Vehicle: Scooter
Street legal e-scooter   (+1)  [vote for, against]
Pedal-assist

Seems to me that electric scooters (e-scooters) are interesting and useful additions to the options for personal transport.

However because they are independently powered, they are classes as motorised vehicles in many juristictions and so would require tax, insurance, license, testing, compliance, etc. etc. and often this is not possible because of beurocratic lethargy in updating categories etc.

However in many juristictions there is a special category of pedal-assist, which is where electric bicycles (e-bikes) fit. The rules seem to me from a non-lawyer point of view, that they are classes as a pedal cycle if the motor only "assists" with the human power pedalling, and also there is usually a maximum speed cap beyond which the motor will not assist.

So the solution seems obvious! Make the scooter pedal-powered, so the motor merely "assists" rather than actually powering the machine.

The scooter looks just like a normal e-scooter but the foot plate is made in the form of a rocking see-saw, on a lateral pivot mounted halfway along the length of the footplate. The rocking motion, either with two feet one at the front of the plate and one at the back, or with one foot placed centrally and rocked forwards and backwards, is transmitted by a rocker arm to a small crank, which is geared through a gear-diode so that whichever what you rock the plate, the force is transmitted to propel the scooter forward. As you rock, the motor detects your rocking and is engaged to "assist" the forward propulsion. A small hub gearbox in the crankshaft ensures the rocking speed is comfortable no matter the road speed.

The extent of the rock and the gear ratios should be adjusted to comply with the law in terms of how much human input is permitted, but our aim is for the minimum rocking distance and speed, and the maximum electric motor power, within the legally mandated definition of what counds as "assist"
-- pocmloc, Aug 23 2021

Google: killed using e-scooter https://www.google....safe=active&ssui=on
Google turns up a number of incidents of people hurt using their scooters [zen_tom, Aug 23 2021]

Elliptigo https://www.elliptigo.com/
Stand-up treadle “scooter” - electric motor add-ons available soon. [a1, Aug 23 2021]

Rules in New Zealand https://www.nzta.go...w-powered-vehicles/
Mostly based around power. There are many here that are fast enough to keep up with traffic. [neutrinos_shadow, Aug 23 2021]

For [a1] https://www.li.me/locations
This is just one company renting e-scooters with an App. Where DO you live? From your comments, a long way from "normal" civilisation, it would seem... [neutrinos_shadow, Aug 23 2021]

Whilst there might be a legal grey area around using electrically powered vehicles to get around that might be annoying for people who want to use them, there's also the very real danger of sustaining injury after electrically propelled individuals zipping up and down pavements and pathways that just aren't designed for speedy transit.

If you wanted to alleviate the legal ambiguity, I think it'd be more productive to find solutions to the underlying problems that generate the legislative constraints.
-- zen_tom, Aug 23 2021


As it is illegal to ride a bike on a pedestrian pathway, so it would also be illegal to ride an (otherwise legal) pedal-assist scooter on a pedestrian pathway. Basically makes it legally the same as a push-bike. And many unassisted cyclists can easily exceed the legal maximum speed for electric assist.
-- pocmloc, Aug 23 2021


This idea rocks. </obligatory>
-- pertinax, Aug 23 2021


// it is illegal to ride a bike on a pedestrian pathway //

Not everywhere. And even where such laws exist, they are not always enforced.

As for the original idea - It sounds like an Elliptigo with an electric motor.
-- a1, Aug 23 2021


It should have a wire very clearly marked DO NOT CONNECT THIS TO THE MOTOR AT POSITION B, AS THIS WILL SUPPLY AN ILLEGAL AMOUNT OF POWER AND RENDER THE VEHICLE NO LONGER "ASSIST" and "DO NOT USE YOUR FOOT TO PRESS THE LEVER AT THE FRONT OF THE STANDING PLATFORM AS THIS WILL DISCONNECT THE WIRE AND RENDER THE VEHICLE LEGALLY "ASSISTED"
-- Voice, Aug 23 2021


//It should have a wire very clearly marked DO NOT CONNECT THIS TO THE MOTOR AT POSITION B, AS THIS WILL SUPPLY AN ILLEGAL AMOUNT OF POWER//

Ah, very responsible. Clear labeling and transparency can't be bad things. Japanese car manufacturers, back in the 90's, had a Gentleman's agreement on not producing cars with more than 300hp. One, I think Toyota, had a thin piece of plastic film stuck over the intake with a hole ~1/2 the size of the intake diameter in it. It was clearly stated that this shouldn't be removed as it could result in a large increase in maximum power. The harsh, hot conditions of the engine bay meant that this film fell off soon enough on it's own however, and sadly, replacements were not available.

Nissan chose to measure the power at the wheels, rather than the more conventional crank measurement. This meant that the power figure was artificially low, due to the losses of the gearbox and AWD transmission. Sadly, it was still too high, so they spec'd extra thick running in oils for the engine and trans. Sadly, the power figure was still too high. So they lied.
-- bs0u0155, Aug 23 2021


Fully powered e-scooters are all over the place here, have been for maybe a year or so. It's a trial. You can rent one with a smartphone app.
I'm sure they're handy, but annoyingly, people tend to abandon them as an obstruction on the pavement.
-- Loris, Aug 23 2021


// all over the place here //

Where?
-- a1, Aug 23 2021


They were all over San Diego last time I was there.
-- bs0u0155, Aug 23 2021


//Where?//

Birmingham, UK
-- Loris, Aug 23 2021


// where DO you live ? //

[neutrinos_shadow], I live in Oregon most of the time, but travel a lot for work. Most of the cities I visit *do* have them (and not just Lime) and they are a nuisance in varying degrees by location.
-- a1, Aug 24 2021


[a1], yeah, they're varying levels of nuisance here. Mostly, the worst are the ones that AREN'T being ridden, which are strategically placed in the middle of the footpath.
Side note: when Lime was introduced to the university town down the road, it was little more than a week before one was pulled from the local river... some people just have no respect for stuff.
-- neutrinos_shadow, Aug 24 2021


Re tossing them in the river: I've seen that in every city that has a scooter rental program and a conveniently located river. I wonder how they get vandalized elsewhere?
-- a1, Aug 24 2021



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