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Scooter power for on-the-go elderly

Posted by Warren Chew on

By Adrian Lim | The Straits Times | Singapore | 28 March 2015

e-Lite Mobility Scooter

A HOME-GROWN company is in the process of creating and producing what it believes will be the world's lightest motorised scooter.

A prototype of the scooter, which helps enhance mobility for the elderly and people with disabilities, was unveiled on Thursday at RehabTech Asia 2015.

The exhibition, held at the Singapore Expo, showcased innovations targeted at individuals with mobility issues.

Mr Warren Chew, managing director of Falcon Mobility, said it took about two years to come up with the motorised scooter, called the e-Lite.

The scooter weighs 16.3 kg, has a top speed of 7 kmh and can be used for up to 10 km before it needs to be charged.

It can also be folded and stowed away in a car boot.

It is targeted largely at elderly people who might have difficulty walking long distances.

Around 70 per cent of the development cost was funded through Spring Singapore's capability development scheme.

Mr Chew hopes to launch the scooter in a year's time after it has undergone user testing.

He said it would be priced at less than $2,500.

He acknowledged that another 500g has to be shaved off the scooter's weight before it can claim the title of being the world's lightest. This could be done by using a lighter frame made of aluminium instead of steel, he said.

The e-Lite is up against the TravelScoot Deluxe, which was designed in the United States and is lighter at 16kg.

Meanwhile, distributors of motorised wheelchairs and scooters said sales had been brisk.

Agis Mobility director Jaames Lee said this was because such devices had become more affordable. About a decade ago, they would have cost around $5,000.Today, prices start from $1,300 for an electric scooter and $1,900 for a motorised wheelchair.

Omni-Health business development director P. Ravi said the use of such devices had been facilitated by infrastructure improvements, including the provision of greater barrier-free access in buildings and transport hubs.

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