Welcome to the blog that discovers the cycling-adjacent weird and wonderful tidbits as I walk the aisles of the Sea Otter Classic 2023 Expo. Today, I talked with the two representatives of Jiangsu Snail Zhixing Technology Co.,Ltd , which manufactures solar-powered scooters.
Photovoltaic panels cover the front and the deck of this scooter, which I’m told can charge the battery in roughly six to eight hours on a sunny California day. They’re trying to break into the shared mobility market with this scooter. They believe that solar charging can benefit scooter share companies that currently must pay contractors to charge public scooter batteries.
I’m curious why they named they include the snail in their company name. These slimy, shelled gastropods don’t generally carry a positive connotation for Western consumers, so I asked, “Why snail? Does the snail have special significance in Chinese culture?”
They told me there’s no special meaning behind the snail, but they wanted to convey the idea that this scooter is snail-like in that snails keep moving along despite their (ahem) snail’s pace. I suppose the Western equivalent might be “slow and steady wins the race” from Aesop’s fable of “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
That’s when I noticed the name of their scooter — the “Sunail” — is a pun. It’s a sun-powered snail that’s always on the go despite its languid pace. Get it?
The Snail Scooter company’s booth isn’t far from the tire bridge at Sea Otter if you’d like to see it for yourself, or watch their promotional video.