Light EVs – the wave of the future? A look at 4 types

By Roy Hales, Originally published on the ECOreport.

Compared to the 10 million miles that the city’s vehicles travel every day, Scoot’s penetration into the San Francisco market is still relatively small. The 800 vehicles in its shared light electric vehicle (LEV) fleet have covered 2 million miles since 2012. Scoot CEO Michael Keating admitted in an email sent my way that, even combining their statistics with those of Zipcar, Bay Area Bikeshare, and Uber, you would probably not reach 5% of the total volume. But the market is growing fast.

Scoot’s LEVs produce about 2% of the average car’s emissions and are an attractive alternative to get around on the some of the world’s most traffic-congested streets. Keating is looking to expand into cities like Paris, Rome, and Madrid in the EU. Companies like Renault-Nissan, Mahindra, Govecs, and Emco-Elektroroller will use Scoot’s new Mobility Operating System (MOS).

Scoot’s New Mobility Operating System

According to the company’s press release, Scoot’s new MOS is “a complete management platform for any LEV service, including e-scooters, e-bikes, and three- and four-wheelers. With proprietary, LEV-specific, in-vehicle electronics, an intuitive rider app, and comprehensive vehicle, customer, parking, and charging software, Scoot MOS is the complete package electric mobility services need to succeed in a complex business.” To learn more, please visit http://scoot.co/partners/

Scoot’s Partners

Scoot has partnered with well known names in the LEV world. Govecs introduced the world’s first cargo scooter in 2011. Emco electroroller GmbH has over 350 dealers throughout Europe. Renault’s Twizy is the world’s #1 shared light electric four-wheeler. The Mahindra GenZe 2.0 electric scooter is one of the world’s most shared e-scooters.

These partners appreciate what Scoot has to offer.

“Scoot MOS provides our fleet customers with a swift, seamless model to grow their business in the biggest metros around the world,” says Tom Valasek, head of European Business at Mahindra GenZe.

“Today, city residents want the flexibility afforded by cars, but are forgoing personal ownership in favour of shared electric scooters, which have become our fastest growing market segment. In partnering with Scoot, we’re able to meet this demand while bringing our customers what they require: efficient, cost-effective, clean transportation options,” added Raymon Pouwels, Commercial Advisor of Emco-Elektroroller.

Into The Future

So, what does the future look like in a world divesting itself of fossil fuels? Can LEVs replace gas cars for most functions?

“LEVs will be a huge part of transportation in cities, especially as residents move from one-size-fits-all car ownership to mixing and matching the right vehicle and service for the right trip. LEVs tend to be more specialized than cars: Better than cars at some things but not as useful at other things. If you can only own one vehicle, it will probably be a car. But if you don’t own a vehicle, as is the case with an increasing number of urbanites, using a mix of different shared LEVs is actually better than car ownership. With 0ver 400,000 private cars in San Francisco, there is a lot of potential to shift people to more sustainable, more flexible options,” says Keating.

“With renewables becoming cheaper and a bigger part of the electricity generation mix, transportation is emerging as the main driver of climate-changing emissions in the US and other countries. While reducing emissions in suburban and rural areas requires people to buy expensive electric cars, urbanites have more options and less need for cars, so they can reduce their transportation emissions fast,” Scoot notes.

“LEVs are key to this because even though many cities are walkable, bike-able, and have transit, many people still choose cars for the speed that walking, biking and transit can’t provide. LEVs are often faster than cars in city traffic and are zero emission and affordable, so there is no limit on the amount of a city’s travel that can be done with LEVs. The combination of shared LEVs with other sustainable modes is the complete package urbanites have been waiting for in order to quit using cars.”

All images courtesy Scoot


B

By Nicolas Zart, in Clean Technica, 29 March 2017

While electric vehicles (EV) with four wheels take center stage, we’ve also covered a few electric bicycles (e-bikes) that caught our attention.

All Weather PodRide E-BikeYou might easily dismiss the all-weather PodRide e-bike as a kid’s toy, or a covered electric go-cart on steroids bicycle wheels, but this four-wheeled electric vehicle (EV) is an all-weather, eco-friendly journey e-bike. We’re sure it will appeal to those wanting to stay in shape during the winter season.

