No license or registration is required, but with speeds up to 20 mph, a helmet might be a good idea.
For those who don't want to ride a bike, but still want a clean, quiet method of getting to local destinations, whether for work or for play, a personal electric vehicle might be a good option. For a quick trip to the store or other errands, having a small vehicle that is easy to park, cheap to operate, and has no (tailpipe) emissions could offset quite a bit of car miles for many homes. And if the current crop of electric scooter launches is any indication, there's a significant demand for these types of transport, which isn't fully 'last mile' transport, necessarily, as most of them are too heavy or too bulky to realistically put into a trunk or bring on transit with you, but rather 'local mile' transport for shorter trips from home or work.
One new entry to the electric scooter scene comes from a startup out of Phoenix, Arizona, and its Phatty models look to be a fun and funky, yet effective mode of transportation. Phat Scooters is offering two versions of its fat tire scooters, both with the same electric drive components (1200W electric hub motor, 72V 12Ah lithium ion battery pack), but with one, the Sport, shaving 20 pounds off the curb weight of the original model (128 pounds).
"I can’t ride anywhere without at least 3 people stopping to ask ‘is that electric?, it’s so silent!’. I built the Phat Scooter to ride around my neighborhood and drive to my favorite restaurant up the street. Parking’s a breeze since it takes up very little space. I was tired of sitting at 3 or 4 stop lights just to go a couple miles. With the Phat Scooter, I can take the back roads and get there in half the time. It’s hard to let it sit in the garage because it’s just so fun to ride." -Dan Hankins, Founder
The Phatty, which can be ridden either sitting or standing, is said to have a top speed of 20 mph, a range of between 30 and 50 miles per charge, and a 4-6 hour charge time. Its 18" x 9.5" fat tires promise a smooth ride on pavement, sand, or grass, and hydraulic shocks on the front will help even out the road. Six inches of road clearance underneath the deck eases turning woes, three riding modes (beach, golf, bike) offer riders a simple way of complying with speed limits (8, 13, 20 mph), and hydraulic disc brakes with electronic EBS deliver the stopping power. Phat Scooters claims its vehicles can handle a 30-degree climb and carry up to 440 pounds total, although I'm not so sure both could be done at the same time.
The scooters come in a variety of frame and fender color combinations, and a cup holder, rear basket, and surfboard rack can be added to them. Phat Scooter is taking pre-orders for July delivery now, with the full price of either model being $1999, and is offering $500 off until the end of June, plus free shipping, with the coupon code PREORDER500. Find out more at the website.