For about 10 minutes last week, I felt like I was Judge Dredd, riding the burly Lawmaster motorcycle from the 1995 film. People on the cobbled streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn, stared at me as I rode by on a futuristic-looking vehicle, and I fought the urge to yell, “I am the law!”
I was riding Infinite Machine’s P1, an electric Vespa-like scooter from a brand-new company started up by two brothers in Brooklyn, Eddie and Joseph Cohen. Eddie studied product design and did a stint in marketing at Apple. He founded a company called Walden, which designs products for meditation. Joseph Cohen is the founder and CEO of Universe, an app that lets anyone design a website.
The point is, neither has experience building vehicles of any kind. But after Joseph’s Vespa broke down, they decided to start building an electric vehicle. The two met Zach Cooper, who enjoys working on motorcycles, and enlisted him to help design the P1. Other folks on the team hail from the now-defunct Boosted Board.
“We see this moment in personal EVs like the moment in personal computers in the ’70s, where there’s this proliferation of products, and everyone’s doing it in a different way,” says Joseph Cohen. “But, ultimately, if you look at what Apple did, they didn’t invent any one component, they put it together in one compelling package. That’s how we see what we’re doing.”
Of course, everyone wants to compare themselves to Apple. The thing is, there’s more than a whiff of Elon Musk about the P1. It doesn’t look anything like a Vespa—it has much more in common with Tesla’s Cybertruck (I mean, have you looked at it?). This, apparently, is intentional.
The duo say they want to do to micromobility what Tesla did to electric vehicles. The P1 is designed to be an urban commuter, so you can zip around town without having to worry about parking or range. The brothers see it as an antidote to car-filled cities like New York.
The P1 has a top speed of 55 miles per hour, though to hit this you have to push a red Turbo button. You can cycle between three speed modes via a switch on the handlebars. The company says anyone can drive it in a restricted mode that limits the speed to 35 miles per hour, but only those with a Class M motorcycle license can unlock the max speed.