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Last Updated: Monday, 12 January, 2004, 09:42 GMT
Scooter clone takes on the Segway

By Alfred Hermida
BBC News Online technology editor in Las Vegas

Mr Wang on the Rad2Go
It took nine months to come up with the Segway clone
You could soon see a lot more people zipping around on stand-up Segway-type electric scooters.

A US company has come up with an imitation of the invention that was supposed to revolutionise transport.

The Rad2Go Q electric scooter looks like a Segway, but has four wheels and costs a quarter of the price.

"The Segway is a marvellous invention," said Rad2Go President John Wang, "but for me it is too much technology for moving from point A to point B."

The company has been drawing the crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which ended on Sunday.

Cheaper and simpler

Just a quick glance at the Q reveals that it is no Segway.

The Rad2Go Q electric scooter's headlamp
Twin 150 watt hub motors
24 volt battery
10 mph top speed
10-15 miles range
Cost between $1,000-1,500
The Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter which sells for $4,495 on Amazon.

For its part, the Q stands on four wheels as there is no sophisticated built-in gyroscope.

The device is also significantly cheaper, costing between $1,000 and $1,500, depending on the model.

"When we saw the Segway, we thought it was not a bad idea," said Mr Wang, who decided there was room for a cheaper and simpler type of device.

"The more complication you have, the more problems you are likely to have," he told BBC News Online.

It took the California-based firm nine months to come up with the clone.

Show buzz

The Q has two 150 watt motors built into the wheels, powered by a 24 volt battery that lasts for between 10 and 15 miles.

It can reach a top speed of 10mph, which is comparable to the Segway.

The scooter also comes with a throttle controlled by the thumb, brakes, a headlamp and even indicator lights.

The Q caused a buzz at the CES, the world's largest consumer technology showcase, with dozens of people taking a break from traipsing through the show floor to ride the Q.

Mr Wang said they had sold thousands of units in just a few days, with people taking advantage of a discounted price of $800.

"It is a very secure feeling," said Carol Berman, as her husband ordered one of the $1,000 scooter.

The Q has just gone on sale in the US and the firm is negotiating with eight UK companies to bring the scooter across the Atlantic.

Mr Wang said he expected the scooter to be available in Britain in two to three months.

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