The Audi e-scooter has a top speed of 20km/h to reach that last destination. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Audi e-scooter has a top speed of 20km/h to reach that last destination. Picture: SUPPLIED

Audi has launched a new e-scooter concept that combines the advantages of an electric scooter and a skateboard. The 12kg, foldable electric scooter can be carried on a bus or train and used to conveniently cover the last metres of travel, for example, from a parking space to the final destination, at a speed of up to 20km/h.

It’s expected to go on sale in late 2020 and will cost about €2,000 (R34,000).

“With the Audi e-tron Scooter, we appeal to customers who are on the move in cities, sustainably and multimodally — and for whom style and functionality are important,” says Thorsten Schrader, project manager for micro-mobility at Audi.

The e-scooter is like a skateboard as riders use feet to shift their weight on the movable axles on four wheels. Legally required are a headlight, daytime running light, rear light and brake light.

The 20km range is achieved through brake energy recuperation while a hydraulic foot brake provides additional safety.


Hyundai to go electric racing

The Hyundai teaser picture does not give much away, but the brand is going electric racing. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Hyundai teaser picture does not give much away, but the brand is going electric racing. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Frankfurt motor show in September will herald a new chapter for Hyundai Motorsport as the racing outfit showcases its first electric race car.

The first glimpses of the new car that has been designed and built at Hyundai Motorsport’s headquarters in Alzenau, Germany can be seen in videos published on Hyundai Motorsport’s social media channels.

“A new era is dawning at Hyundai Motorsport. For many months, our team in Alzenau has been working hard on an exciting electric vehicle and soon we will be able to share the fruits of these labours,” team director Andrea Adamo said.

Hyundai, which competes in the World Rally Championship, didn’t say what kind of electric racing it plans to undertake, and all will be revealed at the Frankfurt show.


New head of sales at FCA

Ismaeel Hassen has been appointed the new head of sales and network at FCA SA. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ismaeel Hassen has been appointed the new head of sales and network at FCA SA. Picture: SUPPLIED

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) SA has appointed Ismaeel Hassen as its new head of sales and network. Hassen joins FCA amid a big restructuring to improve business efficiencies and processes in order to ultimately improve the customer experience.

No stranger to the FCA family, Hassen returns to SA after spending just over a decade in Oman and the UAE launching many of the FCA brands and developing the network with general distributors. His experience there extended across sales, product, marketing, logistics and aftersales — knowledge that will be invaluable in improving these areas of FCA in SA.

Hassen will take responsibility for the full sales function, including new, pre-owned, fleet, sales planning and logistics, as well as network development and training.

“We are excited to have Ismaeel on board and believe that he will bring a wealth of experience, passion and energy to the role,” says Graham Eagle, CEO of FCA SA.

Honda targets buyers through gaming 

Honda is pumping more marketing dollars into competitive video-gaming to protect its status as the dominant carmaker among young, first-time buyers in the US, reports Bloomberg.

The Japanese automotive giant is becoming the official automaker of Riot Games’s League of Legends Championship Series, one of North America’s biggest e-sports leagues. The news comes eight months after Honda signed a partnership with Team Liquid, a three-time league champion.

THESE YOUNGERAUDIENCES THATWE ’RE TRYING TOREACH REALLYPREFER E-SPORTSAND SOCIAL MEDIA.

Honda’s goal is to meet young consumers on their own terms. The global e-sports audience consists of more than 450-million people, according to analysis firm Newzoo, and North America represents the largest market. That group is largely young, tech-savvy consumers who don’t interact with marketing in the same way as their older peers.

They’re also a valuable commodity in the automotive world. Millennials and Gen Z are the only generations increasing their share of car sales right now, and Honda is well positioned with those groups. Its Civic and Accord models are the top-selling vehicles for first-time buyers, according to the company.

“These younger audiences that we’re trying to reach really prefer e-sports and social media over more traditional media,” said Phil Hruska, manager of media strategy at American Honda. “We look at these deals as a social-media platform, which is a great evolution of where the eyeballs are going.”

The announcement comes just a few days after the e-sports and gaming industries reacted vociferously to politicians — including President Donald Trump — referencing violent video games as a potential inspiration for the mass-shooting epidemic in the US.


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