Most successful technology-companies leverage previous innovation to build their empires. E scooters might be the best example we have seen in a long time. The first motorized Scooter dates back to 1915 when Autoped, a product manufactured by the Autoped Company, launched. As you can see in the images below, there is a striking similarity between the Autoped and modern e scooters, although the Autoped was not an electric scooter.
The Autoped had a single-cylinder engine with a volume of 155 cubic centimeters (155cc). Between 1919 to 1922, the Autoped was manufactured under license by the German company Krupp, who increased the size of the combustion cylinder to 191 cc. The Autoped Company stopped manufacturing the innovative standup scooter in 1921.
Weighing in on 50 kg (110 lbs), The Autoped was not something you carry around. Today, e scooters weigh up to 20 kg (45 lbs), but there are lighter alternatives as well. The weight of e scooters has in some cases increase since they are used in trafficked areas. When you purchased an Autoped you could add lights, horns, and a toolbox for an extra cost. The handlebar could be folded down and attached to the back of the vehicle, creating a handle for carrying.
Buying an original Autoped
If you want to buy an original Autoped today, you better open up your wallet. Like all old things, there’s a market where the demand from collectors decides the price. In 2016 there was an action where you could purchase an original everyday scooter. I don’t know how the auction went, but as stated in the article, the highest price paid for an Autoped at that point was $12,500.
In 1985, Steve Patmont invented a new foldable motorized scooter and launched, together with his wife and two sons, Patmont Motor Werks. They started out by building Go-Peds in their garage for friends and family. They quickly realized the market-potential, secured a patent, and started scaling their company. In May 2001, Go-Ped launched the first fully electrical standup scooter.
It’s not clear to me how Patmont Motor Werks are doing today. I have seen some posts stating that they are world leaders in the e scooter industry, but I doubt it. Maybe they are making tons of money licensing their technology, but I can’t find much on the internet hinting at that. Their products are still available for purchase, but they are more expensive than many other alternatives. It seems like they are manufacturing in the US, which isn’t the cheapest option.