Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Get on Your Bike - and Charge!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Get on Your Bike - and Charge!

Article excerpt

Byline: HARRIET RIDLEY

E-SCOOTERS are increasingly common on our city streets. The question is, should we all be switching to electric power on our daily two-wheeled commute to make our world a cleaner place? I love internal combustion engines. It'd have to be a seriously good proposition to make me switch to electric. And so far, what's on offer hasn't blown me away.

I've just been at the launch of Vectrix's electric scooter. It wasn't bad; decent power and torque with a 62mph top speed.

The problem was range and battery re-charge time, and concerns over battery life as it would be expensive to replace. Plus the Vectrix VX-1 Li costs pounds 9,000, a lot of money compared to even the most expensive maxi-scooters. Chinese manufacturers however have since latched on to the electric idea, churning out cheap and cheerful e-scooters.

The ones I increasingly see in the city are all Chinese - the pounds 2,255 Electricycle City with its 4kw engine and 50mph top speed seems particularly popular.

And that's a decent speed - the cheaper e-scooters are restricted to 30mph, so there's a limit to what you can do with them.

They'll happily take you cross-town as long as you stick to city streets, and they're good for filtering through rush hour traffic, but make sure drivers can see you as they certainly can't hear you!

From the battery being completely flat it takes on average nine hours to recharge - and where to recharge can be a problem too, although car parks are increasingly providing charging points.

Now even mainstream manufacturers are jumping on the e-scooter concept. Peugeot has launched an electric version of its Vivacity scooter, the eVivacity. At 115kg it weighs the same as the petrol-powered Vivacity 125, although its 3Kw motor gives it the power of a restricted 50cc machine, topping out at 30mph.

It has decent acceleration to get you safely away from the lights, but it feels vulnerable on out of town roads. …

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