McLaren technology arm showcases first premium e-scooter

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The Lavoie Series 1 features technology developed for McLaren’s Formula 1 cars

This is the new Lavoie Series 1, a premium electric scooter featuring technology developed for McLaren’s ultra-successful Formula 1 and supercar machines.

Now, this might not look much like the papaya F1 racer than Lando Norris hustles around a race track, but there’s a definite link. Due to be launched next year, the Series 1 is the first offering from e-mobility start-up Lavoie, a new subsidiary of McLaren Applied. That is the McLaren Group’s advanced technology arm, and seeks to apply advanced technology from developed and inspired by its Racing and Automotive divisions to new areas.

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Lavoie’s co-founders are Eliott Wertheimer and Albert Nassar, who formerly headed e-bike and e-scooter manufacturer Furosystems – and have backgrounds in advanced space systems and advanced robotics. They were looking for a new venture and were connected with McLaren Applied boss Nick Fry.

McLaren Applied has an internal project working on e-scooter technology, and learnings, technology and patents from those are now being fed to Lavoie for the development of new e-mobility projects.

Speaking to Move Electric, Wertheimer described Lavoie as “effectively a start-up, but coming with years of micromobility experience and backed up by a super-successful company that has proven itself in terms of design and innovation.”

Lavoie currently has a small team, but with plans to scale rapidly as it ramps up its operation. It also works closely with key staff from McLaren Applied including principal mechanical engineer and former Red bull aerodynamicist Richard Clarke, and senior design engineer Diego Valdes, who previously worked in luxury jet design.

Lavoie Series 1: key technical details

The Series 1 is a new high-tech private e-scooter that’s aimed at the premium end of the market: while not finalised, expect it to cost around £1500-£2000. That makes it a rival for the likes of the forthcoming Bo M and Pure Electric Pure Advance.

Lavoie’s bosses say that the Series 1 will be the halo model of a planned range of electric mobility machines, although every model will be deigned with a focus on advanced technology, premium design and performance.

“We’re premium luxury,” Wertheimer told Move Electric. “Our key focus is to offer the best machine possible, not at crazy prices but in a way that will maximise functionality and performance.”

The machine is made with automotive-standard magnesium, which means that it weighs just 16.5kg. Lavoie has worked to keep the weight down to ensure it can easily be used for commuting. 

That brief is also why the firm has focused on developing an innovative folding mechanism called Flowfold, which is ‘inspired’ by Formula 1 suspension. The system operated with a single button press that folds the front and rear wheel hinges and collapses the stem. 

The firm has also designed the machine to feature a wide board to maximise stability, while it also features a novel lighting system: as well as front and rear lights, there are floodlights on the deck and lights mounted on the rear that point up and illuminate the rider, with the aim of making it easier for other road users to spot.

The machine also features ergonomic handlebars, which are angled in the style of a motorbike. Its designers believe this is a more natural position and will prove more comfortable for longer rides.

The Series 1 will be capable of a top speed of more than 25mph, although it can be controlled using software to meet the regulations of particular countries. For example, while it is currently illegal to use private e-scooters on UK roads, the government is currently working on legislation that is tipped to feature a top speed of around 15.5mph.

Are e-scooters legal in the UK? Move Electric’s definitive guide

It will be offer in two battery sizes, with the entry level version offering around 25 miles of “real-world range”. A larger version will feature a 700Wh battery and Wertheimer said “it will be the kind of product you only need to charge once or twice a week”.

Lavoie has yet to give a battery capacity, but says that a two-hour charge on a domestic three-pin plug will give the Series 1 up to 31 miles of range.

The firm is also working on a bespoke app that will offer integrated navigation – syncing with a display built-into the machine so riders can keep their phones packed away – and a range of safety features.

It will be offered in a range of four colours, which are currently being developed in association with Callum, the design consultancy established by former Jaguar designer Ian Callum.

The aim is to launch the Series 1 next year with a limited-run Founders Edition, featuring extra kit and special trim details. The firm will make 469 of those – a reference to the fact the first patents for electric vehicles were filed in April 1869. 

We’ll have a big feature on Lavoie’s e-mobility goals on Move Electric soon


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Source: Autocar

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