Bo was co-founded by Morgan, Harry Wills and Luke Robus – the first two met as engineers for the Williams F1 team. They worked on a number of other brands’ EVs and scooters before striking out on their own to build something better with Robus, a Jaguar Land Rover designer. All three bring an automotive sensibility to the company, and a desire to build a scooter a generation or two beyond the state of the art. Less a toy, (or a niche tool) but a vehicle, engineered so well that e-scooters’ widely known and accepted flaws were polished away.
The Bo M looks unlike anything else on the market, with a thick, high-strength aluminum body that seamlessly curves into its deck. Removing the ability to fold down the neck means it’s harder to stow and transport, but provides more space to craft a thicker monocoque body. Morgan mentions, several times, that Bo M is more a vehicle you can park outside your home like a car; a secure solar charging dock for your driveway is already in the works.
Compared to the prototype, the new Bo M has a thicker cowl and a taller, longer deck, but not by a lot. Its unique silhouette remains unchanged and it’s only when you look at the prototype and its successor side-by-side that you can spot the few millimeters of added heft. Inside, however, there have been so many internal changes and refinements over the last year that it’s effectively a new machine.
The rest of the spec list has been re-written as well, with more powerful motors now with a peak power of 1,200W and a rated top power of 500W, the legal limit. The Bo M has a top speed of 35 kph, or around 22mph, more than enough for an e-scooter you’re going to be primarily using on your commute. Nestled in the deck is a bigger, 655Wh battery from LG Chem with the promise of 31 miles or so worth of range. Given the innumerable horror stories about hoverboards and scooters catching fire, Morgan spared no expense to avoid the risk. There are bigger wheels, now with 10-inch pneumatic tyres, more refined brakes – including the regenerative e-brake – a better throttle controller and a more refined version of Safesteer.
Bo was meant to launch at the start of 2023, and there are two reasons why it’s taken so much longer to reach users. Part of that was the usual vagaries of product development, but more so, the UK’s failure to implement a proper framework to make private e-scooter use legal. Morgan was reluctant to talk about the issue given the political sensitivities at play, but the issue clearly frustrates the country’s sizable e-scooter industry.
At present, private ownership of an e-scooter is legal, but it’s illegal to ride one on public roads. The only exception are sharing scheme scooters, which were authorized as part of a trial in a number of locations. Consequently, the UK micromobility industry hangs in limbo, issuing pleas to the country’s lame-duck government to ask for some sort of action. If nothing happens before May 2024, then even those trial operators will be required to shut up shop, too.
The extra development time has enabled the team to ensure the unit is as repairable as possible. Morgan didn’t outline specifics, but said plenty of components will be easy enough for a user to fix. It’s likely the battery and drivetrain won’t be part of that, with users instead expected to return their scooter to a trained technician for service. But Morgan outlined a vision in which users would keep hold of their Bo for tens of thousands of miles, with regular services to ensure things remained perfectly operational.
The Bo M is the first in a series of Bo scooters that will be released across the next few years, and the company has already started dropping hints about what’s to come. But, for now, the focus is on the Bo M which has entered production from today, with the earliest pre-order customers due to take ownership of their units towards the end of the year. It will then open up to general customer orders in February 2024, with the UK being the first territory available. Not long after that, however, the Bo M will be available to buy in the US, where there has already been a massive spike in interest for the scooter.
From the start, the Bo team was clear that its first products would be sold as high-end products at the top of what people might expect to pay. Brace yourself, then, when you learn that the Bo M will cost £2,249 (around $2,754) and, while I’m often the first to balk at how much stuff costs, that feels pretty reasonable. If you’re currently paying to get to work and back each day, then it’s likely that the Bo will pay itself off in a year or two, not to mention the fact that you’re driving the most advanced e-scooter on the market.