9 Personal Transport Devices that will change the way we move in big cities

[toc] So, you have decided to buy a personal transport device for easy moving through the city, to the grocery shop, to your job or to the park. Well, you’ve made a great decision. Not only you will help reduce the harmful emissions fossil-fuel transportation vehicles emit but you will also save a lot of money from gas and other car fees.

There are dozens of electric personal transport devices that are available today to buy or to pre-order. Each personal transport has different riding style and feel, different characteristics, technology and features.

Through this (really long) article we will help you to get to know better 9 of these personal transport devices. How do they work, what technology do they use and how much do they cost?

There are literally hundreds of different personal transport devices available to buy and we’ve spent hundreds of hours studying and learning them. We know how time-consuming it is for someone to research about the personal electric vehicles category so we decided to create this post to help people from Uk and from all around the world to choose the best personal transport device that suits them better.

Through this page we will check:

  • The different types of personal transport electric vehicles that are available to buy or will be available on the near future.
  • Each personal transport electric vehicles technology and special characteristics.
  • How all electric personal transport devices are compared to each another

Personal Transport Devices

Folding Electric Bike

folding electric bike personal transport

Folding Electric Bikes are a hot trend now in the Uk. More and more people are searching the web for folding electric bikes and already websites like amazon.co.uk have floaded with various folding electric bike models. We created a different category for them although if you scroll down you will find the ”electric bike” section as well.

How do folding electric bikes work?

Here is a video that explains how electric bikes work. Specifically the video shows the KwikFold Xite City Folding Bike.

How much do folding electric bikes cost?

Folding electric bikes cost between $500 and $2000 depending on their features and characteristics. For example the Cyclamatic FoldAway Electric e Bike (4/5 rating) from amazon.co.uk costs £599 while the Volt Metro Folding Electric Bike (5/5 r ating) costs £1.149. We suggest you visit the folding electric bike review category to read reviews and choose the one that fits best for you.

Best electric bike?

If you want to check what the best electric bike in our opinion is the check this guide. We took the top 10 electric bikes and compared them between them and we’ve found the best one. There is also a quick comparing table that will help you choose the best electric bike with ease.

Segways

Segway-PT electric personal electric transportation vehicles
The full range of Segways. Image courtesy of blog.segway.com

Segways are two-wheeled self balancing electric vehicles with a handgrip that extends up to the users belly. They were invented by Dean Kamen, an inventor from USA. The name Segway is derived from the word segue, meaning smooth transition.

According to ubergizmodo.com, a China based company called Ninebot acquired Segway last year. They now produce a range of Segways for personal usage to Golf, Off-road, security personnel and Business Warehouses.

The word Segway is often used – again mistakenly – for two Wheel self balancing electric boards. The reason is they use the same technology when moving. To move you need to lean back or fourth and turn your body to the direction you want it to move.

Also, because the word Segway is a registered trademark, new companies that produce the same style vehicles cannot call them Segways. That’s why you may often meet them as two-wheel self balancing scooters or similar names.

How do Segways work

Computers, sensors, and electric motors in the base of the Segway PT keep the device upright when powered on with balancing enabled. The rider commands the PT to go forward or backward by shifting their weight forward or backward on the platform.

The PT uses gyroscopic sensors and accelerometer-based leveling sensors to detect the resulting changes in its pitch angle and, to support balance, it drives its wheels forward or backward as needed to return its pitch to upright. In the process, the rider establishes and then maintains a desired speed by modulating the extent and duration of their four/aft weight shifts. To turn and steer, the rider shifts the handlebar to the left or right.

The PT responds by adjusting the speeds of the wheels in opposite directions causing the PT to yaw and, if not traveling forward or backward, turn in place. At speed, the amount of shift of the handlebar corresponds to the amount of left or right lean required by the rider to balance themselves on the platform during a turn.

How much Segways cost & Recommended product

ninebot personal transportSegways are very expensive compared to other electric personal transport vehicles. Their price range between £1000 – £5000 according to characteristics, brand and features.

