Mobility design

Yves Béhar designs the lightest scooter ever for Unagi: Model Eleven

Electric scooter company Unagi pushes the boundaries of scooter typology to new heights with a series of firsts in material science, mechanical engineering, and technology

Swiss designer Yves Béhar has designed the world’s lightest full-suspension scooter for Unagi. Called Model Eleven, the electric scooter is the latest model by the Oakland-based electric scooter company, which was founded by former Beats Music CEO David Hyman.

Combining extensive tech knowledge with Béhar’s favoured approach to functionality and aesthetics, the scooter boasts a sleek design and a list of groundbreaking firsts. To make it the lightest, it will be the first device of its kind to use Long Carbon Fiber, a carbon composite typically used in aerospace applications that is incredibly strong and lightweight.

The scooter boasts a sleek design and a list of groundbreaking firsts – © Unagi

Like Unagi’s other models, the Model Eleven looks suitably futuristic with its foldable body, LED screen and built-in lights. It is available in four colours: charcoal, bright yellow, green and cream. The ride is sturdy, strong, responsive and light enough at 32 lbs to be carried upstairs or onto public transport. 

The Model Eleven is packed with a list of groundbreaking firsts

Model Eleven boasts several other firsts too including onboard advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), which keep riders safe through AI-enabled sensors that detect obstructions. It will also be the first scooter ever to feature Google-enabled turn-by-turn navigation, transmitted via audio to not hinder rider safety. Unagi partnered with Google to integrate scooter-specific directions into its mobile app for iOS and Android.

Model Eleven electric scooter by Fuseproject x Unagi
Model Eleven electric scooter by Fuseproject x Unagi

Currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, The Model Eleven is tech-packed. Add in Bluetooth compatible speakers for playing music on the go and you’d expect a bulky body but no, a sleek design with smooth curves removes or hides all hardware and mechanical details extraneous to the experience and all wires are hidden.

“We wanted to minimize its weight, make it easy to carry, and keep durability in mind,” says Yves Behar. “The most challenging aspect was achieving a refined look while incorporating as many high-performance features as possible, including advanced driver-assistance systems, a swappable battery, onboard audio systems, and puncture-proof foam-filled tires.”

[ Read also Lunewave’s 3D-printed sensor for autonomous driving ]

Unagi scooters promise a better future for urban transport

On a mission to liberate people from the tyranny of transportation frustrations, Unagi has skyrocketed in recent years as people reconsider their city transport options. Drawing people in are the pay monthly subscription plans, which have helped scale more sustainable local transportation options for riders, despite the growing popularity of scooter-sharing services.

Model Eleven electric scooter by Fuseproject x Unagi

“By nature, our subscription business is a ‘take back’ program – we refurbish and reuse scooters to maximize material efficiencies, explains Hyman. “Our subscription users are much more careful with their personal scooter than traditional share model users, resulting in substantially longer product life and higher effective product sustainability.”

“Unagi also offers an end-of-life program for the existing Model One product and works with 3rd party recycling vendors to ensure proper end-of-life handling for all materials. We will extend this program for the Model Eleven, working with existing carbon fiber recycling/ reprocessing companies to ensure proper end-of-life handling for carbon fiber materials.”

“We wanted to minimize its weight, make it easy to carry, and keep durability in mind,” says Yves Behar – © Unagi

The Model Eleven scooter is the solution for the city landscape

Finally, full suspension with puncture-proof foam-filled tires—a first for scooters that are usually filled with air—will offer a smoother ride. The tires are designed for easy replacement and come off like cartridges without the hassle of having to remove the rims without having to replace the entire scooter.

“Public transportation in the urban landscape is being transformed. As designers, we have an opportunity to create a solution that is specifically designed for a city landscape,” said Behar. “We designed the Unagi scooter to be high-performance and safe, durable and beautiful, and lightweight and ergonomic. Ultimately we want this electric scooter to be our go-to for urban mobility.”

[ Read also Pininfarina designed an electric scooter for mobility company Helbiz? ]


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