Most electric scooters rely on the kick-push method of propulsion and rider orientation. Situated partially sideways, with one foot behind the other, the rider directs the scooter forward. Once a speed threshold is reached, the electric-powered motor takes over. This provides enough stability to maneuver sidewalks and side streets, but reaching top speed alongside traffic can prove hazardous. As such, TAUR‘s innovative new electric road scooter positions the rider straight ahead, with their feet side by side, straddling the aircraft-grade, matte powder-coat aluminum alloy frame. There isn’t a seat to sit on or a bar to rest your knees, rather two sturdy paddles to balance your center of gravity and sizable handlebars to hold on to.
“The benefits of e-scooters are incredible,” TAUR’s co-founder and lead designer, Carson Brown, says. “But they’ve always been designed for smooth ground at low speed. Think about it. Bikes? You face forward. Cars? You face forward. It’s the safest way to scope the road.”
The sideways angle at which you command e-scooters right now leaves room for bigger disruptions from speed bumps and potholes or swerving to avoid pedestrians. It’s harder to regain control if your body weight is moving in a slightly different direction than your scooter. “The number of ride advantages and features you unlock with a folding foot platform design is insane, and you don’t have to sacrifice portability to get them,” Brown continues.
When done riding, users can fold the scooter’s pedals upright and into a more streamlined position—this way they won’t bang against your side as you carry it. The scooter does prove to be a bit heavier than others we’ve tested—34 pounds (versus Levy‘s 27, for example)—but the additional weight is employed in high-stress areas like the frame, the ultra-robust Continental Kevlar-reinforced, puncture-resistant wheels, and the handlebar interface, which is comprised of a five-direction joystick and an LED screen.
Not only do the large tires offer a smooth ride, they also allow you to compete with cars and bikes. Plus, three modes—ECO, ROAD and SPORT—afford customizability for particular terrains or activities. Further, a top speed of 24mph and a range of 22 miles make the TAUR a worthy competitor in the field, considering most speed limits are at least 25 and most city commutes last at least a mile.
For rider safety, lights on both the front and rear illuminate—300 and 180 lumens respectively, with at least 100 degrees of visibility on both. Plus, the rear light shines both backward (toward those behind you) and up the rider’s back, illuminating them at eye level. And if something or someone ends up in your path, regenerative brakes at the front and hydraulic caliper ones on the rear wheel will safely and quickly slow you down. A clever fork on the front wheel leaves room for a standard U-shaped lock, but the scooter needn’t be bolted it to a pole, as there’s an internal digital lock that renders the scooter immovable until you tap it with the key fob or access it from the TAUR app. All types of locking should be employed considering the scooter’s price: $845 on Kickstarter now.
Images courtesy of TAUR