Upcoming transit revolution: EUC Electric One Wheels Not Considered “Normal”?! But they should really be a standard of metropolitan transportation mix
I have ridden an electric unicycle (EUC — Electric Uni Cycle) in Prague for 5+ years now. I ride it every day, 365 days of the year. Rain, snow, ice, every day….
Lets Consider What is Normal?
Many riders ride around you and tell you: “Maaaan, this is not normal”. Usually this person asking is riding all alone with no real things to transport in a 1+ ton car with a body weight of 70–110 kg. I ask, is THAT normal? The energy needed to be produced to move just 1 person — its even more absurd when you consider an EV standard electric vehicle — where you have another several hundred kilogram battery? EUCs are between 15–27 kg all in (wheel, battery, frame, engine). So a 75 kg person like me weighs about 100 kg with the EUC together.
Majority of the car drivers I encounter in the cities are occupied by 1 person.
Lets Consider Average Daily Distance Traveled
Average car rides around 12 000 km / year. Thats 33 km per day. Lets consider 50% of that is commute/business/day riding. Thats 16.5 km. You can do both 16.5 and 33 km per day on an EUC.
It's super easy commuting 20 km even on a EUC. It's very easy.
The logic of a single individual being transported by a 1+ ton device is just not logical.
Lets Consider Purchase Costs
Comparing an EUC to a motorbike / bike — its a much cheaper option. The batteries can last much longer than in any other vehicle, but the upfront costs are still fairly high.
So lets look at the arguments here against and pro devices like EUCs and their evolution over time. First of all don't mix EUCs and hoverboards. Hoverboards are toys for kids to get around on a very well made street. Good fun for kids for a while. EUC
Lets Consider Operational Costs
Even electric vehicles are much cheaper than gas per kilometer — but still they cost $4 per 100 km — at least 2x cheaper than a car. My EUC costs like $0.1 per 100 km :)
But compare this to any scooter / motorbike — the costs are insanely low.
Lets Consider Speed
EUCs go anywhere between 20–25 km/h all the way to 80–90 km/h. This is crazy speed, I recommend riders go between 20–30 km/h. That is a safe threshold. I drive an Inmotion V11 (pictured above) which has a max. speed of 51 km/h. I regularly drive between 40–45 km/h, and I got used to it over time — but I only recommend that to highly advanced riders. Its similarly to riding a car. You don't go riding 100 km/h in narrow hills when you are beginning as a driver.
To give you an example — this 11 minute car trip I can do in 4 minutes — even riding “slowly” on an EUC and extremely safely — you will still do it in 11 minutes. And thats not considering parking your car somewhere, finding the parking spot, paying for parking, etc.
I challenge anyone in the city to do a race with me. Door to door (physically we start at the door of the house — and end at another door) in a city like Prague, London, Berlin, Munich, or any other at even low traffic parts of the day. I will win a majority of the time…
Lets Consider Risk and Safety
You have to be safe on your EUC — I predict with increase amount of bike / ebike / scooter activities in European cities and the increase of “mixed streets” — overall speed of city traffic will decrease — making it safer and safer for non-car traffic participants. I also am a big believer in the improvement of bycicle / scooter lanes — which EUCs riding around 20–30 km/h should have.
Equally to how fast you ride — you should wear appropriate gear and put an extra focus on hand protection (skate style) and elbow pads, where you can absorb the biggest first shock. I usually wear full body gear.
I don't believe its less safe to ride an EUC than to ride a bike — I actually think the same speed EUC and the same speed of a bike rider — the EUC always wins in safety — as you have 2 hands available to brace for impact right away or to manage the impact/roll over.
So be safe, try out EUCs, join one of the many international communities and groups on Facebook — and try it out. It's fun, you will learn in a few hours. Its as easy as riding a bike — and a lot more fun :)
As a result, I hope and wish for more and more mixed streets — where the road is much more filled with bikes, scooters, eBikes, EUCs, and far less cars. People just have to realize how much easier this is — and parking is always free :)
Here you can watch a video of one of my rides: