SEAT shows off its electric motorcycle and e-scooter for 2020

22 Nov 2019

From left: the SEAT e-KickScooter and e-Scooter. Image: SEAT

This week in future tech, SEAT has fully unveiled its new e-Scooter along with a whole new business dedicated to urban mobility.

A couple of weeks ago, Spanish automaker SEAT teased the launch of its first electric motorcycle called the eScooter. Now, with a slight rebrand to e-Scooter, the motorcycle has gotten its full reveal.

The e-Scooter, which will launch in 2020, was unveiled at the Smart City Expo World Congress earlier this week (19 November), along with SEAT’s new e-KickScooter concept, developed from the EXS model launched in 2018.

The e-Scooter will have a 7kW motor equivalent to a 125cc engine with a top speed of 100kph. It can accelerate to 50kph in 38 seconds and has a range of approximately 115km.

Its battery is designed to be removable, giving it greater flexibility for use by shared service fleets. SEAT estimates that it will cost the user €0.70 worth of charge for every 100km.

Meanwhile, the e-KickScooter will have a range of 65km using a 551Wh battery.

EV revolution may take a lot longer than planned

A team of scientists is warning that predictions about electric vehicles (EVs) surging in number over the next five years are wrong.

According to MIT Technology Review, a new study from the university said that EVs will never be as cheap as traditional cars if they continue to use lithium-ion batteries.

Rather, it could take almost two decades to eliminate the lifetime cost between the two types of vehicles. This is because the steady decline in lithium-ion battery prices is expected to slow in the coming years as costs for the materials to make them rises.

“If you follow some of these other projections, you basically end up with the cost of batteries being less than the ingredients required to make it,” said Randall Field, executive director of the Mobility of the Future group at MIT. “We see that as a flaw.”

While some researchers have projected that the cost of these battery packs by 2025 will be in the region of $100 per kWh, this latest study said it would mean that material costs would have to stay flat for the next decade. This is despite the fact that demand for lithium-ion batteries is on the rise.

Wearable kidney could improve dialysis treatment 

The results of the first in-human study of an automated wearable artificial kidney (AWAK) are in, showing no serious adverse effects up to one month after treatment. 

Intended for use in peritoneal dialysis (PD) treatments, the AWAK has been developed to allow dialysis to be performed on the go. If successful, this could be transformative for patients who currently spend long hours connected to dialysis machines for treatment. 

In the study, 15 patients underwent more than 100 peritoneal dialysis treatments using an AWAK, which has been designed to deliver high-dose dialysis in a low volume of solution. The technology regenerates and reconstitutes used dialysis fluid into fresh fluid while removing toxins, and indeed the artificial kidneys were shown to be effective at removing waste substances from the blood. 

“The regenerative sorbent technology used in AWAK PD is an innovation with the potential to revolutionise the way peritoneal dialysis has been done in the past 40 years, providing portability and flexibility of treatment,” said principal investigator Dr Marjorie Foo Wai Yin. “This technology also helps to reduce waste and save resources by reusing dialysis fluids.” 

Additional reporting from Elaine Burke 

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic