Should German ‘Unu’ scooter launch in India to compete with Etergo? [Update]

Germany’s Unu Scooter has cleared the homologation process in the European market and is being prepared for launch now. Unu says that some of the team members are “deep into production planning, resourcing, logistics and supply management” now.

Unu has partnered with Flex, a technology solutions provider, for the manufacturing its upcoming electric scooter. 22 prototypes have arrived at the company’s headquarters and each one of them are being tested over 100 km a week. Unu is checking how the software and hardware work in the actual conditions, in addition to the battery range and other aspects.

1 June 2020

Unu, the Berlin-based mobility company unveiled the second generation of their Unu Scooter last year in Europe. Unu has been pioneering the urban mobility segment for around 7 years and leads the market in electrically powered scooters sold in the German Market with over 10,000 scooters on the streets. The second generation of the Unu scooter is designed in-house and completely redeveloped with help from their partners such as LG, Bosch, Vodafone and Heidenau in Germany.

The new scooter becomes a unique proposition for customers looking for an electric scooter as it offers space for two people, as well as housing the largest storage space. Along with its good amount of practicality, it still remains one of the fastest acceleration values in the electric scooter segment.  The scooter is powered by a Bosch electric motor and houses portable batteries which can be charged in 7 hours at regular power outlets and can power the scooter for a range of 100 km (with 2 batteries). The motor is hub-mounted which means it is integrated into the scooter’s rear wheel. This not only reduces transmission loss but also results in ample storage space underneath the seat.

Unu Scooter front
The Unu scooter has been available to pre-order since May 2019 in 3 models and the colour versions Basic (Glossy Red, Glossy Blue), Standard (Matte Pine, Matte Sand, Matte Coral) and Premium (Matte White, Matte Black). It is expected to be launched in a few months.

The second-gen Unu Scooter comes with a long list of tech features including hydraulic disc brakes in front and rear and extended range through the recovery of braking energy. Instead of a key, the scooter can be unlocked with a keycard which can be carried in a wallet. The scooter offers a nice blend of hardware and software features which can be accessed with the Unu App and are listed below:

  • One can check their scooter’s location and charging status remotely.
  • If the scooter moves in the absence of the owner, theft protection intervenes and alerts the owner via the Unu app.
  • If a destination is entered or searched via the app, the users are navigated to their destination via the integrated display. 
  • Unu owners travelling in the city no longer have to face the hassle of looking at their smartphone as the screen in the scooter shows you all the essential features.
  • The scooter can be started with a digital key via the app. This key can easily be shared digitally with friends and family who might want to use it via the Unu App.
  • Lots of smart features will be automatically updated over time and free of charge via the cloud through OTA updates.

The company believes that the Unu scooters can pave the way for micro-sharing for the first time. This way they can introduce a new scooter usage model for urban mobility. Unu currently retails its product in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and France.

In Germany, the scooter can be ordered online (unumotors.com) and the price starts from 2,799 Euros. Customers receive a ready to ride Unu Scooter, which means it comes with a number plate and insurance, straight to their doorstep. These will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. The entire purchase will be digital, i.e via the Internet. This eliminates expensive dealer margins and makes the products accessible to everyone. It is offered in three models with varying power outputs and seven colours. 

Second gen Unu Scooter SpecificationsFigures
Length1800mm
Height1150mm
Width720mm
Seat Length730mm
Wheel Sizefront: 10” rim
rear: 11” rim
TyresHeidenau K80 SR (front and rear)
Wheel Size10 inch front (tire size 3.50-10)
11 inch rear (tire size 110/70)
Storage Dimensions42 x 32 x 35 cm
Storage Volume33.4 Litres
Weight81.5 kg (without batteries)
Motor Output2 kW, 3 kW, 4 kW BOSCH Brushless electric hub motors
Battery Capacity1.68 kWh – max. 1.78 kWh
Charging time7 Hours
Battery Weight9.5 kg – 10.5 kg
Top speed45 km/h (28 mph)
Electric Range50 km (1 battery) / 100 km (2 batteries)
Colour OptionsGlossy Red, Glossy Blue, Matte Pine, Matte Stone, Matte Coral, Matte White and Matte Black
Pricing2 kW – €2,799
3 kW – €3,299
4 kW – €3,899
(Germany)

Unu currently doesn’t appear to have firm plans to introduce its product or service outside of the European region. India’s the world’s biggest two-wheeler market and the electric vehicle revolution has started with about 150,000 electric two-wheelers sold last year. Granted, these were mostly in the low-speed category but the current decade promises to see almost a complete shift to electric vehicles, specifically in the scooter and three-wheeler segment, and electric mobility as a service will have a very high level of demand in the Indian metros.