There remains a great deal of confusion around the difference between Swegway hoverboard and Segway. Aside from an extra ‘w’ the names are almost identical and to make matters even trickier, they are both self-balancing electronic boards.
But before we delve into the difference between Swegway and Segway, lets look at the history of both first. Segway was founded in 1999 and was the first company to market a self-balancing transportation device with two wheels.
The original Segway had three speed settings and was controlled using a twist grip that varied the motor speed. Although the Segway was viewed as an innovative invention, it failed to catch on and only 140,000 were sold.
Even after the company was bought out and updated the Segway adding extras such as lighting, a new handlebar frame and a more modern design, sales dwindled. The company was then soled to Ninebot, a Chinese robotics company. They phased out the traditional Segway design in 2020 and concentrated on electric bikes, off-road electric motorbikes and electric scooters.
The Hoverboard Swegway, is a smaller two wheeled personal transportation device, that doesn’t have the navigating stick that is characteristic of the Segway. While the term hoverboard was trademarked in 1996, hoverboards as we know them today, didn’t appear on the market until 2014. Unlike the Segway, they caught on in no time.
There were some teething problems early on as there were reports of hoverboards catching fire or in some cases, exploding. This was down to faulty batteries and in 2016, new regulations were put in place to ensure that hoverboards were safe.
While the Swegway hoverboard and the Segway, share some common characterstics, it’s the differences between them, which determined commercial success and failure.
The main differences between Swegway vs Segway are:
- Size – the hoverboard is much lighter than the Segway. While you can tuck a hoverboard under your arm, you can’t carry a Segway. It’s more like a bicycle in that respect. To put it into perspective, The Segway PT weights 120lbs, while a 6.5” Disco LED Official Hoverboard weighs 26lbs. The Segway has a much bigger riding platform, larger wheels and of course, it has a navigation stick as well. A hoverboard, is a narrower platform with two wheels and electronic motors powered by lithium battery.
- Steering – while the Segway is controlled via a navigating stick, hoverboard riders use their bodyweight to manoeuvre.
- Cost – you can pick up a decent hoverboard for around £200, whereas a Segway will set you back in excess of £1000.
- Rider weight – riders must weight more than 45kg to ride a Segway PT, whereas hoverboards can accommodate pint-sized riders. They’re better for kids too and many of them have a beginner mode, which you can switch on while you are mastering the hoverboard.
- Charging – you should never leave your hoverboard on charge overnight, but you can leave a Segway plugged in, without fear of over charging. It takes 2 – 4 hours for a Segway to charge. That’s roughly the same time that it takes to charge a hoverboard, although some, like the 10” All Terrain Official Hoverboard, only take 2 hours to fully charge.