If you are interested on buying a Segway we recommend you to check the  Ninebot Segway from aliexpress.com. It has a lot of cool features like Bluetooth, 30 km per hour max speed, and lithium battery. It weights about 22 Kg and it can carry people up to 120 Kg. It is currently priced at $2.468 (£1.711) at aliexpress.com.

It will arrive at your door in 3 – 7 days, free of charge and shipped with UPS, FedEx, DHL or TNT (you decide). Also there is a full money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your purchase

 

Electric Unicycles

solo wheel personal electric transportation device
Solowheel™ Electric Unicycle. Image from youmotorcycle.com

Electric Unicycles (also called one wheel self balance unicycles) are personal transportation vehicles with one wheel that move with electricity. They use sensors, gyroscopes, and accelerometers to help a rider to balance on a single wheel.

How do electric unicycles work?

Electric unicycles have gyro sensors and a balancing computerized system like Segways do. To turn the electric unicycles on you press a red button, and after you press it you will see the electric unicycle suddenly to become more stabilized. This system will help you learn how to get balanced more easily.

It takes between 15-40 min to learn the basic skills, so we recommend that on your first go you enlist the help of one of your friends. Let him\her be with you when you get up and hold him\her during your first learning rides.

Here’s a video explaining how the different parts of the electric unicycle work.

How much do Electric Unicycles cost & Recommended Product

IPS 121 T350 350Wh Powerful Motor Electric Unicycle (Black) ReviewElectric Unicycles cost between $250 – $2.000. If you are planning on buying an Electric Unicycle then a good price to pay would be between $700 and $1500, always depending on the brand and the features each model has. We suggest you to read our Best Electric Unicycle Article were we compare ten of the most popular Electric Unicycles that exist on the marke today.

If you are looking for a quick recommendation then you should check out the IPS® 121 T350 Electric Unicycle (read review here). It has a 5/5 star rating on Amazon.co.uk from 2 buyers and it is now priced at the price of £575.

 

Electric Kick Scooters

electric kick scooters personal electric transportation devices

Electric Scooters (or Electric Kick Scooters as many call them to distinguish them from real electric motorbikes) are personal transport devices that have a small flat base to place your feet on with two or more wheels at the bottom. These transport devices are propelled by a rechargeable electric motor. Their basic characteristic that distinguishes them from other personal transportation devices is their handlebar that extends up to the users belly.

These personal electric transportation devices are mainly used by children – although there are some brands that are marketed towards adults. It is a nice alternative to the bike and it can be used for traveling small distances of up to 40 minutes of continuous ride time. Recharging time takes up between 12  and 24 hours.

How do electric kick scooters work?

Electric Scooters have a rechargeable electrical motor that ”push” the electric scooter forward without the need of human intervention. Below is a diagram showing the different parts that assembly Razor E300 Electric Kick Scooter. Their maximum speed is around 30 km/h

Besides the motor, propulsion can also happen by the rider, pushing off to the ground with his feet. Most electric kick scooters that are frequent now have two little wheels that are tough, are made mostly of aluminum and fold for easier mobility.

Personal electric Transportation Device Razor-E300-Parts-Diagram_635726696298556691
A diagram showing the parts of Razor E300. Image courtesy of blognashville.org

How much do electric kick scooters cost & Recommended Product

Their Price is between £100 and £1.300 for the most well-known brands. We suggest finding a product that costs between £100 – £300. Anything less would be too cheap and anything more will not worth the money. (always depending on the features each electric scooter has). For example, the Razor E300 that is shown in the image above, is currently selling at £227.75 on Amazon.co.uk

The most popular electric scooter manufacturers nowadays are E-fluxE-TwowRazor. A good choice would be something from the razor series like E100 and E300. They are good, reliable and they will not burn your wallet.

Brands like E-twow have electric scooters that cost up to £2000. If you wish to purchase an electric kick scooter for you or your children, we recommend reading our best electric scooter buying guide were we compare the top 10 electric scooters from amazon.co.uk and aliexpress.com.

Two Wheel Electric Self Balancing Boards

self balancing electric skateboardsA self-balancing two-wheeled board, or self-balancing electric scooter, also generally mistakenly called a hoverboard, is a kind of mobile, rechargeable battery-powered scooter. They usually consist of two wheels arranged side by side, with two little stages involving the wheels, where the rider stands. The rider’s feet control the unit, standing on the built-in gyroscopic, censored pads.

