When we first started to design the Scootbee prototype in 2017, we thought long and hard about ride safety and ease. After all, most of the electric scooters in the market are two-wheelers, typically running on a single hub motor and using either an electronic brake or mechanical brake to reduce speed.
We thought having a three-wheeler would allow more people to easily ride the Scootbee, since no balancing is required. After all, not everyone quickly gets the balance of riding a two-wheeler, especially at slow speeds in urban environments with frequent start-stops. We are glad that we have had elderly beta riders who are confident enough to ride Scootbee without the jitters!
Singapore's pavements are generally laid out very well, with standard widths and clear demarcations between the road and curb. But occasionally there is still the sudden cul-de-sac or construction debris that chokes up the path. With the Scootbee, fret not! A rider can make an U-turn or three-point turn with a tight radius, or even go backwards to provide more maneuvering room to get around the obstacles.
Another unusual design choice that we made is to put in gearboxes in the Scootbee. Yup, you read it correctly - gearboxes! The function of the gearbox, in a nutshell, is to reduce the motor speed and increase the torque. It allows the Scootbee to climb slopes that would otherwise be challenging for most other electric scooters.
Having a gearbox also offers the additional advantage of slowing things down when you really want to slow down, even with the electronic or mechanical brake applied! Read some worrying news in Singapore here (even when the national scooter speed limit on sidewalks has been set to a relatively tame 10km/h or 6.2mph). Coasting down a slope and losing control is no longer so scary when you know that even in a panic situation, the Scootbee will naturally coast to a stop on its own. On flat ground, the effective braking distance of Scootbee is short, compared to most two-wheeler scooters.