Ghent start-up TAITO launches three-wheeled e-scooter Taito S1 and closes distribution deal with Bike Republic
71 days ago
Belgian consumers can from now on ride around fearlessly and comfortably with the Taito S1
The Taito S1, which presents itself as the safest and most ecologically responsible e-scooter, is on sale to the general public after three years of development. Fans of reliable and sustainable mobility with a twist are at the right place at Bike Republic’s 25 shops for testing, purchase and maintenance. With the Taito S1, the three young founders are breaking a lance for the new generation of e-scooters, which boasts ultimate ease of use, unadulterated riding pleasure and convenient service close to home. By the way, did you know that TAITO is the only Belgian and one of only two e- scooter brands in Europe?
After years of research and development and successful crowdfunding and capital raising, the Taito S1 is ready to conquer Belgium and the rest of the world. Starting out, TAITO’s young entrepreneurs are doing so at Bike Republic (Colruyt Group) retail outlets in Belgium. Since the first prototypes saw the light of day last year, a lot of fine-tuning has been done to the three-wheeled and only Belgian e-scooter. Consider the full integration of the IoT (Internet of Things) module – which provides GPS tracking, an alarm system and sharing options with friends – controllable via a custom-built TAITO smartphone app. The unique and patented suspension and pivot system also received a serious upgrade for even more pleasant and safe handling. Furthermore, the Taito S1 features new folding mechanism so you can easily take it anywhere. Charging takes four hours, good for (a tested range of) 30 kilometres of riding pleasure at 25 km/h.
Figures don’t lie: safety on e-scooters is much needed
TAITO is the brainchild (°2020) of Nathan de Baets (COO), François Desmet (CTO,) and Jules Dobbelaere (CEO). When Jules first rode an electric shared scooter, besides a feeling of freedom and unadulterated driving pleasure, he also experienced one of insecurity at times. Not unfairly: e-scooters have been on the rise for years, but the number of accidents in Belgium also continues to rise. Figures published by the traffic institute Vias in February 2023 show that in 2022 there were as many as 1,715 injury accidents involving e-scooters. That’s five per day, and a whopping 63% more than in 2021. Moreover, those are only the officially reported cases.
The three founders therefore resolutely draw the card of safety in TAITO’s design. The Taito S1 thus has optimal shock absorption thanks to three larger, pneumatic tyres, a patented, innovative suspension and a floating wooden platform on which the rider stands. These three things provide increased stability, better comfort and an extra fun factor. With the three wheels, you as a rider are also much more stable and enjoy an intuitive riding experience where you can lean into corners. Moreover, the rubber spring element catches unevenness in the road and vibrations, so that cobblestones or potholes in the road surface, for example, are not an obstacle to comfort or safety. On the e-scooter, there are also lights, indicators and a horn. In addition to a conventional rear light, there is also an uplighter built into the rear bend of the frame that illuminates the rider’s back, to further increase visibility and thus safety
TAITO for life: every part can be repaired and replaced
Furthermore, the “built to last” mentality of the three-wheeled e-scooter stands out. “Not only is the Taito S1 resistant to all weather conditions, every part can be repaired or replaced thanks to a modular design,” explains Jules Dobbelaere, co-founder and CEO of TAITO. “A Taito is durable and you buy it for life. Every part can be easily replaced by an expert. That’s what sets us apart: current e-scooters are rarely watertight, which means they quickly fail in our weather. Repairing them is often not possible due to the large amount of glued components, leaving you with a disposable product.”
The frame is made entirely in Belgium – and battery assembly is also done domestically. By having as many parts as possible made in Belgium and Europe, the three young founders also optimise their logistics and carbon footprint. The Taito S1 also comes with an app that adds an extra dimension to the user experience. You will find in the app a GPS tracking system that, together with the integrated alarm system and a locking option, protects your e-scooter to the maximum.
Safety, durability and comfortable riding pleasure: reasons enough for Bike Republic to include the Taito S1 in their range. Wim Teerlynck, General Manager of Bike Republic: “At Bike Republic, we want to do our bit for sustainable mobility. We believe that e- scooters – alongside (electric) bikes – are also one of the essential building blocks in that. In some places and contexts they are just that little bit more convenient than bicycles.
On top of that, TAITO’s scooters are a great Belgian story and set new standards in terms of safety, durability and riding comfort. This is precisely why this new product should not be missing from our collection!”
The Taito S1 is on sale for €2590 at 25 Bike Republic Flemish bike shops and workshops, or via their webshop.
TAITO is a Ghent-based start-up bringing a new generation of three-wheeled e-scooters to the Belgian market with the Taito S1. TAITO was founded on 1 October 2020 by Nathan de Baets (COO), François Desmet (CTO) and Jules Dobbelaere (CEO). In summer 2021, TAITO completed a €700,000 seed round, including a successful crowdlending. In February 2022, TAITO launched a pre-sale on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. From 6 April 2023, the e-scooters will be on sale to the general Belgian public. ‘Taito’ is a Japanese word – derived from the English ‘tight’ – that symbolises the sleek, quality and minimalist designs of the e-scooters.
About Bike Republic
Bike Republic was founded – then as Bike! – founded in 2010 and has grown into a network of 27 specialist bicycle shops in Belgium: Evere, Aalst, Antwerp, Boechout, Boortmeerbeek, Diest (test centre), Laakdal, Dilbeek, Oudenaarde, Oudsbergen, Sint- Pieters-Leeuw, Ninove, Gent Dampoort, Gent Rooigem, Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Grimbergen, Hasselt, Herentals, Kuurne, Leuven, Merksem, Roeselare, Wijnegem, Diksmuide, Turnhout, Retie and Veurne. Bike Republic is market leader in the sale of branded bicycles, bicycle clothing and accessories. The concept is distinguished by a high-quality range and the expertise of its teams. Bike Republic is a dealer of numerous top brands such as Hiron, Trek, Flyer, Koga, Gazelle, Aska, Scott, Ridley, Kettler, BH, Bulls, Brompton and Norta. The bike shop also provides maintenance and repair of bikes.
Companies can lease or buy company bikes through Bike Republic. Since 2019, Bike Republic has been a full part of Colruyt Group.