There’s unfortunate news today for electric scooter fans who were excited about taking one of the internet’s most promising prospective models for a test drive one day. Today, Unagi revealed that it’s cancelling its Indiegogo-funded Model Eleven scooter, and will be offering backers full refunds or compensation with other models the company makes.
As electric scooters go, Unagi’s models have stood out against the competition with excellent performance and range, plus a polished design that hides wires and other unsightly technical bits. They were some of the first electric scooters to look like genuine commuting tools instead of toys (although they were still quite fun to ride), and the company’s commitment to elevating e-scooters was very much apparent in the Unagi Model Eleven announced a year ago. The Model Eleven was supposed to feature some truly innovative technology, including front and back shock absorbers, a design by Yves Behar, and even AI-powered ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system) sensors that would warn riders about potential collision hazards ahead.
Made available through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that managed to raise over $700,000 from 345 backers, the last update from May, earlier this year, indicated there were pandemic-related challenges with parts production, resulting in a three-month delay for Model Eleven deliveries, pushing them to September.
But today, in an email to Gizmodo, and another update shared to Indiegogo, Unagi CEO David Hyman has announced that the Model Eleven has been cancelled, and that backers will be able to either request a full refund, a “3 year All-Access subscription to the Model One Voyager”, which is the company’s latest e-scooter model, or “2 Voyager scooters to own” outright.
The primary reason Unagi has cited for cancelling the Model Eleven is that it doesn’t fit its recent shift towards renting out its e-scooters through subscription models. The company’s new Model One Voyager with a boosted range costs $67/month, but the Model Eleven would have cost much higher than that, almost three times as much, and didn’t make a lot of financial sense.
But while the Unagi Model Eleven may never see the light of day, Hyman has speculated that “some of the technology developed for the Eleven will trickle down into products that will become available in the future.” So the Model Eleven wasn’t an impossible dream, just one that ended up not being financially feasible in a time when companies are still struggling to get products out the door.