Singaporean electric scooter sharing startup Neuron Mobility announced the launch of the first commercial grade e-scooter that was designed in-house. This new electric scooter meets UL certification, meaning it satisfies higher safety benchmarks than those used by the firm before.
The new design includes a toughened aluminum chassis and modular construction. With larger wheels that now span 12 inches in diameter and a bulkier frame, Neuron Mobility co-founder Zachary Wang told KrASIA, “The rugged design prolongs the lifetime of the scooter, reducing the operational needs of the sharing company.”
Neuron Mobility claims that this will give users a safer, smoother ride. The new build also makes it easier to replace components, reducing service time for scooters that have been taken off the road for maintenance. The scooters are also outfitted with the company’s proprietary software that guides riders to designated parking zones, meant to ensure that they are not parked indiscriminately like shared bikes.
These improvements were made after the company bagged US$3.6 million in a seed round last December. “Being able to design a scooter gives us the opportunity to revise certain features to better suit its use as a shared resource. For example, the new scooter has almost no exposed screws or wires, relying instead on wireless communication that can only be unlocked by our engineers for maintenance. This greatly reduces the possibility of sabotage and vandalism, especially with regards to battery theft,” says Wang to KrASIA.
Overall, this new design brings about greater tamper-proof abilities and bring down maintenance costs.
The new scooters will likely be deployed in April this year, starting with Singapore.
Neuron Mobility was founded in 2016. Now, it provides electric scooter sharing services in Thailand and Malaysia as well, and has plans to expand to other corners in Southeast Asia.
At its peak, the company deployed around 1,000 electric scooters in Singapore. That number has since dwindled down to a few hundred due to regulatory concerns over the chaotic parking of dockless vehicles. Electric scooter sharing is a relatively new industry in Singapore, and the regulatory requirements have only just been established.
Last November, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore impounded the scooters of Neuron Mobility as well as those that belong to competitors Beam and Telepod. Neuron Mobility is in the process of applying for a license from the LTA to operate a device-sharing service in public places.
For licenses to be granted to device-sharing providers, their fleet size will be capped, and new vehicles must meet UL safety standards. Beginning in 2021, only UL-certified electric scooters will be allowed for use in Singapore.
In Thailand, Neuron Mobility has partnered with real estate developer Sansiri to offer last-mile transportation at residential, retail, and educational institutions in Bangkok.
Neuron Mobility’s competitors in Singapore include Grab, Lime, Telepod, Beam, QIQ, and Anywheel.
Editor: Brady Ng
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