The electric scooter arms race continues to heat up as Skip unveils its newest scooter model. The ruggedized S3 electric scooter features a number of tough features designed to withstand the brutal life of shared electric scooters.
It’s no secret that shared electric scooters face a tough existence.
Some experts estimate that the original consumer-level scooters used by most fleets only last between 30-90 days. Between a barrage of vandalism, accidents, and simple wear and tear, the shared micro-mobility staples take a beating.
And that’s precisely why Skip is rolling out its latest model, the S3.
Skip’s new S3 electric scooter
The S3 electric scooter was designed in-house and comes jam-packed with features intended to keep the scooter working better and for longer.
The wheels are larger and the deck has been widened to a full 8 inches (200 mm). Both updates are designed to make the S3 electric scooter more stable and comfortable to ride.
It also gets upgraded lights up front and in the rear to ensure the scooter is as visible as possible at night.
The motor has improved torque for hill climbing, and that torque is also useful for stronger acceleration. In addition to a drum brake, a mechanical foot brake has been added for redundancy.
The motor has also been moved to the rear wheel. That’s not only better for handling, but it offers safer braking, too. Rear brakes are a lot less likely to send a rider flying over the handlebars — an all-too-common scooter accident that we’ve seen too much of lately.
The S3 electric scooter has also been gifted self diagnostic capabilities to improve how Skip monitors its fleets. The scooters are smart enough to determine the cause of common problems, helping Skip address them more quickly and efficiently.
But perhaps the biggest update comes in the form of the batteries. The S3 electric scooter is one of the few to come with swappable batteries. Unlike other electric scooters that must be charged offsite by employees or enterprising freelancers, the Skip S3 can have its battery swapped in seconds without needing to be taken out of service for hours at a time.
And if you’ve ever seen photos of shared electric scooters tossed in canals and lakes, the S3 has a solution for that. Sort of.
The new swappable batteries are waterproof up to 1 meter (3 ft) — for 30 minutes. So at least if the scooter gets tossed in the local canal, it has a chance of getting fished out after reporting the “gone fishin'” update back to base.
A new wave of ruggedized scooters
The S3 electric scooter isn’t the only tough shared electric scooter out there.
Bird has introduced a few consecutive models including the Bird Zero, followed by the Bird One and most recently the Bird Two.
And Lime doesn’t intend to be left behind either, offering up its own ruggedized Second Generation scooter.
Consumer scooters are getting tougher as well, such as the crazy 40 mph (64 km/h) Turbowheel Lightning electric scooter we reviewed recently.
Skip’s S3 scooter will have to play a bit of catch-up now, considering that it will only begin testing in San Francisco later this Fall. A wider rollout is planned for October.
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