As gas prices continue to escalate, driving a car is becoming less and less common. But if taking public transporation train isn’t cutting it for you, scooters can be an efficient way to jet around and a brand new company from Portland wants to let you do that with what it calls the world’s greatest compact electric vehicle available.
Patrick Marzullo and Brad Baker started Works Electric as a way to contribute to the electric vehicle movement with a product made in the U.S. for people passionate about technology, design, sustainability and electric vehicles in particular.
“There are several sit-down and stand-up electric scooters out there,” says Marzullo. “But nothing that compares to the craftsmanship, performance and portability of the Rover. We’re certain of that.”
The Rover weighs only 96 pounds but can put out power around 3600W, which is impressive for its size. The higher-end scooter, which goes for $5,920, has a maximum range of 36 miles on a seven-hour charge, a top speed of 33 MPH and a fuel economy equivalent of 606 MPGe (here’s more info on how MPGe is calculated). There’s also a custom seat that can be added for $350.
The basic version sells for $4,970 and can go for 18 miles on a 3.5-hour charge at a top speed of 28 MPH. Other than that, the specs are similar to the high-end Rover, though the basic scooter is a tad bit lighter.
Your smartphone is also a unique part of the Rover, as it connects to the scooter with a Rover-specific app and acts as the speedometer, battery life indicator and odometer, which provides push maintenance reminders and product updates.
Marzullo and Baker, who grew up together near Cleveland and ended up working at separate jobs in Portland later on, are doing a soft launch for The Rover with a program called the Founders Series. Their company will manufacture ten scooters for ten early adopter Founders Series members who shell out $5,920 for the first scooters built and manufactured this fall. These ten members will also receive a 0.1 percent A Class Ownership in Works Electric LLC with annual dividend and unlimited technical support for one year.
“We see these the first ten owners as our partners,” Marzullo said. “We want to make sure each Founder is 100 percent happy with the product before offering it to the masses. The Founders Series is also our way of gauging the market for electric scooters. If we can sell 10, which we have, then we think we can sell 100. And if we can sell 100, we think we can sell 1,000. And so on…”
While manufacturing the scooters locally limits the volume of production, the founders want to convey a sense of craftsmanship with all of their products handmade in the U.S. They chose Portland for its material and process supply chain and the overall attitude of the city, which is growing as a startup hub.
Works Electric, which is bootstrapped and run just by the founders, has some lofty goals, including a public scooter sharing and rental program within three years. Eventually, Marzullo said he wants to the company to unveil multiple releases of The Rover within the next few years and then get back into motorcycles, which is what the founders first experimented with back in 2009.
Head here for more pictures and info on The Rover.
Previously on GeekWire: Why this founder left the Bay Area for Portland