Last week on a sunny Friday afternoon FlyKly founder Niko Klansek met me in the parking lot outside my Brooklyn apartment building to show off his new foldable electric scooter. We spoke for about fifteen minutes. Then I snapped a few pictures and I took it for a quick test drive around the block.
A few minutes later Klansek hopped onto the scooter and kicked off. A second after that he was gone, but almost a week later I still can’t stop thinking about Smart Ped.
Smart Ped isn’t Klansek’s first Kickstarter project. Two years ago he used the crowd-funding platform to launch Smart Wheel, which turned a regular bicycle into an electric bike using patented pedal assist technology. Now FlyKly is bringing the same concept to another form of transportation that’s even easier to ride and more compact: the scooter.
On the surface Smart Ped looks like a pretty regular non-electric scooter. It’s not as compact or light as that classic Razor design, but it feels a lot sturdier as a result. All the technology is hidden inconspicuously inside the back wheel.
Kick off and it’s like riding a normal scooter, but pick up enough speed and the motor kicks in. Once it does, Smart Ped will automatically carry you for 500 seconds at whatever speed you were able to reach manually. It maxes out at 16 miles per hour, assuming you can get it going that fast with your own feet first. Because it relies on your own strength to speed up, Smart Ped is totally street legal and doesn’t require any permits to ride in public.
The design is mostly steel, while the motor is covered in aluminum. The regular version folds near the base, making it easier to store the scooter away or stow in the trunk of your car. There’s also a premium version with multiple folding hinges so you can roll it around like a suite case.
Smart Ped works with an app for Android and iOS, which lets you shutoff the motor or lock the entire scooter so the wheels don’t work at all. It can also track your rides and offer suggestions for better, safer routes.
Smart Ped is ready to go and production is already ramping up. Klansek says he could actually take it straight to the mass market, but he wants to offer the Kickstarter community a chance to grab the scooter early for a discounted price.
You can pre-order Smart Ped for as little as $769 thanks to an early bird special. Once that runs out you can still grab the scooter for $799 (down from the official retail price of $1,999). Both options ship in February 2016, though there’s also a limited Christmas special set to arrive in December for $899. If you want the Premium version it will cost you $949 on Kickstarter, and it won’t actually arrive until March.