(DGIwire) – Some people scoff at electric scooters—but they shouldn’t. Why? Because there is a good chance they will be riding one in the not-too-distant future. As recently reported in WIRED magazine, the need to replace automobiles as the default mode of transportation will only get more acute in the years to come. According to the United Nations, the global population will hit 9.6 billion by 2050, with two-thirds living in urban areas. Are more cars a good idea? As WIRED notes, our cities are already clogged with traffic.
The limitations of public transit systems raise a challenge called the “last mile” problem: how do people get from the subway or bus stop to where they are actually going when it is just a little too far to walk? Electric kick scooters, says WIRED, offer a good solution to the problem. They are easy to ride just about anywhere, require minimal physical exertions and are relatively affordable.
“Electric scooters won’t replace cars but for the kind of travel many people struggle through, it could be perfect,” says Stephen Voller, CEO and founder of ZapGo Ltd. “The question remains, however, what the ideal battery technology is to keep the scooters powered up quickly, reliably and safely. Concerns regarding the safety of lithium-ion batteries—and the length of time required to recharge them—have inspired the search for new solutions.”
ZapGo’s Carbon-Ion™ cell technology (Zap&Go) is being developed as the first Carbon-Ion cell that combines the fast-charging characteristics of a supercapacitor and—within a few years—is anticipated to match the energy density of Li-ion batteries, while also being safe and recyclable. Unlike Li-ion, which works by an electrochemical reaction, Zap&Go involves storing electrons with no electrochemical reaction. This means there is nothing to get used up, so Zap&Go cells can last through many more charge and discharge cycles than Li-ion, while staying safe and not at risk for a fire.
ZapGo’s platform technology is planned to be incorporated initially into products such as electric bikes, cordless power tools and robotic cleaners—available for sale starting in late 2017—where the recharge time will be reduced from hours to sub-five minutes.
At CES 2017, ZapGo displayed a range of functioning products with this fast recharge time. These included a Razor E300-scooter, an 18-volt power drill and a cordless cleaner. Additionally, the company is currently working with a British consortium to develop the next-generation driverless POD—in use at locations such as London’s Heathrow Airport—that will combine traditional Li-ion cells with the company’s Carbon-Ion cells as their power source.
“In the future, zipping around a city on an electric scooter might be an even more fun and energy-efficient experience than it is today, due in large part to an innovative energy source such as Carbon-Ion cell technology,” adds Voller.
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