Bo Mobility electric scooters are built with Formula 1 technology in mind.

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The first wave of electric micromobility lay in wait (still largely unprofitablebless ’em) shared micromobility companies Limes and Birds of the world, which popularized electric scooters. Now that gas prices are rising, the world is on fire, and more people are considering traveling to and from work cheap, green, and fun, electric scooter sales are on the rise.

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The size of the global e-scooter market, which was about $20.78 billion in 2021, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8% between 2022 and 2030. one study. Given these huge market opportunities, private e-scooter startups are coming out of the woods with all sorts of neat little gadgets that fold and whistle and warn riders of impending danger.

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I know what you’re thinking. Of course, the market is already saturated, and the big dogs of Okai and Segway have already taken over. But Oscar Morgan, co-founder and CEO of a British e-scooter startup Bo Mobilitysays the industry is getting the scooter business the wrong way.

“Scooters have grown so much that they’ve taken a micro-scooter and strapped a lithium-ion drivetrain to it,” Morgan told TechCrunch. “It’s almost like Tesla said we want to make an electric car, so we’ll tie the electric motor to Ford’s Model T.”

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Bo was launched in Amsterdam in early June at the Micromobility Europe event, but the startup will sell its first scooters in the UK. All founders have experience in the automotive and engineering fields. Morgan and co-founder Harry Wills met at Williams Advanced Engineering where they both worked on programs to bring Formula One technology to other products and categories. Luc Robus, Bo’s other co-founder, used to work on autonomous vehicles at Jaguar Land Rover’s advanced design studio. Given their experience, the team decided it was best to build the scooter like a car – with a fully integrated chassis.

Bo Mobility monocurve electric scooter

The Bo scooter is designed with a fully integrated mono-curve chassis. Image credits: Bo Mobility

Bo’s upgraded chassis uses a “monocoque” structural technique, also referred to in the industry as structural skin, which means that all stresses and loads are taken up by the scooter’s outer skin with a larger cross-section than conventional tubular construction. or scooter frames, Morgan said. Bo calls it “monocurve” because the scooter’s aluminum body has a constant curve from top to bottom. Notably, this means it doesn’t fold, which Morgan says was a conscious decision to maintain structural and running gear integrity. But at 40 pounds, it’s light enough to easily climb stairs.

“Changing this manufacturing method doesn’t make the product cheaper, but it does make it an order of magnitude stronger,” Morgan said, noting that the monocurve also makes it easy for Bo to integrate the next generation of stabilization and IoT technologies into the scooter. “There is an old saying that if you are strategically strong, tactics don’t matter. And as a fundamental layout, going from that tubular design to a true Monocurve is strategically the best way to produce these products, by far at the premium level.”

And the Bo scooter is premium. The startup is currently accepting pre-orders for around $50 (£40), but the sale price will be around $2,435 (£1995). Non-binding riders can also get a scooter subscription for $84 (£69) a month.

One of Bo’s beliefs is to build a scooter that prioritizes user convenience over just great specs – albeit with a range of 31 miles, a hook around the neck for attaching bags, and smart features like GPS tracking and anti-theft protection, OTA- upgrades and Bluetooth, the specifications are definitely true.

Bo Mobility Scooter Hook for Products

A built-in retractable hook allows riders to secure bags. Image credits: Bo Mobility

Bo was founded in 2019 based on the idea that the existing scooter hardware not only failed to unlock the potential of e-scooters, but also actively prevented many people from feeling safe and secure enough to jump on them. To solve this problem, Bo created a system called Safe Steer, active front wheel stabilization that can counteract the threat of potholes and bumps in the road that scooters with their small wheels are vulnerable to.

“A lot of people claim they made a safe scooter because they put a new set of tires on it, or the deck got a little wider, or something like that,” Morgan said. “We wanted to take a deep step forward. So when we stabilize the steering, people suddenly start jumping on it, and from any demographic they feel very comfortable, which is very important.”

Another major difference for Bo is the lack of suspension, which Morgan says is completely unnecessary for a scooter that can go up to 22 mph. In fact, Morgan went so far as to say that scooter suspension is heavy, expensive, unreliable, doesn’t work, and is the product of companies with no better idea. All you need, he argues, is a long wheelbase that gives the rider firm and “cruising” steering, high-quality tires that absorb about 80% of normal road noise, and Air Deck.

close-up of Air Deck on Bo Mobility e-scooter

The Air Deck is made from a special elastomer that absorbs shock and provides a smooth ride. Image credits: Bo Mobility

The Air Deck is essentially a piece of engineered elastomer that Bo attached to a 6″ wide, 22″ long deck to create some space between the rider and the metal of the scooter.

“It’s like soles [sneaker]So, in the same way that your Nikes remove heat from the pavement, it eliminates the rattle and vibration that actually tire the scooter when riding,” Morgan said. “When you solve that problem, it’s amazing how much more comfortable it becomes to ride a scooter.”

When can you get one?

Bo doesn’t want to be one of those companies that promise and fail to deliver, so it’s doing a soft rollout to a select group of pre-orders in the UK; These people will receive the first devices later this year, Morgan said. He noted that early customers will provide direct feedback to Bo to help provide a great product. By early next year, Bo plans to move into mass production and begin deliveries first to Western Europe in June and then eventually to the US.

To make everything as green and sustainable as possible in the supply chain, Bo is trying to get scooters closer to the end customer. This means that the first UK units will be manufactured and assembled in the UK, with initial mass production and assembly in Western Europe, Morgan said, noting that Bo is looking to find similar locations in the US as he expands.

Obviously pre-orders will help get Bo into production, but the company will also need to bring in external resources. Bo completed an oversubscribed preliminary round last year and is in the middle of an initial round that aims to raise $4 million, according to Morgan.

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