Electric unicycles (EUC) have seen a spike in interest in 2020. Not too long ago, EUCs were considered a weird niche novelty device ridden by a handful of eccentric individuals. Now EUCs are becoming more mainstream and are being used for transportation, recreation, and even sport.
How do I know electric unicycles are gaining in popularity?
I researched the search trends for “EUC” over the last two years and you can see the Google searches for EUC have increased during this time.
In addition, as I go out on group rides, I see more and more EUC riders in the community. For example, in early 2020 before the pandemic hit the US I joined a group ride in Honolulu, Hawaii. I tried to find an EUC to ride but there were no EUCs to be found on the island.
Today, there is a growing EUC community in Hawaii as people learn about how awesome these devices can be.
EUCs are at an inflection point and I am excited to part of the movement. Because EUCs are amazing and hold huge potential, I would love to see EUCs grow from a niche hobby to something more mainstream.
Why do I think EUCs are growing so rapidly? Here are some of my reasons.
Advances in EUC technology:
Amazing advances in technology have certainly played their part. Better technology makes for a better and safer ride.
Battery technology has seen some great advancements, but nothing earth shattering has happened with batteries over the last few years. Batteries and tech advancements for EUCs have been incremental so while the advances in technology have played their part in the rise of the EUCs, tech is only a part of the reason for the electric unicycle’s recent rapid growth.
Competing companies put out multiple new models each year and the ultimate winner is the consumer. There are several main players in the EUC market: KingSong, Gotway (Begode), InMotion, and Veteran. Each company has their strengths and weaknesses but they are committed to the advancement of the electric unicycle.
It’s unfortunate that Segway left the EUC game but it makes me happy to see new EUC companies entering the market like the Veteran with their wildly popular Sherman.
Competition between the EUC manufacturers has led to innovation like suspension and EUCs with amazing range and speed.
It seemed like overnight the COVID spike resulted in a lot more free time, a lot more boredom, and a lot more people looking for alternatives to public transportation. People wanted to get out and get around in a fun and safe way. Electric unicycles checked all those boxes.
While many industries were badly hurt by the COVID pandemic, micromobility got a boost and EUCs certainly benefited by being the most portable personal electric device with the greatest range, speed, and maneuverability for the price.
The single best thing to happen to EUCs has got to be the rise of the Onewheel Pint.
While the Onewheel Pint is far different from a traditional EUC, the Onewheel Pint shares many similarities such as the self balancing electric technology. The Onewheel is technically a sideways standing electric unicycle that you ride like a skateboard.
Because the Onewheel looks and rides like a skateboard it is more familiar to the general public than a unicycle. The Onewheel is also easier to learn to ride. People find the Onewheel less intimidating than the EUC which tends to have a steeper learning curve.
For many, the Onewheel Pint is their gateway drug into the world of PEV. I love my Onewheel. It has a unique ride that is addicting and fun, but the thing I love most about my Onewheel is the fact that it introduced me to the world of EUC.
If you’re not familiar, the Onewheel Pint has been a very popular product that has captured the public’s attention through a combination of aggressive marketing, social media, and advertising campaigns.
While the Onewheel Pint is a lot of fun, the low range of 6 miles for the $950 price tag can leave many riders wanting more. Some riders look for ways to modify their Pint while others will upgrade to the flagship Onewheel XR which boasts 18 miles range for $1,800.
But because of the crossover with EUCs, after a bit of research many Onewheel riders find that they can get much more range and speed for the same price point with an EUC so they eventually choose to try an electric unicycle.
I know this to be true because I was once a Onewheel rider who was always looking for ways to improve range. Eventually I got my first EUC and I have absolutely loved it. Many Onewheel owners are satisfied with what their Onewheel can give them but many riders yearn for more.
Onewheel vs EUC Numbers
You can see by the Google search trends that the term “Onewheel” in red saw a big boost in searches in early 2019 when the Onewheel Pint was announced. You can also see that around the COVID pandemic there is also another spike in interest in the Onewheel.
Comparing “EUC” search trends to “Onewheel” is not quite fair as the Onewheel is a single focused brand that most people would use to search while the search terms for “EUC” could be diluted through varying search alternatives like “electric unicycle” or any of the variation or number of model names and manufacturers.
For the sake of simplicity, I just compare “EUC” to “Onewheel” and the data is fascinating. One of the things that intrigues me is how EUC search and Onewheel search trends follow each other. Coincidence? I think not.
I have met so many people in the EUC forums and on EUC group rides who started their PEV journey with the Onewheel. They loved their Onewheel experience. But over time their riding tastes evolved they realized they wanted more speed and range than what a Onewheel could give them and they eventually upgraded to an EUC.
How to Grow the EUC Community
I like the quote: “a rising tide lifts all boats.” As the Onewheel wave rises, the genre of single wheeled self balancing electric mobility devices will rise as well and this will include the electric unicycle movement movement.
While Onewheel forums can be hostile to any mention of an EUC, the best thing EUC riders can do for the EUC community is to be respectful and to keep on riding and spreading a positive message. Eventually, Onewheel riders will realize the amazing capabilities of the EUC and inevitably a good percentage of those Onewheel riders will join the fun.
Some of the best EUC riders I know started with the Onewheel. Some have completely abandoned the Onewheel for EUC and some continue to ride both amazing devices like myself.
As an EUC enthusiast, we should be respectful. Answer questions. Attend group rides and show how fun EUCs can be!
EUC Comparison Tool
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the EUC options, so we made an interactive EUC Comparison Tool. You can sort, filter, and include or exclude data as you see fit. We hope you find this tool helpful!