Hyundai teased prospects of its own electric scooter back at CES 2017, but it's now showing that it's much more committed to the concept in 2019. The automaker has unveiled a foldable e-scooter prototype intended for "last mile" rides when a car is impractical. It would perform about as well as Audi's E-Tron Scooter with a 12.4-mile range and a 12.4MPH top speed, but it's explicitly designed to integrate with Hyundai and Kia cars. You could even mount it in an EV and recharge through electricity produced while driving.
The new version includes some functional tweaks. It moves from front-wheel to rear-wheel drive to improve stability, and suspension at the front should provide a less jarring experience on bumpy surfaces. There's also talk of adding a regenerative braking system that could add another 7 percent (about 0.9 miles) to the range.
Hyundai hasn't outlined a schedule for when you might see this scooter on the street. In part, that depends on how quickly it electrifies its lineup. This would be harder to justify if you could only use it with a future version of the Kona Electric, wouldn't it? It may just be a matter of time, however. Like Audi, Hyundai is faced with a changing transportation landscape where people will use multiple methods to reach their destinations. If it doesn't have a scooter of its own, it may effectively hand money over to Lime, Bird and other services that do -- and that's assuming would-be buyers don't question the need for car ownership in the first place.