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The sleek and simple Zapp i300 is designed for urban commuters. Photo: Zapp

A new high-performance electric scooter is being billed as the transportation solution for urban residents who want an EV but don't have dedicated parking and can't exactly hang a charging cable out their apartment window.

What's happening: The $7,495 Zapp i300 is positioned as a daily commuter vehicle for urban dwellers — offering the convenience of a scooter and the performance of a motorcycle. Debuting this month in Paris, it's headed to Asia and the United States next year.

The big picture: Powered, road-legal scooters are popular in many parts of the world, and the $109 billion global scooter market is transitioning to electric power at a faster rate than cars.

  • “Europeans and Asians continue to embrace this mode of personal urban mobility, and are adopting electric versions quickly. We hope savvy urban Americans will do so soon” said Swin Chatsuwan, founder and CEO of the British company.

Details: The simple but sleek i300 is fully recyclable, incorporating an original alloy exoskeleton and proprietary composite body, rather than plastic components.

  • The lightweight architecture — just 200 pounds — means it is easy to maneuver and goes 0 to 30 mph in just 2.3 seconds. For safety, the top speed is capped at 60 mph, and it comes with anti-lock brakes for quick stopping.

The battery may be the most novel feature: The i300 is equipped with two 1.4-kilowatt-hour, independent, portable battery packs, housed under the rider's feet, which provide improved stability.

  • The battery packs weigh 12 pounds each and are about the size of a laptop, and can be removed nightly for recharging in an ordinary domestic 110/240 volt outlet. Charging to 80% takes less than an hour.
  • With both batteries on board, the scooter's range is 40 miles, but it can also operate on just one battery. That allows owners to leave one battery charging at home or in the office. Extra batteries are also available as accessories to swap out for longer trips.

What to watch: Zapp has not yet decided which city to begin deployment in the U.S., says company adviser Tony Posawatz, who led development of GM's plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt and currently serves on the board of electric luxury car maker Lucid Motors.

  • Riders might require a motorcycle license to operate the i300 in the U.S., he says.

Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Aug 26, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Iowa ethanol advocates' angst over Biden's electric vehicle push

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

President Joe Biden's push for more Americans to use electric vehicles is creating angst amongst some Iowa ethanol advocates who argue the single-track goal could come at environmental and economic costs.

Why it matters: Electric vehicles create more competition at the gas pump, potentially hurting Iowa farmers' pockets who rely on corn and ethanol sales.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but things fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.