a smart phone connection.
The A4000i features a lithium-ion, removable battery with a reported life span of up to 31,000 miles. Total charge time is said to be about 4.5 hours. The scooter has a range of 40 miles on a single charge.
Terra Motors said that it sent employees to South East Asian countries two years ago to research motorcycles in the Asian market. It said a team developed a model that is suitable for usage in this market that can be driven on the rough roads that prevail in most of this part of Asia.
According to a press release, more than 30,000,000 electric bikes are sold each year in China alone.
"However, Chinese electric bikes face battery life problems, maintenance problems, and part supply chain problems in addition to its product quality in Asian market," Terra Motors said in a press release. "Therefore, these electric bikes are not able to compete with gasoline motorcycles produced by major Japanese manufacturers."
Engadget reported that this scooter will have a price tag of about $4,500, which is comparable to popular brands like Stella or Vespa.