In the dialect of Korean, Hyundai is what they call a chaebol, which roughly translates to a business conglomerate. If you study business administration in a United States college, your professor would describe Hyundai as a vertically integrated company. Put simply, that means raw materials go in one end at Hyundai and all kind of products – automobiles, petrochemicals, ships, and even department stores – come out the other end. A firm whose purview is this big and broad can produce virtually anything. And recently, Hyundai announced an expansion of its transportation products.
It’s a new, foldable, electric-powered scooter with a one-charge range of 20 kilometers, which translates to around 12 miles. A prototype of the new vehicle was first shown at CES 2017. It uses rear-wheel drive, has lighting front and rear, and as you can see, it’s highly portable at a total weight of 7.7 kilograms, a little more than 15 1/2 pounds. The scooter’s power comes from a small, 10.5 Ah lithium battery. Hyundai envisions this scooter eventually being offered as an option on its Hyundai and Kia passenger vehicles. You know, pull your Sonata or Santa Fe into a parking slot, open it up, lift out the scooter, unfold it and whir away in a downtown area. Not sure how much places like Los Angeles and Paris will appreciate the continued proliferation of these things, but hey, this is indeed progress. Hyundai predicts that in the coming decade, this kind of “last mile” transportation will blossom into a $500 billion annual business.