Tag Archives: electric scooter

Vespa’s First Electric Scooter is Coming this Year!

Vespa made an exiting announcement at the Milan Motorcycle Show. This year, they are launching their first all-electric scooter.

Called the Vespa Elettricra, the new scooter retains the famous delectable lines of its “analogue” stable mates, but sports an electric motor capable of pushing the Italian lovely (and rider) sixty-two miles before needing to suckle at the electronic teat.

I wouldn’t expect sports bike performance out of this. Vespa claims it will have “superior performance” to a 50cc scooter. Still, we can at least expect that zero-revolution torque that makes electric motors so delicious. Vespa’s parent company, Piaggio, hints at its urban intent by saying that it will be “perfect for city environments”.

Vespa Elettricra

For those who would like a little more range, there is also going to be a model, called the Vespa Elettricra X, which has a four-stroke petrol engine on board as well. The petrol engine does not power the machine directly, but serves to charge the battery, bringing the usable range to 124 miles.

There’s an App for That

Vespa Elettricra DashThe Vespa Elettricra sports a gorgeous new 4.3″ TFT display, and will sync with a Vespa app. The app will allow you to view diagnostic information and range data, among other things.  You will be able to access your phone’s voice assistance and control music in conjunction with a new helmet they are going to release at the same time. This helmet contains bluetooth connectivity, speakers and a microphone.

We have no information on price, or exact release date at this time, but you can be sure we’ll be letting you know as soon as we do!

Girl on CityScoot Scooter

CityScoot Raises $50 Million for its Electric Scooter Service

Girl on CityScoot ScooterIt’s no secret that in Europe, scooter riding is far more commonplace than, say, the United States. The Europeans are also at the forefront of on-street leasing schemes with their public bicycle rentals that have been on the streets of countries such as Denmark and Sweden for many years. It was only a matter of time, then, before somebody came up with the idea to rent scooters on a per-minute basis.

That company is called “CityScoot”, and they’re renting electric scooters, no less.

The French startup currently rents some 16,000 electric scooters in Paris and nearby cities,  and plans to extend the scheme to other cities in France. and other countries in Europe with this latest round of investment.

These scooters, which are now commonplace on the streets of Paris, are completely silent. They come with a helmet in the under-seat storage. In a very Uber-esque manner, you use a smartphone app to rent the scooter. When you start the rental, you are given a code to unlock the scooter. When you finish your ride, you simply park it, and walk away. The cost is €0.20 per minute (about 25¢).

Riders don’t have to worry about charging, as a fleet of (electric) cars run around the city changing the batteries on the scooters as their system notifies them that the charge is low.

CityScoot claims 70,000 users—taking 7,000 to 9,000 rides every day. The average ride is said to last fifteen minutes. They are about to launch in Nice, and three other cities—including cities in Switzerland and Italy.

From the outside, renting electric scooters on a per-minute basis would seem like a logistical and liability nightmare, but they seem to be making a go of it, and I say that’s great news!

What do you think? Would a scheme like this work well in your city? Would you use such a service? Let me know in the comments below!

Scoot Networks, Hyped Scooter-Sharing Service, Might Run Afoul of State Law

You may remember that I recently posted about the new electric scooter rental service in San Francisco.

Well, it seems they could be scuppered by local interpretation of the law requiring scooter riders to obtain a “special license”

Coverage of the company on Fast Company’s website asserted that “riding a rented scooters (sic) doesn’t require any special certification,” a similar article on Wired’s site says that “the scooters max out at 30 mph, negating the need for a motorcycle license,” and yet another piece on GigaOm says Scoot Networks’ rides are “low-power enough that the driver doesn’t need a motorcycle license.”

Keating tells the Appeal that it’s the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s laws around rentals that keep Scoot Networks’ riders from having to go through the usual $31 application fee, motorcycle learner’s permit (that means no night driving), written test, and either a driving test (administered at the DMV) or proof that you completed California Motorcyclist Safety Program to get the M2 license required for scooter drivers in California.

Keating referred me to CVC§ 12804.9 (h), which says that people with regular drivers’ licenses can rent a vehicle “for up to 48 hours. It’s a function of the vehicle not being very powerful…it’s in the same regulatory category as a moped,” he said.

DMV spokesperson Jessica Gonzalez isn’t so sure.

Referring me to the DMV’s page Motorcycles, Mopeds and Scooters Defined, Gonzalez confirmed after looking at the aforementioned coverage on Scoot Networks that the electric scooters used by the company “would require an M2 endorsement,” that is, a license that would allow a rider to “operate any motorized bicycle or moped or any bicycle with an attached motor,” per the DMV.

And it’s not just the DMV: “California Highway Patrol (CHP) agrees with DMV’s position that these scooters would require an M2 endorsement, pursuant to California Vehicle Code §406 (a),” Gonzalez said.

It will be interesting to watch how his one pans out. For more details, head over to the source: The San-Francisco Appeal

Scoot Network Launches Electric Scooter Sharing in San Francisco

A company called Scoot Networks yesterday announced a dream to place electric scooters – which can be rented by the hour, or by the minute – in every city.

They aim to create “pods” in convenient locations where customers can pick up and return the scooters.

Currently, the service is in “closed alpha” mode – meaning it’s not yet open to the public.

Scoot Networks is buying up a model of electric scooter from a Chinese manufacturer to populate its fleet.

The scooters have a maximum speed of 30 MPH, which means that you won’t need a motorcycle license to ride them.

Their aim is to first create a network of scooter “pods” outside of work-spaces and company campuses, and the next phase will be to liaise with public transportation, and, finally to open up to the public when the infrastructure reaches “critical mass”.

Monthly subscription for this service is expected to be between $100 and $150.

Curiously, they are operated by putting “your iPhone” into the dashboard.
I guess that means us Blackberry users or Android enthusiasts have to walk.

Your Next Scooter?

I came across this article by Yi Chen about a new and interesting electric scooter:

“Simply dubbed the Boxx, this electric vehicle rethinks the traditional design of motorbikes with a minimalistic and stylish approach. The square bike is built using light-weight aluminum and is strong enough to support 300 pounds of weight. It can travel up to 35 miles per hour and can go 80 miles with a single charge.”

 

You think you get some funny looks now?

Full article here.