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Old 02-01-2007, 12:34 PM   #1
plo
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Default Segway plans are parked for good - Augusta Chronicle, GA

Because the article is only available via free subscription, I thought I'd save everyone the headache of registering and pasted the article below. I'm not sure if the prevailing customs is to refrain from commenting (even though I so do want to point out how misinformed Billy Clayton is about segway batteries...at least the reporter took the time to get the facts from Segway INC and provide them along side Billy's misinformation). Segway INC really should have loaned a set of Li-Ions to every commercial/municipality customer a year ago.

Segway plans are parked for good
By Preston Sparks
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Water and sewer operations manager Mark Inglett showed off the Segway after Columbia County bought it. Battery issues put an end to its use.

Columbia County saw it as a useful way for water meter readers to get around.

But two years later, officials went back to an old reliable mode of transportation: the golf cart.

"The life of the (Segway) battery did not hold up. These (water meter) guys read eight to 10 hours a day, and the battery was only lasting about a half a day," said county Waterworks Director Billy Clayton.

He said the next development in water meters will involve a radio-transmitted read that a worker will be able to detect from the road simply by driving past it in a car.

Columbia County still has the Segway it purchased for about $6,000 for a trial run, Mr. Clayton said. It is now used occasionally at the Evans to Locks waterworks office.

Mr. Clayton said he plans to use the device more at a new government office campus being built on Chamblin Road.

Augusta and Aiken government officials say they aren't considering using the Segway.

"None of the departments have come online saying they have any interest in it at all," said Ron Crowden, Augusta's fleet services manager.

Nationally, Klee Kleber, the vice president of marketing for Segway, said nearly 200 police institutions, most of them inside the United States, use Segways.

"We've been very focused on the police and security market," he said.

Overall, Mr. Kleber said, Segway's growth rate is increasing 30 percent to 50 percent each year. He also said Segway now offers a new battery that can provide an eight- to 10-hour charge at a cost of $1,590.

In Atlanta, officials say Segways are being used to patrol downtown and at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The Atlanta Police Department began using Segways at the airport in 2004 and today employs six for the airport's parking lot and four inside the terminal.

"We get good use out of it,'' Atlanta Senior Police Officer Joseph Villafane said. "We can ride it for about three hours before we need a quick charge, and then we can go about another hour."
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