News Treehugger Voices Dragonfly Hyperscooter Is a 4-Wheeled Hyper E-Thing Can a scooter this fast and powerful have a place in our cities? By Lloyd Alter Lloyd Alter Facebook Twitter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. Learn about our editorial process Published October 12, 2022 11:38AM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Dragonfly News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Treehugger has been following what we call the Cambrian explosion of e-things. The latest is the Dragonfly Hyperscooter. It is described as having patented full-tilt steering, 4-wheel dual independent damped suspension, and a high-class, sleek design. Jez Williman, CEO of D-Fly Group said: "The urban mobility industry is burgeoning, and we realized a need for a more advanced, high-quality product that would usher in a new era of e-mobility. With Dragonfly, we are confident that we have created something truly special that will change the way people move around cities and not only today but forever." E-scooters are controversial, although the data show that dockless cars and dockless FedEx trucks are a much bigger problem than dockless scooters on our streets. And while there are teething problems with these new technologies, it's clear e-bikes and e-scooters are climate action—if they are managed and regulated sensibly. lots of suspension on that chassis. Dragonfly The Dragonfly has some interesting features that would give it advantages on the terrible streets one finds in many cities. It has four 10-inch tires, a dual wishbone suspension, a "fully adjustable hydraulic damped sprung suspension on all four wheels, an adjustable deck suspension, and full axle articulation!" That will eat up potholes and bumps. The steering tilts and the "unique wide 4-wheel carbon fiber platform offers unparalleled stability and safety when tackling the dangers of the modern urban landscape." I will put on my "Blah blah blah sounds like an angry old man" hat and note that this "hyperscooter" is powerful, with two 550-watt motors and peak power of 1,650 watts, with four-wheel drive. The battery will push it 50 miles and charge in three hours, though they do not reveal its size. Dragonfly The Dragonfly is fast, at up to 25 miles per hour. The videos play up on this and show it chewing up the scenery, with the riders in full motorcycle getups. However, it also comes with different modes with different top speeds that would let it play nicely in the micromobility lanes. It folds up and only weighs 37 pounds. Dragonfly The D-fly people claim this is "the safest electric scooter on the market, Ppriod. Sharp turns, and improper balancing can easily lead to dangerous situations or even injury. Thanks to the Dragonfly’s stable 4-wheel configuration and all-round independent suspension system, you can maneuver without worrying about tipping over." Some might ask, as they do of SUVs, safer for whom? This is one of the biggest worries that people have about e-scooters—that they are riding on sidewalks and taking out seniors. However, almost all of the problems seem to occur with shared rental scooters, and there are many questions about the source of e-scooter injuries. Dragonfly A new study, "Do shared e-scooter services cause traffic accidents? Evidence from six European countries," concluded that when e-scooter services were rolled out, police-reported accidents in the average month increased by around 8.2%. But the report also noted: "For cities with limited cycling infrastructure and where mobility relies heavily on cars, estimated effects are largest. In contrast, no effects are detectable in cities with high bike-lane density. This heterogeneity suggests that public policy can play a crucial role in mitigating accidents related toe-scooters and, more generally, to changes in urban mobility." In other words, it's the infrastructure that is the problem. There are apparently few crashes where there are bike or micromobility lanes. They also conclude the biggest problem for safety is the automobile. "Our results cannot be interpreted as recommendations against the inclusion of shared e-scooters in urban transport landscapes, in particular, compared to automobiles that, due to their size and speed, likely pose the relatively largest urban safety risk. For instance, past studies find that cars and other large motorized vehicles contribute to other road users’ deaths at rates 3–6 times higher than bicycles per mile driven." Had you asked me what I thought of the Dragonfly a few months ago, I would have said that it is too big, too powerful, and too fast to be on our roads, and the people in the videos driving like idiots prove my point. However, as most of the 380 commenters to my post about "e-things" pointed out, every device that gets people out of cars is a gain for the climate and for the quality of our cities, and yes, it even makes the city safer. So bring on the Dragonfly Hyperscooter, but also give us a safe place to ride it with decent, wide, micromobility infrastructure. View Article Sources Brown, Anne, et al. "Impeding Access: The Frequency and Characteristics of Improper Scooter, Bike, and Car Parking." Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, vol. 4, 2020, p. 100099., doi:10.1016/j.trip.2020.100099 "Do Shared E-Scooter Services Cause Traffic Accidents? Evidence from Six European Countries." Cornell University, vol. 2, 2022. doi:10.48550/arXiv.2209.06870.