Autoped 1919

So when it was created?

The first electric scooter ever created by man was named “Autoped” and was patented more than a century ago in New York (USA). But, the difference that it was certainly not as handy as those of today you see on roads.

The electric scooters that circulate more and more in cities all over Italy because they are a viable solution (almost for all or at least many) to improve mobility and air quality, were invented more than 100 years ago, in 1916. The first ever it was designed in 1913 and patented three years later by the American inventor Arthur Hugo Cecil Gibson. The first motorized scooter for adults produced from 1915 to 1922 was the “Autoped Company” of Long Island City, New York, and the vehicle was marketed under the same company name, “Autoped”.

BRAKE AND CLUTCH. The Autoped scooter consisted of a small platform with 25 ‘tires on which the driver took his place; pushing the handlebars and steering column forward activated the clutch, while pulling them backwards the clutch stopped and activated the brake.

However, obviously and presumably, times were premature for an electric motor on a scooter that would come more than a century later: the Autoped was gas-powered by a 155cc, air-cooled, four-stroke engine on the front wheel. The delivery of fuel and therefore the acceleration of the vehicle was adjusted with a lever placed on the handlebar, different from today certainly but very similar, all modern scooters have a lever on the handlebar for speed.

The Autoped has a range of 53 km and reaches a speed of 56 km/h.

However, even if advertised as a means of transport within the reach of all budgets, in reality the Autoped cost about 100 dollars, which between 1910 and 1920 represented a gigantic sum for many people, adjusted for inflation and salaries. at the time, it was far too high for more than half the population.

Moreover, even if it could be folded to be more easily transportable like modern ones, one of the main disadvantages was its weight, of 45 kg. Obviously, it didn’t make it as handy as today’s legal scooters that don’t weigh over 15kg.

After 100 years technology has indeed made some progress as we can witness from a very old “scooter” such as the “Autoped” to the brand new technology of nowadays like Xiaomi, Segway and many other manufacturers.

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