Segway, the company that has introduced personal electric transportation vehicles, has announced it will begin building a line of powersports vehicles in 2020. That includes two side-by-sides and an ATV.
At first, the vehicles will be hybrids (gasoline and electric powered) as the company works on an all-electric vehicle.
The vehicles will have either a paralleled hybrid powertrain (PHP; 86 hp) or extended-range hybrid powertrain (ERHP; 181 hp). The ATV will be called the Snarler while the utility side-by-side is called the Fugleman and the sport side-by-side the Villian.
The best source of information on the vehicles comes from a Q&A session we came across.
Segway Technology Q&A
1. What is the powersports strategy for Segway/Ninebot in the medium and long term?
The slogan of Segway is Simply Moving. Segway Powersports inherits Segway's 20 years of technological innovation, reliability and new energy genes. We will combine Segway’s advantages with powersports products and based on models released this time we are aiming to create excellently designed products with unique features. Our new energy powertrain and high performance ICE will provide robust power and excitement. The AI and IOV technology will provide users with refreshing driving experiences. Segway’s powerful supply chain and quality control capabilities, which delivers several millions of products per year, will ensure our customers will never worry about any quality problems. The philosophy of Simply Moving will be brought to a new arena. We “Fear No Place!”
- ATV, UTV, SSV; the three categories will continue to evolve, using hybrid technology and advanced ICE platform to continue to provide the industry's outstanding powertrain. We will never stop exploring more powerful, more efficient and more refreshing driving experiences.
- By integrating Segway's advanced robotics and IOV technologies, we will bring unique user experiences for our customers. We are exploring the boundaries of the powersports world.
- We will keep focusing on the key technology of this industry. Using different approaches, such as more efficient and more powerful powertrains, safer and more advanced battery technology, intelligent suspension, etc., to create unique products with beyond expectation user experiences and outstanding customer value.
2. Why has Segway/Ninebot decided to enter the powersports industry?
- Since its begining, Segway has released many products that have changed the world. It has also changed the way people travel. In the field of smart mobility, Segway always leads the trends. Segway created the self-balancing vehicle category (PT) and electric kick scooter for daily commute. We redefined mobility with creative design and new technology. We are hoping to bring more creativity and better user experiences to this industry.
- In the past 20 years, Segway has developed many new technologies and core patents in the field of intelligent shortdistance transportation, such as vehicle engineering, electronically controlled motors, battery PACK, BMS, selfbalancing technology, autonomous driving technology, IOT and IOV technology, new energy power systems, etc. Segway have thousands of patents and thousands of R&D engineers in the electric personal mobility area. We delivered several millions products, consumed billions of lithium batteries in 2018. This is the strong technical and marketing foundation for Segway to enter this industry.
- During the past 20 years, Segway have been focusing on short distance mobility industry. Our mission is to simplify the movement of persons and objects, bring people more convenience and fun. Entering into the powersports industry is an expansion of our mobility products. It is more of nature evolution rather than cross boundary development.
- Segway has created very innovative and cool products such as electric self-balancing vehicles, electric kick scooters and electric Go-kart kits over the past 20 years. Due to years of experiences on new energy power technology and IOV technology, Segway is ready to start another very cool category, which is the powersports products. Segway engineers have great enthusiasm and ability to create "better and cooler" power sports products.
3. Where are the vehicles designed?
Segway is now a global company with a large number of creative employees in the U.S., China, Europe and Singapore. The powersports products are primarily a collaborative effort between the U.S. team and the Chinese team. We have also received the full support of top design agencies and top suppliers in the design process. In the next product, our European team will also participate in the design of the product.
4. What about the Segway/Ninebot dealer network for powersports products in Europe? How will the vehicles be sold in Europe?
- We want to work with professionals who love powersports and share the common value with Segway, to bring Segway powersports products to the world, let more people enjoy the convenience and fun that Segway Powersports products bring to them.
- According to different markets in different countries and regions, the dealer policy may vary to adapt to national/regional situations.
- Regarding detailed dealer policies and distribution policies, Segway will maintain communication with interested companies and will be announced after the cooperation is reached.
5. Where the new vehicles will be produced?
The first manufacturing facility for Segway Powersports products is currently based in China. For products sold in North America, we are considering manufacturing at Segway's production site in New Hampshire. We also hope to set up a manufacturing facility in Europe to meet the demands of European region.
6. Who are the men behind the products?
- Segway's management and core technical team are generally enthusiasts of outdoor sports, huge fans of powersports products and very creative and innovative. Our initial intention in this category is to use our technology and design ability to create our dream of an off-road vehicle, which will greatly improve the performance while lowering emissions, be smarter and provide more refreshing and simplified experience.
- The entire team is a highly experienced professional in the powersports industry. The professionals in the powertrain have averagely more than 20 years of experience and the vehicle development and marketing team has more than 15 years of experience. The company has more than 100,000 square meters of advanced manufacturing plants in China, 30,000 square meters of advanced manufacturing plants and nearly a thousand engineers in the United States. We will be bold and innovative, but also careful and cautious, and expect to deliver to our customers a refreshing product and experience.
- Segway powersports products have applied for 141 basic patents and will continue to develop in all aspects such as R&D, testing, service, manufacturing and marketing.
7. Why do you opt for hybrid vehicles instead of a full electric vehicles ?
- As the technology develops and with the trend of cleaner energy growing, our vision is the powertrain of ORV vehicles will surpass from hybrid to pure electric. The power system of hybrid motor has excellent low-speed torque performance and can greatly reduce energy consumption and emissions. There is no doubt about the trend towards more power combined with lower pollution and noise levels.