This type of personal transport device can be used by both adults and children of all kind of socio-economic status. Whether you wear a suit to your job or you have an alternative hippy style, this type of personal transport is suitable for everyone.

How Two-Wheel Electric Self Balancing Boards work?

The wheels of the two-wheel electric board house the electric motors. In addition they have a rate and tilt detector (inclometer). This finds the rpm (revolutions per minute) of the individual wheel, and sends it to the gyroscope and speed control boards, found inside the key body, right along the wheels.

Speed control boards and the gyroscope get tilt info and the rpms in the detector in the wheels, and they, subsequently, send it to the primary logic board.

The logic board is the “brain” of your TWSBEB, and it is where the central processing unit computes in real-time the condition of the board, the rate at which you are going, as well as the relative rate and tilt of the particular wheels.

 

personal electric transportation device - 2-wheel-self-balancing-electric-scooter-hover-board-11

Each pressure pad sits on a switch. When you lean forward, the switch is pushed down. A thin plastic “wall” slides in-between an infrared LED and an infrared detector. When the detector detects the light, the logic board will “instruct” the motors to stay still. However , if the light is interrupted (because of the switch being shoved down by your weight), the board tells the motor to spin in a certain way.

The gyroscopes are told by the tilt sensors in the wheels how much forward you are leaning. The gyroscopes relay these details to the logic board.

The more you are leaning forwards, the more rapid the logic board tells the motors to spin, to sort of “catch up” along with your center of gravity. It is this simple (yet quite smart) mechanism that allows one to control the cruising speed of the scooter by means of your weight.

How much do they cost & Recommended Product

Two wheeled Electric Self Balancing Boards, cost between £200 – £900. If you are thinking on buying one, we recommend not spending more than £500. Although the Two wheel Self Balancing Boards that cost over £800 may have more features and better characteristics, you can do the job with a £400 electric self balancing board.

We don’t have any product to recommend.. Isn’t this strange?

The reason is because most hoverboards that are UL certified are not sold on amazon. amazon banned them from it’s global marketplace for not having a UL certificate. UL is a global organization that tests products and issues certifications of safety. Many two-wheel self balancing boards were malfunctioning causing them to explode or ignite fires.

The only two-wheel self balancing boards that are UL certified can be find on aliexpress.com. Just search for UL certified hoverboards and you’ll see only the ones that have a certification. This link will take you to the UL certified hoverboards search results.  Also, if you want to know what is the best hoverboard available for shipping to the UK, read this article.

Electric Skateboards

electric skateboard personal electric transportation device

An electric skateboard is normally a modified skateboard propelled by an electric motor, the power of which is normally controlled with the RF remote. As using a standard skateboard, the rider shifting her or his weight steers it. It was initially intended for local transportation, but now offer a more serious “Off Road” models as a new delight sport. The Off Road fashion boards are able to traverse grass, gravel, tough and dirt sand and so are generally seen at low tide on the beach.

The normal range for an 800-watt unit with a LiFePO4 battery is between 16 and 20 kilometer (9-12 miles). 600 W units reach 20% less range than their 800 W counterparts, and the old sealed lead acid batteries do 30% less range being used by units. The utmost speed of an average electric skateboard is about 25-40 kilometres per hour (16-25 mph)

How do Electric Skateboards work?

Electric skateboards do not use the same technology to move. For example the Raptor Max electric skateboard from amazon.co.uk need you to manually speed up first with the use of your foot like a normal skateboard and then use a remote control to order the skateboard to move by it self.

Here’s a n explanatory video made by Evolve Skateboards on how their electric skateboard works. This electric skateboard requires you to manually speed up first just like the Raptor Max.

On the other hand the Zboard 2 Electric Skateboard from  Zboard uses technology like two-wheel self balancing electric scooters.

personal electric transportation device - electric skateboard

How much do Electric Skateboards cost & Recommended Product

On both Amazon.co.uk and aliexpress.com you will find electric skateboards that cost between £150 to £1.000 depending on the brand, features and power. An example would be the Raptor Max electric skateboard that costs only £169.99 on amazon.co.uk and Benchwheel Dual 1800W Electric Skateboard C2 that costs £489.

