Electric Scooters are increasingly becoming more powerful and fashionable, the problem of cost is still an issue, but in less than a decade the cost of an electric Scooter could fall below £1000. Today you can still purchase petrol driven scooters for less than that. Environmentalists who are obsessing about Carbon emissions should be pleased though, it’s a good thing that more people are trying to push the boundaries of electrical technology.
In the next 10 years there is hope that scientists will create batteries with ever increasing capacity. Solar panels with a greater generating capacity could also help. Hopefully Brad Baker will be able to utilise the up and coming technologies into the next generation of two wheeled transport.
Brad Baker’s workshop looks less like the cluttered den of a crazed mechanical genius and more like an operating room. Recessed lighting beams down on a surgically clean desk in the middle. Screwdrivers and wrenches lie spaced out evenly like scalpels and forceps, at the ready. Thin sheets of foam protect colourful powder coated chunks of aluminium resting on the concrete floor.
He’s not amputating limbs or swapping organs. A little workshop in a Portland, Oregon suburb is the headquarters for Works Electric, where Brad builds the only electric scooter you wouldn’t be ashamed to ride.
Wearing a weathered pair of hiking boots, ripped jeans and a pitted-out T-shirt with tattoos peeking out beneath, he looks more like a Pacific Northwestified Tim Allen than Elon Musk. But when it comes to his passion for the vehicles he builds, he’s no less ambitious in his vision.
Go ahead, try cruising through a quarry on your Vespa.
“This bike is designed to be the best,” Baker says of his masterpiece, the Rover, which looks like a Razor scooter as imagined by Hummer. “This bike is designed with the highest level of components, the highest performance, the best batteries, everything about it is giving you something that you normally wouldn’t be able to find.”
Proclaiming yourself builder of the world’s finest electric scooter would be an eyebrow-raising assertion outside the eccentric, green-obsessed city Brad calls home. “Electric scooters” conjure up images of wannabe Vespers limping along in the right lane on crowded city streets, or worse, something you would buy at a toy store. But Baker’s company, Works Electric, has elevated the humble scooter from novelty to serious transportation.
“Scooters have a really crummy connotation,” Brad acknowledges. “I think there’s a big necessity for compact, portable transportation. But it doesn’t have to be silly.”