- From our experience delivering millions of all-electric personal mobility products every year, the current battery industry technology is still some way off from making the ATV category fully electric. Use in extremely cold conditions and in no man's land poses great challenges to the endurance of pure electric power. At present, hybrid power, including deep mixing and booster hybrid power, is a reasonable direction which can obviously improve product performance and give consideration to practicability. We have long-term strategic partnerships with several of the world's top power battery manufacturers. Pure electric products will also be introduced when the technology is mature in the future.
8. What are the advantages of a hybrid powertrain compared to pure electric and combustion engine?
- A hybrid electric vehicle is powerful and low speed with high torque, has very good acceleration performance.
- Hybrid "dual-core" drive, more suitable for the use of ATV high temperatures and extremely cold environments. It is more suitable for outdoor sports that cannot be charged in time, cross-country crossing of multiple road conditions, long distance driving and the need of strong power output.
- In the low speed and high torque operating range of internal combustion engine with low efficiency, electric power can greatly reduce energy consumption and emissions.
9. Tell us a little bit more about the battery pack. What is the capacity of the battery?
- Hybrid with 570cc engine will be 96V low voltage system. The battery capacity is about 2-4kwh.
- 1000cc range extender will be with 320V high voltage drive system. The battery capacity is about 5-10kwh.
- We will launch a number of products. The 570cc and 1000cc internal combustion engine platforms will be equipped with electric drive systems of different power levels respectively.Therefore, the final parameters will vary according to the product model.
10. What is the cost difference between hybrid powered vehicles and gas-powered vehicles?
- To Segway, as the manufacturer, the cost of hybrid is higher than fuel-powered engines, so you can simply tell that hybrid is with 2 power-delivery “cores.”
- From the perspective of powersports product features and usage scenarios, the performance characteristics of high torque, fast acceleration and significantly enhanced low-speed power of hybrid will bring better driving experience and user value to users.
- In addition to the obvious power upgrade, the hybrid power system also provides more abundant power guarantee for the connected vehicle system and the all-vehicle intelligent system. Intelligent interactive experiences and better service experiences enable consumers to enjoy the brand new value brought by hybrid, intelligent and Internet of vehicles.
11. How does the vehicles work in severe conditions? Waterproof, extreme low and high temperatures?
- They are built for that and they passed the severe condition test.
- Key components of the vehicle have a waterproof rating of IP67.
- Under harsh working conditions, our recommended minimum operating temperature is minus 15 degrees (5 degrees F) and the maximum temperature is 50 degrees (122 degrees F).
12. How long does the vehicle last with a full battery and only electric driving mode?
- In PHP hybrid mode, the drive system also relies on the internal combustion engine to work together. In PHP hybrid mode, the electric drive system will not work alone, but as a supplement to the internal combustion engine.
- For ERHP models, it can work under pure electric drive. This endurance has a lot to do with the environment. On flat road or flat dirt road, the speed of 30 mph can cover 15-20 miles.
13. How long does it take to re-charge the battery?
It takes about 2-3 hours to re-charge the battery, but for the hybrid powertrain, you don’t have to re-charge the battery after all.
14. Will the ATV and side-by-side range be larger in the future?
- We have plans, but we will not sacrifice the market for longer range. All products are made for market demands. We will upgrade our product according to market needs and customer requirements.
- For the PHP systems, we have large fuel tanks to assure the travel range and the design is based on considerable vehicle body structure.
- For the ERHP powertrain, we will continuously upgrade the performance through battery capacity and motor matching on a basis of reasonable vehicle structure.
15. Do you have any official plans in terms of racing?
Yes, sure we do, please keep an eye on the reports worldwide.
Vehicles: Snarler, Fulgelman, Villain
16. Which is the priority target group of the Snarler, Fugleman and Villain?
- We will make different strategy according to different product composition and customer structure.
- Snarler is built for powersports fans, for entertaining, hunting, farm work or other utility needs.
- Fugleman users are those using the vehicle as a working tool, and sometimes may use the utility vehicle as hunting tool. It emphasizes strong power and low noise and low fuel consumption and emission.
- Villain is built for the powersports enthusiasts with the strongest power and torque and best in class chassis and suspensions; to purse the speed and passion performance riders thirst for.
17. When the Snarler, Fugleman and Villain will be launched and available?
- The massive production will start in 2020; the Villain MOP in June, Snarler MOP in July and Fugleman MOP in September.
- There will be differences among countries due to the dealership distribution and marketing process.
18. How will the Snarler, Fugleman and Villain be homologated? T1? T3 ? L7e?
- We are applying the homologations in different countries and regions; the certifications will be released once we get the official papers.
- To enter different markets, we will get relevant certifications for certain regions, meeting the needs of most customers and we will obtain the certifications such as T1, T3, L7e, EPA, etc.
19. What will be the MSRP for the Snarler, Fulgelman and Villain?
- The price will vary a lot based on configuration, homologation and tax.
- The fluctuations of tax and exchange rates influence the price a lot.
- We will announce the MSRP through our official account and pointed dealers.
20. How many interchangeable components will there be between Snarler, Fugleman and Villain?
- To reduce the maintenance difficulty for end-customers and the operating cost for dealers, we have designed each vehicle category in unified platform structure in the R&D process. Please refer to our upcoming parts manual for more identical design and interchangeable components.
- Segway all-terrain vehicles are brand new in design and development. The three categories are facing different users with different technical requirements. Therefore, the interchange among three vehicle platforms seems impossible so far. With the upgrade for each vehicle category, the versatility for similar vehicle models can be achieved by applying interchangeable components.
- The spare parts for all the powertrain systems are interchangeable for now.