The search for a lightweight, inexpensive means of moving around cities led Andrew Doroshkov and Ilya Shorstov to develop the Zero Emission Individual Transport (ZEIT) Eco. Doroshkov and Shorstov focused on a scooter that could bear a rider’s weight while covering enough distance for daily errands. The ZEIT Eco was also designed to fit easily within a car’s trunk for commuters parking far from their destinations. A final requirement for Doroshkov and Shorstov was a scooter that was compact enough for city dwellers with limited space in their apartments. The ZEIT Eco is pursuing funding through Kickstarter prior to a broader release this summer.
The ZEIT Eco’s aluminum body resembles a suitcase with plastic panels available in several colors. This frame only weighs about 40 pounds, which increases the scooter’s range while allowing easier storage. Owners can fold the foot rests into the body, collapse the handles into the boxy frame and disconnect the wheel. Doroshkov and Shorstov note that the body only measures 33 inches long for convenient storage in closets or storage lockers. The ZEIT Eco also offers enough room for a 350-watt electric motor and a 350 Wh battery.
Doroshkov and Shorstov were not only interested in basic design but tech-friendly features when bringing this scooter to life. The frame provides enough space to comfortably fit a laptop computer as well as items you might find in a standard glove box. An operator need not worry about power thanks to an electric charger in the handlebar. This charger can replenish phones and MP3 players during operation. The ZEIT Eco incorporates an audio system that allows an idled driver to stay entertained on the road.
Performance estimates for the ZEIT Eco fit well into the inventors’ hopes for an inexpensive urban mobility device. The scooter is limited to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour, which works well for drivers traveling short distances. An estimated range of 25 miles per charge is more than sufficient for a user who might use public transportation or travel to a nearby store. Doroshkov and Shorstov are also planning an upgraded battery that can power the scooter for 75 miles per charge. The ZEIT Eco battery can be recharged fully using a standard household outlet in less than three hours.
The ZEIT Eco is currently available as part of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. As of Tuesday, April 8th, the campaign has only garnered $2,120 from four donors with a single donor pre-ordering the ZEIT Eco. This campaign has a funding target of $250,000 and more than a month to attract additional attention from prospective buyers. The ZEIT Eco is available during the Kickstarter campaign with a contribution of $1,700 or more with anticipated delivery after November.
A novel approach by Doroshkov and Shorstov could attract attention in the next month though there are additional entrants in the electric scooter niche. A major competitor to the ZEIT Eco is the BOXX, a suitcase scooter that can travel 80 miles per charge at 35 MPH with a sticker price of $4,000. The ZEIT Eco will be priced around $2,000 after the Kickstarter campaign has finished in May. A growing supply of young people living in big cities means there is a market for all-electric scooters. This demographic could be problematic for BOXX or ZEIT Eco due to high unemployment or underemployment along with exorbitant living costs.