The esoteric scooter is finally being shelved.
The Segway PT scooter, often referred to simply as “the Segway,” was introduced to the world in the year 2001 as the next big step in transportation. The vehicle’s inventor, Dean Kamen, theorized that the Segway would render cars and trucks obsolete, and that some day, everyone would be riding Segways everywhere. Sadly, that day will not come to pass.
Chinese company Ninebot, which bought the rights to Segway back in 2015, officially announced today that they are ending the production of Segway PT scooters on July 15. As a result of this, 21 workers will be laid off at the company’s production plant in Bedford, New Hampshire. While the Segway had become a mainstay in pop culture for its odd design and garnered some favor with wealthier patrons, its massive price tag deterred the vast majority of customers. Low sales meant the Segway only brought in 1.5% of Ninebot’s total revenue, according to Segway’s vice president of global business development, Tony Ho.
“It was a great invention 20 years ago,” said Ho. “Now it seems a bit outdated.”
Due to a combination of expensive units and batteries, as well as a public perception that Segways are for “dorks,” according to former Segway employee Matt Gelbwaks, Segway PT units could not be sold at a high enough volume for Ninebot to keep producing them. Since its release in 2001, only 140,000 Segway PT units have been sold. Modified Segways were sold to various police departments around the world for small-scale patrols, but these modified models are also being discontinued. When asked if the ongoing police brutality protests affected the decision to end the police-modified models, Ho said that they did not.