It’s been more than 100 years ago when people had the idea of standing on motorized boards with two wheels standing in the streets. While today e-scooters can be carried in cities such as Berlin, Tel Aviv or Vienna, from 1915 onwards it was the so-called car-scooter that fascinated people – a motor scooter for “young and old, for the city like on land,” as the then-novel vehicle was advertised.
“Motor vehicle for millions”
The vehicle was then produced by the Autoped Company of New York Long Island City. It is a “motor vehicle for millions”, a new way of getting “unlimited utility”, a vehicle for the whole family. Children should go to school with them, workers into work, and companies should be able to make deliveries. For “only” $100 a piece was an autoped sold then – today that would be about $ 2,500, so a lot of money.
Despite a top speed of 25 mph and a range of 125 miles, the car did not prevail among the masses. After all, the US Post used the motor scooters for delivering letters and parcels, and gangsters said the thing had been popular to escape the police in heavy traffic. Power had autoped anyway. The single-cylinder four-stroke engine with 155 cm³ displacement is said to have had a power of 1.5 hp.
The leap to Europe
Finally, the car scooter made it across the pond. The German steel giant Krupp made the then called “Krupp scooter” scooter from 1919 under license ago. With up to 2.4 hp and 40 km / h top speed, the German version vied for customers. Also in Great Britain, a version was built. However, as in the US, Autoped did not really prevail – despite all advertising promises (“Step on an Go!”) Only a few pieces were sold. With a weight of 60 kilos, the device was then perhaps not as easy to handle as thought.
Finally, another means of transportation prevailed among the general population, who became an affordable bulk by the assembly line: the car. Only a hundred years later, it seems, the scooter (this time with electric motor) celebrates its comeback. Two important ingredients for success: availability and price.