The All-Weather PodRide E-Bike, Come Rain, Snow, And More

The rebirth of the electric drive has been a particular boon on designers’ creativity by opening a world of new shapes and forms. After all, an EV drivetrain does away with engine and fuel tank constraints. They have also shown to allow for luscious, high-performance sedans with more room than their awkward gasoline counterparts can muster.

At the dawn of the rebirth of EVs, electric motorcycles were humble. Today, ZeroMotorcycle has a well-diversified portfolio of quality electric motorcycles that go well above the 100-mile range. As to electric bicycles (e-bikes), they have also grown in leaps and bounds away from last decade’s heavy Chinese bicycle conversions to more subtle and sleek high-end e-bikes.  But as much as we love riding bicycles and their electric cousins, they are still fine day weathered friends.

All Weather PodRide E-BikeThe prospect of an all-weather e-bike had to happen, one way or another. The PodRide has you covered, pun intended when it comes to braving the elements. Leave it to the fertile mind of Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman to bring us something we secretly want, but never knew, an all-weather e-bike.

Kjellman told the UK Dailymail: “The basic idea of PodRide is to have a weather protected and more comfortable bicycle. I put a lot of effort into making it practical but it has also proven to be real fun to drive. So my solution has been this four-wheeled, fully covered bicycle car.”

So how about an electric folding Transboard e-scooter with three wheels? Folding Transboard e-scooter

Three-wheel EVs are far and few between for some odd reason. It’s a shame because they make perfect sense with their inherent drivetrain layout stability, and three wheels that can easily accommodate a battery pack. We feel this EV industry segment is sorely missing on choice.

Let’s welcome the folding Transboard e-scooter in this Indiegogo campaign, which hails itself as: “the world’s most advanced 3-wheel electric scooter.” We have no reason to doubt it as the Transboard promises to deliver on a few key points; speed, fun factor, and a one-touch folding system. This last part particularly intrigues me as I’m currently test riding this wildly futuristic Gocycle G3. More to follow on that.

The company started in 2015 with a vision to design a stylish and fun three-wheel EV scooter. It came out with its first prototype 9 months later and is today looking for financial backing. The Super Early Bird pledge is set at $499 for the first 100, the regular Early Bird is $549 and limits itself at 200 examples, afterward, the Indiegogo Promotion is $599 with unlimited Transboard reservations. Once out of its campaign incubation, the Transboard will retail for $1250 in white and black.

Folding Transboard E-Scooter; Battery & Drivetrain

Using an LG Chem 48V, 8.6AH battery pack feeding a 500 W BLDC electric hub-motor, this e-scooter certainly has enough to zip along cities sidewalks.

A double wishbone suspension should keep the front wheels nicely in contact with the road, while the back uses a double L Double Link suspension system. I’ve asked the company to clarify this system and still waiting on their answer. The braking capacity is electric with a physical rear foot brake.

The frame is made out of aluminium, while the body is ABS and the shaft is carbon steel reinforced.

Folding Transboard e-scooter

Transboard Performance

Claiming a 22 MPH with a 20-mile range, the Transboard can go up a 15% hill with a maximum load weight of 220 lb. Cruise control is also onboard, as well as a three-level speed limit system setting, which should come in handy when cruising longer distances.

The Transboard weighs 46 lb with a gross weight of 53 lb, on par with most modern e-bikes.

It uses a LED screen that displays the usual, speed, distance, power, and other functions. Five buttons help you power up the Transboard, as well as set the trip distance and more.

 

Transboard Intelligent Folding System

This one is going to make some jealous, but the Transboard folds itself at the touch of a button and can be carried away, as you would a suitcase. You can skip to the first minute past the video to see how it works.

This is something that should appeal to city dwellers. Those needing a last-mile solution can bring their Transboard to the office, and back in their apartment.

Folding Transboard E-Scooter Observations

The first thing that strikes us is that the riding position seems to be unnecessarily leaning back and somewhat hunched over. Perhaps this is due to the fact that their Transboard wasn’t adjusted to the testers shown in the video, but it definitely seems the handlebar could go higher.

Although the specs are good, we can’t help but wish it had more connectivity, such as a smartphone app where we can monitor and set performance features. Although the LED display takes over these functions, a Bluetooth app would be a welcome addition.

Folding Transboard e-scooter

Overall, this is another welcome contender in the fairly uncrowded space of e-scooters. Much of the limelight rests squarely on electric cars and e-bike, we welcome seeing more from RT3s, three wheelers and hopefully more from electric motorcycles soon.