Last week, Segway announced the launch of its latest consumer electric vehicle, the Segway C80.
Since their IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign went live, Segway has raised over $350K USD to jumpstart production, and expects to ship the C80 in November at a starting price of $2,199 USD.
The Segway C80 is a moped-style e-bike that can reach speeds of 20mph, go as far as 52.8 miles on a single charge, and comes with a 750W motor.
The vehicle frame and foot platform both resemble that of a Moped, but Segway has also included functional bike pedals on the C80. That means you can use the bike just like any other bicycle when the battery is out of charge (However, the C80 does weigh 121 lbs, and I personally wouldn't want to depend entirely on the pedals).
Other notable specs include a 1.15 kWh removable battery (weighing 13 lbs), a front suspension fork, and a dual braking system (front disc brakes and rear drum brakes).
Segway's C80 offers decent range and motor power, but the C80 really separates itself from competitors when we go beyond performance specs. It packs many of the smart driving and safety features of a modern car into a bike sized frame. Both are worth discussing.
The Segway C80 offers two important smart driving features that you'd typically only find in a car:
Segway's cruise control allows you to maintain your speed while driving without having to hold on the accelerator throttle.
The front headlights of the C80 automatically get brighter as the streets get darker, adapting to light conditions as needed. This feature reminds me a lot of Tesla's auto-high beam feature, which automatically increases front headlight brightness when there are no oncoming vehicles detected.
Safety has long been a weak spot for bikes.
Even the strongest chain or steel bar locks can - and often are - snapped, broken, or otherwise removed, leaving cyclists with no clues to their bike’s whereabouts, and no way of stopping the thief from selling it or using it themselves.
But Segway has changed the safety game for cyclists. With GPS tracking and advanced locking features built into the bike itself, you can leave your bike lock at home, and go about your day without much concern of theft. The C80 also includes:
Try to steal the Segway C80, and the lights start flashing, the speaker starts making noises, and the wheels lock, rendering the bike basically useless. These features already exist in bikes like the Vanmoof S3 and X3, but are even more effective on the C80.
That's because at a weight of 121 lbs, it's extra hard to steal without a set of working wheels.
The C80 is a versatile bike with a neat, well-designed frame. However, I worry they might have overdone it with the functional bike pedals, a feature that I don't think will be very useful.
After all, the bike does weigh 121 lbs, and the pedal positioning looks a little awkward in the photo above.
To be honest, I think the pedals will confuse people. To newcomers, it may not be immediately obvious how the bike works, what it's pedals are used for, and how powerful the bike truly is. So a part of me wishes the C80 was just a pure electric Moped without any bike pedals at all.
Aside from the pedals, the smart safety features are really exciting. They'll make biking a safer, more enjoyable experience for riders, and eliminate the need for third-party accessories like headlights, bike locks, and keys.