What can you say about a 5,000-dollar electric scooter that can either be described as a ride-able suitcase or something out of the boxy tech of Star Trek from the 1960s? “Surely you must be kidding!” comes to mind. But this is no untimely April Fools’ wind-up—some models of this ride-able box can give you almost 90 km per hour, and it is built for extra stability and efficiency.
The makers of the BOXX suitcase…oops sorry…scooter tout it as a compact, everyday commuter option. It is an environmentally conscious vehicle, not just because it runs on electricity and has no emissions, but also because it is made out of recycled aluminium and minimal plastic parts. BOXX’s manufacturers verify that it is roadworthy and can make “short work of potholes”. Indeed, one can easily see it as a global transportation solution for crowded city roads, but also, it seems to be a good option to have around for short-distance rural travel.
On the outside, it is a compact, one-metre- long moped—or scooter or two-wheeler or whatever you want to call it—with a unique boxy look. At first glance, it almost looks like a toy and it is impossible to believe that one can actually ride it. Coming to the nuts and bolts that keep this rather cool-sounding piece of machinery working, BOXX is powered by lightweight hub motors, it’s all-wheel-drive (AWD) format being a first for two-wheelers, which provides extra control and manoeuvrability on all terrains. A patented traction control system and a unique ABS braking system are also present.
Its makers also claim that BOXX is the most efficient two-wheel electric vehicle in its class, delivering 82 per cent efficiency to applied power, and using three times less energy than other electric two-wheelers. The base model can go up to 65 km in a single charge. All BOXX vehicles can carry up to 135 kg, including the rider as well as cargo (there are two secure cargo bays).
Also present are front and rear grip handles, a comfortable (at least 0.5 m long) seat with optional heating, integrated kickstand, removable foot pegs, storable handlebar position, extra-wide 10-inch wheels, emergency brake, LED lighting as well as headlights and road light signal marking—basically everything you can expect in a ready-for- the road two-wheeler.
A three-layer heated powder coating gives an environmentally friendly and liquid-free finish that is supposedly more durable than the traditional solvent-based finish. Finally, BOXX comes with smartphone integration via an app, and a 4-inch 32-bit touchscreen console that won’t mind the elements.
BOXX can be ordered online, with a choice of models, colour, trim and other optional upgrades. The main BOXX model comes for $3,797, BOXX M for $4,897 and BOXX e for $2,997. A 1-hour charger unit, seat heating, a green laser light Virtual Ground Lane system and 25 per cent extra travel range per charge can be added at extra cost (about $1,100 if you want everything). They ship internationally—just add another $200 or so to the total bill.