The Segway and the hoverboard are two wheeled modes of personal transportation that are powered by electricity, making them one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get about. You may have seen hoverboards out and about and thought that they were a run toy for kids, but they have many practical uses and experts predict that in years to come, the UK will allow them on roads and cycle paths.
Both the Segway and the hoverboard are driven using the rider’s bodyweight – in the case of a Segway, the vehicle is steered using handle grips, whereas the rider leans to one side or the other, forwards and backwards, to control a hoverboard.
There’s no pedalling or physical effort required, it’s simply a question of charging up the battery (this takes between 2 – 4 hours), hopping on and enjoying the ride – the range you’ll get with each device depends on the make and model.
You can’t commute on a hoverboard or Segway here in the UK as you can only ride them on private land, however, with the popularity of electric transport on the rise, these rulings will change at some point. When they do, hoverboards, which are highly portable, would work well for commuters brave enough to go to work on a self-balancing device. For a bit more stability, the Segway, which was made by a company called Segway, which has since been sold to Ninebot, has bigger wheels, a larger platform and a control stick with handlebars. It’s not portable, so you’d have to find somewhere to park it.
The Segway didn’t take off amongst consumers, but it’s a popular attraction for tourists and there are plenty of private parks in the UK that offer Segway tours. In some countries, such as Spain, you can use the Segway to explore towns and cities and there are companies that offer guided Segway tours.
As they are powered by silent electric motors that run on a lithium battery, Segways and hoverboards don’t generate any emissions and are therefore as planet friendly as transportation gets.
Riding a Segway or a hoverboard is fun and if you a thrill seeker, you can opt for an all terrain version such as the 10” All Terrain Official Hoverboard that has chunky air filled rubber tyres that can take on the roughest of surfaces. It has a top speed of 14km/h and comes with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. Riding a Segway is a blast too. It wheels fluidly and almost seems to anticipate your next move.
Even though you are being propelled by battery, riding a hoverboard or a Segway is good for core strength – apparently, an hour of riding can burn up to 300 calories, which is more than a Mars Bar contains.
A Segway will set you back at least £1000, but think about it, that’s a lot less than a car. Hoverboards are even more budget friendly with decent brands starting at around the £200 mark.