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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

Updated Nov 9, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on sustainable transportation

On Tuesday, November 9th, Axios transportation correspondent Joann Muller explored the policies, sustainable technologies and recyclable materials spearheading electric vehicle deployment for a new mobility future, featuring Redwood Materials co-founder & CEO JB Straubel and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine).

JB Straubel highlighted the importance of sustainable materials in battery production, how battery supply chains play a crucial role in creating many of the world’s sustainable products, and the issues surrounding recycling end of life batteries.

  • On the important role of battery supply chains in spearheading sustainability: “I think now, even more than a few years ago, it’s coming into really clear focus that the supply chain around the battery in particular, is a really critical topic for sustainability and most of the products that sustainability is relying upon in their industrialization.”
  • On planning ahead for responsible large-scale battery disposal: “We have to make sure that we’re planning ahead. Planning ahead both for the supply chain scale-up that’s needed to accomplish this in a sustainable way...and also planning ahead for the end of life and making sure that we don’t have unintended or unexpected environmental impacts associated with that end of life....”

Sen. Angus King illustrated which policies will be most effective to accelerate the transition to EVs, how the U.S. can become less reliant on other countries for battery supplies, and the potential future of recycling batteries to create circular supply chains.

  • On reducing U.S. dependence on other countries’ battery supply chains: “As I say, there’s a very important national security aspect of this, and it’s a matter of stimulating and developing the domestic industry, including mining and processing.”
  • On optimism surrounding a major transition to electric vehicles in the future: “I’m optimistic. I think we’re going to develop a recycling market. I think we’re going to see more battery manufacturing here in the U.S., and I think we’re going to see far more EVs out on the road, and the climate will be all the better for it.”

Axios SVP of Events & Creative Strategy Kristin Burkhalter hosted a View from the Top segment with DuPont President of Mobility & Materials Randy Stone, who explained the plastic industry’s role in expanding sustainable transportation.

  • “The plastics industry can bring an integrated and holistic set of solutions that help the adoption of EVs, and if we do that, of course, we get much better sustainability, we get lower carbon emissions, we get better fuel efficiency...there’s a really, really important role that we play to advance this hybrid and electric vehicle trend that we see today.”

Thank you American Chemistry Council for sponsoring this event.

Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker

University of Michigan reaches $490M settlement in sex abuse case

Jon Vaughn, a former University of Michigan and NFL football player, speaks at a press conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., in June 2021. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The University of Michigan on Wednesday reached a $490 million settlement with over a thousand survivors who allege that they were sexually assaulted by a former physician in the school's athletic department.

Driving the news: "It's been a long and challenging journey and these survivors have refused to remain silent," attorney Parker Stinar said Wednesday.