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Old 02-21-2013, 10:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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electric scooter options?

What kind of electric scooter options are there out there currently? Every google search just turns up "mobility scooters" for old people so i'm not having much luck finding what i'm wanting to find. :-/

Note that unless prices are somewhat remotely competitive there's not much point listing... ie if a highway legal scooter costs $10,000 that buys alot of gas... if an electric isn't much more than a gas scooter then it's an option. I would hope at least 50cc comparable scooters would be out by now - capable of 30-40mph around town, and with mile ratings based upon 30mph typical travel speed to be in the 50-100 mile range maybe, since they should be able to haul alot more battery weight than bicycles around. Older battery tech if still usable range for a much more affordable price is more welcome than the latest lightest lithium whatever since it costs more to store that 'cheap' electricity killing most of the benefits.

DIY scooter kits, or modifications, or how to pages, or other successful projects done on a budget are all welcome also. I'd probably want to build myself if it's possible to convert maybe some buggered out chinascooter with their horrible reliability (i'd assume what else should go wrong if you remove the engine or are there other risks??) to a competent reasonable range 50cc performance comparable scooter. Discussions of the additional needs of scooter able to travel on highway legally welcome as well - not cruise on highway, just get up past 45mph preferably holding 55mph for a few miles, as where I live the only real bridges are interstates and the only alternative route is 35 miles out of the way to get to something just on the other side of the bridge otherwise making it unfeasible for many trips. That lets one take shortcuts which require brief stretches of highway to traverse and require being licensed to legally be allowed there. I'm wondering how much additional cost would be needed to make an electric scooter comparable to a 125cc or so at least for short periods.

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Old 02-21-2013, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Remember in Google you can use the minus sign followed by a word that you want to omit in a search... here

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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hmm okay i wasnt aware of the minus sign. Your google-fu is superior to mine. :P
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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most electric scooters are loosely classified as "ebikes"
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think I did searches for an electric moped and such. I found a company in Northern VA that made lifepo4 electric mopeds, but they were 3 grand and payback to a gas moped would take 10 thousand miles. I decided against it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
I think I did searches for an electric moped and such. I found a company in Northern VA that made lifepo4 electric mopeds, but they were 3 grand and payback to a gas moped would take 10 thousand miles. I decided against it.
How are you counting payback? comparing it to a $1,200 scooter that is made in China that will use 4 tanks of gas before it starts falling apart? and what is pay back... there are a lot of people who enjoy not having the sound of a chainsaw between their legs and will pay extra for that.

USA speed limit on a scooter is 30mph, there are gasoline scooters out there that if their governor was removed they would go 50mph, my favorite Ebike is the stealth bike, it has a governor that the user can reset so it has an "off road" top speed of over 50mph, 67mph if you can pedal that fast but it's allowed in all 50 states because it can have it's speed limited.
The other thing about E-bikes is that there top speed is without pedaling, once you are pedaling there is no speed limit other then the posted speed limit on the road you are on.
The advantage of an E-bike is that in the legal sense it is a bicycle, it's covered under your home owners insurance, you don't need a license, you can pedal it without electric power on side walks and bike paths, while a scooter or moped is a motor vehicle.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The advantage of an E-bike is that in the legal sense it is a bicycle, it's covered under your home owners insurance, you don't need a license, you can pedal it without electric power on side walks and bike paths, while a scooter or moped is a motor vehicle.
Other advantages are there is no oil, there are no fuel fumes... As long as you can find 110V power you will always have fuel for it.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ev moped 3 grand, gas moped on ebay 800 bucks.

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How are you counting payback?
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Other disadvantages of a gasoline moped... maintenance... An electric bike's maintenance is almost all visual inspections and cleaning connectors. Most hub motors are maintenance free... The $800 moped will need spark plugs, air filters, a constant supply of fuel and 2 stroke oil and maybe even crank case oil (might depend if it has a transmission or not).

you can get a really nice pre built E-bike for about $2.5k. You can build one for $1k to 1.5k. Unless it uses an SLA the majority of the expense for an E-bike is the battery. You can easily drop $700 - $1200 for a battery and charger. The advantage over an SLA is definitely weight but also size. LiFePo batteries can be mounted on a standard bike seat post rack thereby eliminating the need for monstrous mounting solutions you would need for larger, heavier SLA batteries.

If you want a cheap Ebike with all off the shelf parts get a cheap walmart bike, hub motor kit and currie battery pack and rack. You should be able to get away with building one for around $500... Might not go as far but it would be upgradable and isn't an enormous investment.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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One of my first forays into clean transportation was with an affordable, used 50cc scooter. I always thought scooters were pretty cool, and heard they got great fuel economy.

After a week of riding on something so loud with with such vibration AND burned blue exhaust (it was 2-stroke!)

I decided it was about the least eco-friendly thing out there, and wasn't nearly as much fun as I thought because of the noise and vibration.

I later built my electric motorcycle, which was about a $2000 project, in case you were wondering, but it's a REAL vehicle with nearly NO noise or vibration, and a BLAST to ride.

I really like the idea of an electric MOPED, which as Ryland said, basically would qualify as an electric bike. (Could take on bike trails, park on sidewalk, etc.)

Not that I need any more projects, but I'd definately consider taking a moped and converting it to pedal/electric or build from scratch a hard-core electric bike.

Also, there ARE electric mopeds commercially available. And yes, they are usually made in China, and I can't vouch for quality. I think they are fairly affordable. If you buy something like that, just check on VIN, registration, title, etc. BEFORE you buy.

Always make sure you have your paperwork lined up BEFORE starting a custom project, but I'm also starting to see where people are able to register or title smaller vehicles (like a made-in-China e-scooter) because it didn't come with a factory VIN plate or other needed legalities.

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Last edited by bennelson; 02-22-2013 at 10:08 AM.. Reason: typos
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