We believe that this type of personal transportation device is not suitable for every person because of its style. People who were hooked with skateboards they may find electric skateboards more intriguing than everyday people who look for a personal transport device to go to work and replace their car.

If you want to learn more about electric skateboards, we recommend you read this article: Best Electric Skateboard. it’s a comparison guide with the top 10 best electric skateboards that can be shipped in the UK.

One Wheel Self Balancing Electric Skateboards

personal electric transportation device one wheel self balancing electric board

If I tell you that this personal transportation device does not have a name, would you believe me? We prefer to call it a one wheel self balancing electric skateboard. Long name. Yes, we know..but it’s the right one.

On aliexpress.com for example, these devices are called hoverboards, one wheel hoverboards, one wheel electric skateboards and a ton of other names.

A company called Hoverboard Technologies, based on California is building a similar looking vehicle called Hoverboard. Their website is also called hoverboard.com. We explained earlier, that hoverboards are devices that actually hover above the ground. So, personally, I can’t call this device a hoverboard. I would rather stick with the long name of One Wheel Self Balancing Electric Skateboard.

Here’s a video found on their website that explains more about their product. I have to admit, it is one hell of a device and I would love to see my self riding one of this things.

Another company called Future Motion has created a similar looking device but with a larger wheel in the middle. The are calling it OneWheel and as it seems from their website it can be used for off-road situations, jumping from stairs and using it for bouncing and other extreme situations.

When future Motion was trying to raise capital from backers on Kickstarter they were calling it One Wheel: The self balancing Electric Skateboard. If you visit their website you will notice that they are calling it OneWheel: Self Balancing Skateboard.

So I feel safe calling these type of personal electric transportations devices as One Wheel Self Balancing Electric Skateboards.

How do they work?

one wheel personal electric transportation deviceOnewheel’s table, has batteries under one-foot and handle technology beneath the other. The handle technology have motion detectors — like your iPhone — which run a control loop which informs the engine yo stabilize and how to work.

The whole thing is run by a powerful link engine. It’s all installed on wheel’s sort that would often be used by a go-kart.

The ”Hoverboard” on the other hand works similar to Electric Unicycles. Gyroscopic and stabilizer system allow you to balance to one wheel. Also, movement detectors allow you to move back and forth when leaning front or back.

How much do they cost?

You can buy One Wheel from amazon.co.uk at £1.399 and Hoverboard Full at $3.995 (£2.782) from their website. (Hoverboard sells a lite and a semi version of their – so-called hoverboard). Note that the ”Hoverboard” is pre-order only and unless you are you’re some rich extreme sports lunatic or want to favor your children, I’m not sure if you should even thinking on buying this electric personal transport device.

Electric Bikes

electric bicycles personal electric transportation device

An electric bike, additionally referred to as an e-bike or booster bike, is a bicycle with an integrated motor which may be used for propulsion. There are a lot types of e-bikes on the market worldwide, from e-bikes that solely have a little motor to help the rider’s pedal-power (i.e., pedelecs) to somewhat extra powerful e-bikes that tend nearer to moped-style functionality: all, however, keep the flexibility to be pedaled by the rider and are thus not electrical motorcycles.

E-bikes use rechargeable batteries and therefore are lighter. They can travel up to twenty-five to thirty-two km/h (sixteen to twenty mph), reckoning on the laws of the country within which they’re sold , whereas the additional high-powered varieties will usually do in way over forty-five km/h (28 mph).

In some markets, like Deutschland, they’re gaining in quality and taking some market share off from standard bicycles, whereas in others, like China, they’re substitution fossil fuel-powered mopeds and tiny motorcycles.

Personal Electric Transportation Device - Electric Bicycles sales chart in Europe
A chart showing the sales of electric bicycles in Europe from 2006 – 2014. Image courtesy of conebi.eu

Depending on native laws, several e-bikes (e.g., pedelecs) are lawfully classified as bicycles instead of mopeds or motorcycles, so that they aren’t subject to the extra tight laws about their certification and operation, in contrast to the extra powerful two-wheelers that are usually classed as electrical motorbikes. E-bikes can even be outlined individually and treated as a particular vehicle kind in several areas of legal jurisdiction.

