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Redhill, Surrey resident Sumi Wang has announced that a Kickstarter campaign will be launched on Thursday March 31 to raise investment for the creation of an electric scooter that can be folded into a piece of luggage, called eFOLDi.
The goal is to raise £90,000, with which Sumi can get the first production run of eFOLDi under way. There is a range of different pledge values and rewards available, from £1 to £4,799, with eFOLDi itself starting at £699.
The campaign will be launched on the first day Gadget Show Live – the UK’s largest consumer technology exhibition – which will take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 31 March to 3 April 2016. eFOLDi was chosen to take part in the British Inventors’ Project, and as a result has been given a stand at the award-winning exhibition.
The mobility device, which was designed in tandem by Sumi and her father, renowned Chinese engineer Jianmin Wang, will be launched globally later this year following a Kickstarter campaign, won the gold medal at the Beijing Invention Competition in 2015, an honour that was awarded by Chinese Vice-President Liu Yandong and Mayor of Beijing Guo Jinlong.
Jianmin Wang worked as Chief Engineer for China’s National Acrobatic Troupe for over 20 years, where he was responsible for devising the mechanisms behind many of the incredible stunts that have won the troupe international acclaim. His designs for performance and stage props have won numerous international circus competitions and awards.
In 2012, Jianmin Wang broke his leg and was unable to get around. This paved the way for the creation of eFOLDi, as Managing Director Sumi Wang explains, 'An inventor’s mind is always at work and when my father Jianmin broke his leg, he decided to design his own method of transport to get around.
'While there are a lot of electric scooters available, Jianmin realised that there were no effective folding scooters that could be easily packed away to take on public transport while also proving secure over rough ground.'
After some time in the workshop, the result is a scooter that weighs only 19kg, can carry an average-sized adult over 20km on a single charge and can be folded into an easily-transported piece of luggage. eFOLDi can be programmed with three different top speeds for different needs: 4mph if it is being used as an off road mobility aid, 8mph for mobility use on the road and 12.5mph for recreational use by normal road users.