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Electric Scooters

Discussion in 'Scooters' started by jd, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. Saw the segment last night on electric scooters which are supposedly going to be coming to Australia:
    Seems the technology's improved but is still far from perfect. First problem would be the 45kph top speed coupled with the painfully slow acceleration (11 seconds to get to 45kph) - dangerous I reckon to not be able to keep up with traffic, especially since (legally) you can't use bicycle lanes. 70km range's not too bad for city use but I notice they don't mention charging time, with 4 47Ah batteries I'm guessing that even charging all four batteries at once you'd still need a good 3-4 hours minimum. Only advantages I can see over a 50-100cc petrol scoot would be the obvious lack of emissions (although electricity does mostly come from burning coal) and the lower running cost. But then I'm sure the show mentioned a sale price of around $7,000 so you'd still be better off buying a cheap petrol scoot and using the money saved for petrol I reckon.

  2. I want to know what the pedestrian council thinks of them !

    Its bad enough now with pedestrians hearing you come along and still cross your path.

    And same goes for the guide dog association !

    On a trip to China last year, I saw some of these electric scooters in use.
    Almost got run over by one. :LOL:
  3. Yeah, there are more and more people working on this, but the battery technology still isn't good enough. If you want the scooter to be even remotely competitive on price, you have to use batteries that are heavy and don't provide much range, and even if you wanted to use the absolute best, never mind the price, they will still be pretty heavy and still pretty limited.

    The scooters mentioned here have a range listed as '40-60kms' in one spot, and 'up to 40kms' further down the page. I suspect 40 is the more realistic figure. Other thing to keep in mind: you can't park it out on the street; it needs to be in the garage or indoors overnight , so it can charge the battery... and it is 92 kilos if you need to drag it up the steps or something.

    I think it is too early to jump in - technology still needs a few years to mature. Personally I believe fuel cells will become a viable option before we get truly light and durable batteries.
  4. In the current edition of either Road Rider or Australian Motorcycle News (cant remember which one) there is an article on the "Vectrix" maxi scooter. Top speed of about 100km/hr and a range of 100 and something k's per charge. They are on their way to OZ aparently.

    But as you say, its really too early to jump on teh electric scooter wagon, might as well wait for the battery technology to improve first.
  5. actually the technology is already here. I went to a product launch last year at Scooter World here in Adelaide. I even jumped on one to test it out. It actually accelerates pretty well and got up to 55km/h no problem.

    Considering the cost to run these things is about $0.06/km, that's pretty bloody good. On the one we tested, we got just over 50km out of a charge.

    Here is more info on the one I rode.

    No I am not a dealer or own one of these, but I am interested in the technology and alternate energy.

    I do agree that they are TERRIBLY QUIET!!! I am very concern that they are just too quiet. When I had it for the day, I literally would toot my horn when I get to a blind corner or coming out of a driveway, just in case.

    I imagine they'd be good for say warehouses, anything indoor, maybe posties or on site security guards.
  6. they did say last night that after only 2hrs it would recharge it, back to 1/2 or 3/4, can't remember which.
  7. Is that a real figure? I remember stupidly low costs per kilometer being quoted when the Toyota Prius was launched, which turned out to be based on 'weasel words' and didn't take into account battery replacement and servicing costs over the life of the vehicle. When you applied all the relevant factors, it actually cost more to run a Prius than a 1.8ltr car.
  8. Just make sure you don't ride up too many inclines/hills.
    I used to sell hybrid electric/pedal power bikes, for a shop in Albert Park.E-power bikes. They looked like little vespa type things, made by Philips in China.
    I could pedal faster than the damn thing went, and hills...well, hills you had to pedal anyway, otherwise it drained all the power.
  9. I actually saw one of these in the flesh, on my street! As I was putting my gear on, it rolled by - kind of slowly, but very, very quietly :) I think it must've been one of these EVTs?

    But again, look at the specs... 127kgs! A Bolwell Jolie which is the closest match though it will actually go faster than EVT weights only 80kg dry. It's a fair bit of a difference. And the range... 50 -65kms according to them, just over 50 according to you. That's why I am taking the claims made about the Vectrix with a huge grain of salt. Top speed up to 120? Range of over 100kms? Riiight... I'll believe it when I see it.

    So yes - technology is there in the sense that you can buy one if you want. I personally will wait another couple of years before becoming seriously interested. For now, I leave the trill of being an 'early adopter' to those who get off on it :)
  10. I was just doing a guesstimate based on the fact that (I think) you can only draw about 15 amps from the average household powerpoint - so a 47Ah battery should only take 3 hours. The question is whether you would be able to charge them all at once though without overloading something (one for the sparkies). And yeah I reckon the cost of replacing the battery packs would probably make these things more or less disposable - just like the Prius.
  11. That sounds good, but I'm pretty sure that's just the cost of electricity used, not including the cost of replacing the batteries. Their site states batteries are good for some 350 full cycles; if you run the thing as a daily commuter you'd pretty much have to recharge them daily, and you'd need a new set of batteries after no more than a year, maybe year and half. And how much would they cost?
  12. The batteries are only lead-acids but they're the high capacity, deep cycle variety. Guessing here but I'd say they're probably around $250 each so you'd be up for around a thousand bucks to replace them. Going to get expensive if you have to do it every year or so.
  13. A company just across the road from where I work sells these things, and their advertisement on the front window is "NO NEED FOR LICENSE"

    That's JUST what we need, more unlicensed and therefor utterly unaccountable vehicles and users on the roads WE pay for by our taxes and license and registration fees.

    I shall pop over and see what they have to say for themselves.....
  14. If they are selling the EVT, then they are wrong - here in NSW you do need a licence just like you would for any 50cc scooter!
  15. I shall check that, thanks!
  16. Yep the only way an electric vehicle's going to be exempt from licence and rego is if it has pedals and a motor less than 200w, or is designed for disabled/elderly people (in which case it can't be capable of more than 10kph or weigh more than 110kg). Anything else is not only banned from roads but also any other public property (parks, footpaths etc.).
  17. the EVT I rode on didn't feel too bad in terms of speed, I clearly remember how surprised I was seeing it could keep up with cars. But I must say it was pretty scary because it was just so quiet, it was just weird going that fast and not make a noise.

    As for the running cost, yes that's purely the cost of electricity to run it. ie. I guess that's what people usually quote when they say how much petrol they get per km. You wouldn't normally factor in the cost of changing carby, spark, servicing, oil, etc, etc...

    I think maybe another couple of years they will start getting better and possibly worth considering for the purpose I have listed above.
  18. I'm personally glad that scooters are going this way - it's a step in the right direction. Hopefully sooner or later there will be electric motorbikes. A brushless motor combined with Lithium polymer cells can be an amazingly powerful combination (check out the class of radio control planes called "hotliners").

    They are going this way with cars (slowly). The Tesla roadster ( http://www.teslamotors.com/ ) is an example of a high-performance electric-only car . \:D/
  19. Yeah, especially when the LiPo cells burst into flames, as they have been known to do. I read of a case when it happened in a glider at 8,000 feet. The pilot had to throw the radio overboard, and got 1st degree burns to his hand doing it..........think I'll wait a while.