How do Electric Bikes work?

There are 2 main types of electrical cycles, generally called full-powered electric bicycles and power-assisted electric bicycles. Their only difference is the method they are charged by the electrical motor:

Full-powered: These bikes are designed for least pedaling over comparatively short distances. They need big batteries and powerful hub motors to run and they tend to be bigger, sturdier, and heavier than normal bikes. Full-powered electric bikes are for those that love cycling however hate pedaling! Since the bicycles use power all the time (you pedal only when you want to) the distance you can cover with a single charge is limited to typically 16–30km (10–20 miles).

Power-assisted: These bikes are also called pedal-assisted bikes. These are the bicycle equivalents of hybrid cars: you are pedaling like a normal bike but when you feel tired or you are going up a hill you can switch to electric.

Here is a two-minute video from Laurence Clarkberg of Boxybikes.com how a power assisted electric bicycle works. Boxy Bikes is Ithaca NY’s custom electric bike shop.

How much do Electric Bikes cost and which one do we recommend

Volt Pulse Hybrid Electric BikeElectric Bikes can cost anywhere from $1000 up to $8000, again, depending on their features and characteristics. If you are going ot buy an electric bike I would recommend spending no more than £2.000 pounds. Anything more is simply not necessary.

Now, a good recommendation would be the Volt Pulse Hybrid Electric Bike.Volt, Pulse Hybrid Electric Bike costs £1.599 and it has 5/5 star rating from twelve buyers on amazon.co.uk

Also, we highly recommend that you check our electric bikes category. There, we grouped all the electric bike reviews  that we’ve made so far along with a huge comparison table where you can quickly review each model’s characteristics. 

One Wheel Electric Motorbikes

personal electric transportation device RYNO 12

One wheel motorcycles are personal transport devices that consist of one wheel, a place to sit and a handle. They can carry up to 118 Kg of weight and their maximum speed is about 15 miles per hour (like walking really fast). With each charge you can travel about 24 km. The most well-known brand at this moment is the Ryno one Wheel Electric Motorcycle.

Also one wheel electric motorcycles can go anywhere due to their fat and thick on wheel Also there are very easy to learn as the feeling is like when you get on a bicycle.

How One wheel Motorcycles Work

One Wheel Electric Motorcycles use hyperior movement-sensor technology to detect even the smallest movement from its rider to react so. If you lean forward, the motorcycle will go forth. Lean back and the motorcycle will go back. To turn the one wheel electric motorcycle just look and lean just li when using a normal motorbike.

Here’s a video from Verge that explains more on how the Ryno – the first one wheel electric motorcycle –  works:

How much do they cost and recommended product

The only available One Wheel Motorcycle at the moment is the Ryno One Wheel Motorcycle. It is made in the USA and you can order it by going to their website and pre-order it. It seems that is price is about $5.000. (£3.482)

CONCLUSION

To pick the right personal transport device you need to take into consideration a few things.

  1. Who is this vehicle for? Is it for you, your wife you kid? Depending on the age, sex and status of the device’s future owner then you can choose the personal transportation vehicle that covers its needs.
  2. What do you want the vehicle for? Do you want it for going to work, for an easier transportation in the city or for just having fun?
  3. How much money are you will to spend on your new device? $200 or $2000? Your new transportation vehicle type will largely depend on your spending power.
  4. What features do you want your new  personal transportation device to have? Do you want it with bluetooth connectivity, night lights, bigger battery and faster?

It is crucial to understand exactly what your needs are before spending your money on new personal transport technology. New personal transport technologies are emerging day by day and we will be updating this post the minute we know more about them.

If you have any questions, suggestion or corrections you would like us to do, don’t hesitate to contact us through the contact us page or through the comments section below.

Sources


UMT2016

We bring you the latest news and trends on Mobility, Transportation and Technology. Check our product reviews, buying guides, tips and tricks on hover-boards, electric bikes, electric skateboards, electric scooters and anything else that has to do with Motion Technology.

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