Can Taur be the model that makes e-scooter possession cool? – TechCrunch


A lot of the e-scooter dialog has been dominated by the happenings of shared automobiles, the businesses that deploy them and the cities through which they’re deployed. However Carson Brown, co-founder and lead designer of Taur Applied sciences, a London-based e-scooter model, says it’s time to separate scooter sharing from scooters as automobiles.

Taur got here onto the scene in 2019 to launch a pre-order marketing campaign for its premium, glossy, white e-scooters which might be constructed with a foot deck that lets riders face ahead whereas using and a few massive ol’ tires. The plan was to launch in London, however the U.Okay. has nonetheless didn’t legalize privately owned e-scooters.

As a substitute, Taur is launching in Los Angeles after elevating $1.75 million from Vans VC, a San Francisco VC agency specializing in the way forward for transportation. Whereas it might be a stretch to say the electrical scooter market is mature, it’s actually far sufficient alongside {that a} new firm getting into the business is notable, if not doubtlessly thrilling.

“Once we began, I assume sharing was actually fairly prevalent, and we made the assured, courageous and silly resolution to say, really, we expect it’s going to go to possession,” Brown instructed TechCrunch. “So we’re seizing the chance of markets which might be embracing these automobiles, and we see LA as an important place to be, not simply from a product perspective, however as a result of we see a model as an enormous a part of our job. We’re going to vary how scooting seems to be to the traditional individual. If we will try this, we’ve executed our job.”

In different phrases, Taur desires to create a cultural shift that sees scooters not as area of interest or “second-class-citizen actions” however as aspirational strategies of transportation. Most scooter firms don’t have a lot in the way in which of character, and so they actually haven’t executed a lot for the tradition, mentioned Brown.

“It’s all the time been make it as low-cost as you possibly can and promote as many as you possibly can,” he mentioned. “We have been drawn by the chance to ship one thing that basically was on the innovative and on the forefront and truly grew to become the product that folks reference.”

Unagi scooters have been known as the iPhone of scooters. The model’s just lately unveiled subsequent technology, the Model Eleven, is a great scooter with superior rider help options like object detection and warning, in addition to built-in audio system and extra. That automobile will value round $2,860, and its normal Mannequin One is available in at round $990.

Whereas Unagi has tapped celeb influencers like Iggy Pop to up the cool issue of its scooters, Brown doesn’t reckon the corporate has pushed the shape issue to its limits sufficient. He’s hoping Taur’s technique of constructing a well-thought-out scooter from a design perspective that appears attractive and is priced on the premium finish ($1,495) will assist obtain the tradition shift essential to encourage possession.

taur e-scooter

Picture Credit: Taur Applied sciences

On the forefront of that technique is clearly the front-facing deck, which permits riders to imagine a “twin ski” trip place with each toes positioned on two fold-down foot platforms. This, Brown mentioned, offers riders an equal view of the street that they wouldn’t have from standing half sideways and half forwards as you do on different scooters. It additionally helps with stability, he added.

“Should you consider once you’re snowboarding, you possibly can alter how a lot weight you placed on every foot, and that steers the automobile along with the handlebars,” mentioned Brown. “It’s a little bit of a distinct really feel. I’ve had a variety of moments from individuals who have been typically actually agency and mentioned, ‘No I prefer it the way in which it’s,’ after which they fight it and are like, ‘OK, I actually get it now.’”

Taur’s scooter has very massive Continental tires that are available in 50% bigger than most e-scooters. It additionally comes with three lights – The entrance gentle is a wrap-around, which not solely supplies the rider with nice visibility but additionally permits different street customers to see the sunshine from the aspect and behind the rider. There’s additionally a devoted brake gentle, in addition to a projection gentle within the rear that shines upward onto the trip to make them totally seen. And for comfort whereas touring and simple storage, the scooter additionally folds up properly.

It’s solely out there in white for the second, however that was each an aesthetic alternative and a practical one, Brown mentioned, including {that a} white scooter not solely stands out from the ocean of black and silver scooters hitting the market, but additionally could be extra seen to different street customers.

Too many scooters in the marketplace are unserviceable by the typical bike store and have poor customer support channels, mentioned Brown. Taur’s scooter was designed modularly, which suggests it’s made up of 5 modules that may be swapped out for simpler upkeep.

“‘Constructed for possession’ was there from the premise,” mentioned Brown. “You are able to do a tire change in underneath 5 minutes, and in the event you don’t have a tire lever, you should utilize a spoon. Whenever you’re a consumer of those automobiles and also you’re designing them, you recognize what the bar is and you recognize that nobody’s hitting it.”

Taur is because of begin transport pre-orders for its scooter over the summer time, and from August onward, the startup shall be promoting direct to customers in LA solely. The scooters will embody a 30-day money-back assure, plus a guaranty. Clients elsewhere within the U.S. can put down a $100 deposit to safe a spot on Taur’s waitlist.

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