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Revolutionary Electric Scooter Designed by ArtCenter Professor, Funded by L.A. Times Owner, About to Hit the Streets

Published on Sunday, January 12, 2020 | 6:04 pm
Two Stator electric scooters zoom along a Southland street. At upper right, inventor/designer Nathan Allen is Director of the ArtCenter Industrial Design Foundation.

ArtCenter Industrial Design Foundation Director Nathan Allen’s groundbreaking fat-wheeled electric scooter called the Stator and that speeds up to 30 mph goes on sale this month.

The electric scooter attracted attention early after going viral online. The “micromobile” vehicle sports a cool, energy-efficient design and caught the interest of biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiung, who owns the Los Angeles Times and invests in a variety of cutting edge concepts.

Allen explained his straight-ahead reason for creating The Stator.

“Teaching at ArtCenter I lived only a few miles from the school,” Allen said. “I set out to design and make a vehicle that made this commute as simple as possible and Stator was the result.”

“The vehicle gained a lot of attention so I quickly patented the design and started a company,” he said. “Stator soon went viral and I was gearing up to start manufacturing when Patrick showed interest.”

Now The Stator is produced by NantMobility, the newest innovation of NantWorks, a diversified network of health, technology, commerce and digital entertainment organizations founded by Soon-Shiong.

“Our goal at NantWorks is to combine the collective promise of science, technology, and communication and make it accessible to all people,” Soon-Shiong said. “The Stator Scooter is the physical application of that goal – grace in motion that serves a functional purpose.”

The Stator can travel on one kilowatt-hour of energy, for more than 80 miles, according to NantWorks. A gasoline-powered car would travel less than a mile using the same amount of energy and electric vehicles would go barely more than four miles, the company estimates.

Cars are a top contributor of U.S. greenhouse emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency says.

Good Timing for an Invention

Allen said it was a great opportunity and good timing for Stator.

“Patrick Soon-Shiong ran across Stator when he was looking for a vehicle to house his existing Nant-Moble technology,” Allen said. “Stator’s clean simple design and being mostly ready to go into manufacturing was the perfect fit for Nant-Moble. Patrick has a great vision of moving transportation forward and I am thrilled to work with him on this venture.”

Allen said the design was created with functionality first and ergonomics second.

“Stator was designed to be as functional as possible for the rider,” Allen said. “It’s a design where every part and form has a function. The large wide tires and base give you a sense of stability while gliding over cracks and holes. The one-sided handlebar is only what it needs to be. Stator is a vehicle that you can simply step on and ride and step right back off.”

“I feel the future of transportation needs to give people safety and ease. As we see more personal electric vehicles they need to solve the needs of the people in every situation,” Allen said. “Stator is only the first step in this goal.”

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