LAS VEGAS — The next time you head out the door, all it will take to set you in motion is a good kick. The 16.5-pound Emicro One from Micro Kickboard is the first motion-controlled electric scooter, with a motor that revs up once you provide some momentum. On display at last week's CES 2016, the scooter has a presale price of $1,000 and an expected ship date of February.
With a top-speed of 12 miles per hour, the Emicro One gives riders smaller or larger boosts based on the strength of that initial kick you give to propel it forward. Easy to fold up and carry, the scooter's lightweight airplane-caliber aluminum body dashes across surfaces, and its sensors will trigger another boost if you give the deck a slight bouncing motion with both your feet on the deck.
The Emicro One can take you 7 to 10 miles on a single battery charge; refueling that battery takes an hour to complete after you plug it into a wall socket via a proprietary charging port. To conserve power, the Emicro One sets its motor to sleep mode if the scooter's sensors don't notice activity in its wheels for a short period.
With a 220-pound weight capacity, and a 14 x 5.5-inch standing deck, the Emicro One may not support all travelers, but it had enough power to move me around the CES show floor after I gave it a couple of kicks of momentum. The limited space available restricted my testing to flat surfaces, but commuters who deal with slopes should be happy to hear that the scooter's motor provides extra power and torque when it encounters uphill angles. I had a hard time turning tight corners during my test drive.
You'll find the Emicro One's motor by the rear wheel. Tapping three times on the brake lever just above that wheel turns the motor on and off. The scooter's battery lights will dim or grow stronger to indicate the motor's status.
After I suggested it looks like the Emicro One could be a great way to handle my commute to work, Micro Kickboard brand ambassador Aaron Finney told me that he and another of member of his team complete their 3.5-mile commutes to work on the scooter, and enjoy riding it around during the early part of nights out on the town, since it’s so easy to fold and carry into a cab later. With only one short test-ride under my belt, I'm still excited by the Emicro's potential; it will certainly beat taking the subway in the morning.