November 5 2008.
A new option for the impoverished British motorist is now available, with the introduction of electric scooters from the Far East which have been given improved performance by University of Salford designers.

The 'Wispa' range of scooters, which cost half a penny in electricity for one mile's travel, are being developed by staff in the University's School of Art & Design to make the ownership experience more enjoyable for the UK market.

A new range of scooters is to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2009, which incorporate classic scooter design from the sixties and which are more powerful - removing the necessity of pushing them uphill!

Damian Vesey from the School of Art & Design said: "As people find they have less money and are looking to become more environmentally friendly, these scooters become a very attractive proposition.

"We've taken some of the original design concept and made it more powerful and lighter to deliver increased speed and efficiency. We've also given the company some advice on style and accessories for the UK market.

At a retail price of £999, the scooters are cheap to buy, cheap to run and cheap to insure. The bikes can be fully recharged for around 8 pence, giving a maximum range of over 40 miles. One of the key markets for the scooter is universities where students and staff currently use a car to commute.

"Large organisations like universities and councils could really benefit from these scooters," Damian said. "They're an excellent alternative to a passenger car and in most cases more convenient than public transport. The Scooters will elevate the demand for parking spaces in congested areas as well as being less harmful to the environment than cars or motorbikes.

"The technical support from the University will help Wispa Scooters to take off in a big way and we are hopeful that the people of Salford will embrace the product and help make the North West a beacon for sustainable transport''

Managing director of Wispa scooters Allistair Carmichael said: "The links with the University have allowed us to re-evaluate our current working practices and product range and to investigate alternative methods for product development in the future.

"The credibility to the business and product that with working with an academic institution brings is invaluable, and can only enhance the reputation of the Wispa brand.

"The wealth of resources, technology and staff expertise has meant that we are developing a product range that we are immensely proud of and are excited about future relationships."

Visit: www.wispascooters.co.uk