Only a couple of years ago it seemed almost impossible that electric scooters would ever replace their gas-powered counterparts, with their very limited range, cumbersome batteries and sketchy design. But then came smaller batteries, sleeker designs, longer range and smart connectivity, and the zero-emission personal transportation has never been closer to overtaking the urban areas. Electric scooters have evolved from bikes or kick scooters with a small motor and a heavy battery strapped to it, into a very versatile, safe, and dependable form of transportation for millions of people.
The 2018 will most certainly be a very important year for electrified transportation. Not only are e-scooters getting smarter with technology that allows enhancing control, extending range and connecting to your smartphone, but there are also some very big names in moto and scooter industry that have decided to step onto the electric scooter and electric bikes market. One of them is Piaggio, and their iconic model Vespa, a symbol of city lifestyle.
Vespa Elettrica is not just another electric ride, it is a true work of art. The new environmentally-friendly electric scooter runs completely silently, making cities less chaotic and more pleasant place to live.
The heart of Vespa Elettrica, is an energy storage unit capable of delivering continuous power of 2 kW and peak power of 4 kW. This is what, allegedly, gives this scooter an advance in performance compared to the traditional 50cc scooter. As an added bonus, the modern lithium-ion battery doesn’t need any maintenance and it can be recharged in just four hours just by plugging in the standard electrical outlet.
On a full charge the Elettrica will be able to go up to the 62 miles, which is plenty of ride time, which makes it a reasonable transportation solution for city folks. To put it in the words of the manufacturer: “The style, agility, ease of use and riding pleasure will be the same as the Vespa we have always known, with the addition of technological and innovative connectivity solutions”.
Speaking of the latest technology, 4.3-inch TFT color display between the handlebars shows information like speed and range and charge level, and there is even an app that allows your smartphone to connect to the scooter via Bluetooth, serving up messages and incoming phone calls, but also relaying diagnostic information about the scooter, as well as locating it on a map. Riders will even be able to trigger a phone’s voice assistant or control music, providing they have a Bluetooth-capable helmet. Vespa is, of course, releasing a special helmet equipped with built-in Bluetooth speakers and a microphone alongside the Elettrica for just this purpose.
Despite all the innovative technology Vespa Electtrica retains the classic well-known design, finished in chrome grey with one of seven color accents.
Vespa Electtrica is set for global distribution in spring 2018.
Honda PCX Electric
Honda unveiled two new versions of their PCX scooter at the Tokyo Motor Show, and one of them is the PCX Electric, which uses an electric motor developed by Honda and is powered by a pair of batteries under the seat. The battery pack is designed so it can be easily removed and swapped, which is very similar system to the one used by the Taiwanese Gogoro Smart Scooter.
The technical and performance specifications, like speed or range of this scooter are yet to be announced, which is a bit surprising, considering that it is a production model.
The Honda PCX Electric is only to be sold in Asia, at least initially, but the plan is to sell PCX Electric globally by the next year.
Electric Scooters of CES 2018
With another CES behind us, we are still stumped and amazed by the speed that technology is developing, and especially by the transformation of transport.
Though it is primarily a tech trade show, we get to see a cool display of motorcycle and scooter-related products, and those always get a lot of attention. This year we have once again seen everything from a scooter that folds into a suitcase to a motorcycle driven by a robot. As always the venue was swarming with the electric transportation solutions, with e-scooters leading the pack. Here are our favorite two:
Ujet electric scooters is an attention-grabber for sure. It looks very stylish and futuristic with its disruptive, asymmetrical lines, but it’s not just the looks that makes this e-scooter stand out. This little electrically powered two-wheeler packs innovative technology and might very well redefine the future of urban mobility.
Ujet connects with your smartphone which acts as an ignition key, anti-theft and tracking system. A dedicated on-board computer offers full connectivity to your smartphone and the cloud. It integrates GPS, 3G, Wi‑Fi and Bluetooth for the most intuitive ride and advanced safety monitoring. The intuitive user interface with easy access to navigation, voice control, music playback and integrated HD camera.
Now, let’s talk about reinventing the wheel. Yes, the wheels on Ujet are still round, but what makes them unique is an orbital wheel technology used in mass-production for the first time. One of the greatest advantages of in-wheel electric motors is the fact that the power goes straight from the motor directly to the wheel. Moreover, the Ujet motor design offers regenerative breaking.
This scooter comes with two different battery packs, one with enough juice to go 43 miles, and another that will allow you to go a whopping 90 miles on a full charge, proving that personal electric transportation devices can be much more than just a last mile solution. The frame is made from alloy and carbon fiber composite, and depending on the battery size, the scooter weighs around 95 to 108 pounds. Ujet is said to be an equivalent to a 50cc petrol engine scooter, but the maximum speed it allows is 28 mph.
The battery is located under the seat and it can be conveniently taken off and literally dragged by the handle on little wheels to the nearest electrical outlet. And as all of this is not enough, Ujet is foldable. It folds comfortably and safely with 3 simple steps in seconds, so you can store it easily in your hallway, office or boot of your car. The only real downside we could find on this scooter is its mind-boggling high price, starting at about $8.900 and it just goes up with every customization option.
Ujet is designed and engineered by a Luxembourg-based company that plans to launch it in major European cities like Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam in the first half of 2018, and then take on the US and Asian market in the second half of 2018.
Ford OjO Electric Scooter
There are a ton of electric scooter manufacturers on the CES each year, and OjO Electric is here for the second time. And the reason for that is not a revolutionary new scooter, but joining forces with a globally recognized company. When it comes to zero-emission transportation some of the big brands in auto industry were surprisingly hesitant to get into electric and hybrid technology, and especially the last-mile solutions. One of the giants that have decided to join the clean transportation movement is Ford, and they have done it by signing an agreement with OjO electric, an electric scooter company, to build an exclusive line of Ford-branded models.
These unique scooters will draw visual inspiration from classic and contemporary Ford vehicles while integrating OjO’s innovative design and technology. This two-wheeler is essentially a Ford-badged version of the existing OjO Commuter Scooter, which we have written about before in post about scooters that are allowed on the streets. The latest model, however, will have up to 50 miles range, with top speed of 20 mph and patented gear system that improves its power and hill climbing ability. Functional onboard charger with retractable cord means that you won’t have to lug around a charger with you, and you will be able to power up your scooter simply by plugging it into standard wall outlet.
This e-scooter incorporates smart technology and three speed modes, making it a versatile solution for your daily commute, running errands around town, or just a leisurely ride. An interactive, non-glare touchscreen allows you to monitor the performance of your ride, choose speed, control lighting and sound and more.
OjO also includes extra features for the ultimate riding experience: dual integrated waterproof bluetooth speakers, innovative voice response system, LED headlight and tail lights, a motion activated alarm, wireless key fob and a convenient (optional) rear basket. The OjO’s treaded, non-slip deck and specially designed adjustable seat provide for ease of use in both sit down and stand up position.
The all-welded aluminum under chassis supports weight capacity of over 300lbs, unlike the small two-wheel foldable scooters that make majority of what’s currently available. Every little detail is designed to ensure durability and long-lasting quality, while providing a smooth and stable riding experience.
Ojo features motorcycle grade tubeless tires for optimal, road-gripping performance. Combined with front and rear disc brakes provide you will ride safely, even in wet road conditions. The rear full suspension and front mono-shock add to the comfort.