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Journey to getting an electric moped (A1, A2 class)

  • 25-01-2020 11:05pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    I've made up my mind about getting an electric scooter in the 125cc equivalent (125cm3 for the sake of SI purists. I'm going to try to chart the process (or at least a summary) on this thread and see how it goes.

    Edit: More info.

    I've given myself a deadline of this summer (July/August) to check out the options, get a learner licence and purchase the scooter. I'd really like it to be the Silence S01, as I think it's the best design with a battery that should have impressive longevity (maybe they are using A123). However, I won't rush in and will see what owners think before making my mind up.

    I'll be updating the posts below with more info for each option from time to time.


«13

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,984 ✭✭✭✭ tuxy


    Do you mean you are actually going to get one insured? I know companies don't like insuring vesicles they have little data on.
    This could be very interesting. Has this been done before in Ireland?
    The updates will be interesting.
    Best of luck, it could encourage more to follow you if works out well.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    The Silence S01 - my preferred option.

    Silence a Spanish outfit are now delivering the S01.

    It has a 5.5kWh battery with a 115km range and a 100kph top speed.

    It has one of the largest battery/range in its class also one of the largest underseat storage capacity too.

    It's also using LiFePO4 battery which is a pro for me. I'll get back to this later. Battery has a built in trolley, charger and 55W heater.

    Pros:

    It has a larger battery with minimal cell degradation. LiFePO4 doesn't care if it's fully charged - since it really doesn't increase degradation. Silence have scooters, the S02, that are 3 years old have done 40,000km with just 3 per cent cell degradation.

    The built-in battery trolley with pop-down wheels and pull-up handle with built-in charger is a great system given how limited storage is on a scooter. The battery also has a built in 55W heater to prevent the cells from being damaged in freezing temperatures.

    Bike is 2m long and larger than other scooters. The NIU NGT is only 1.8m. This makes a big difference if you're carrying a pillion passenger.

    It has a powerful motor, 7KW continuous, 9KW peak motor that's well-able to carry two people.

    Lights are supposedly very good at night. Once reviews from owners come in we should be able to confirm this.

    Acceleration is very good when needed. 0 to 50 kph in 3.9 seconds. Not many vehicles are going to be quicker off the line.

    It has 2 USB charge ports and a 12V supply for powering accessories. More than others as far as I can tell.

    Hook for bags.

    Silence have been a company since 2012 and manufactured over 7,000 non-S01 units last year.

    Silence have thousands of scooters in Spain in fleets.

    Motor has reverse which is nice as direct drive motors have cogging.

    Cons:

    Price is likely 7k Euro by the time I import it.

    Likely to be no dealer in Ireland and this has warranty implications, as it's supposed to be serviced at regular intervals to avoid voiding the warranty. This is going to be true with all electric scooters though.

    Early pre-production series model owners have reported issues with the top speed being under 90kph instead of 100kps. You'd expect it to less than indicated, but not that much. This will probably be addressed in the production models.

    There have been problems with handling reported by some customers of pre production series.

    Poor communication by the manufacturer has been noted by customers.

    The foot rests for pillion passenger are almost directly underneath the passenger. Normally the foot rest would be further forward. This may be uncomfortable during longer rides. Only time will tell if this is an issue.

    The scooter is one of the largest in its class. It is also quite high and the pillion passenger is seated higher than the rider. This will mean more drag at higher speeds and less range.

    It may take some time before top case manufacturers release a custom bracket for the scooter. Even though storage is very good, you'd still need a top box if going on long journeys or touring - you'd need to carry a type 2 adapter for the AC charges (ECars and EasyGo networks) and that would take up room.

    Spec sheet attached.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    tuxy wrote: »
    Do you mean you are actually going to get one insured? I know companies don't like insuring vesicles they have little data on.
    This could be very interesting. Has this been done before in Ireland?
    The updates will be interesting.
    Best of luck, it could encourage more to follow you if works out well.

    You won't get away without insuring a scooter or motorcycle in Ireland for very long. I believe you're referring to electric kick scooters. It would be stupid and reckless for the government to require insurance for those if they want to encourage a reduced carbon footprint. I believe they will legalise eventually.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,599 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


    tuxy wrote: »
    Do you mean you are actually going to get one insured? I know companies don't like insuring vesicles they have little data on.
    This could be very interesting. Has this been done before in Ireland?
    The updates will be interesting.
    Best of luck, it could encourage more to follow you if works out well.
    He’s taking about a moped /motorbike/ scooter as opposed to a stand up scooter

    Try these guys;

    http://www.principalinsurance.ie/blog/get-amped-zero-electric-motorcycles/

    Or these guys. Who should know: https://www.bikeworld.ie/site/motorcycle/vessla-electric-scooter/


  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ sgalvin


    Not sure of your age group but the license thing has changed quite a bit in the last 10-15 years.
    If you’re over 24 you should go directly to an A licence rather than having to do it again later after an A1/A2.

    I did my A test on a 180cc scooter in ~2002 as there was no point doing the A1 test and have a full A license.

    Have you looked at the BMW c evolution as an option. Insurance will be easier to get and there is one on autrader for £7k.

    I ran a scooter (Gilera Runner SP 180 2-stroke) for a few years and fast scooters are not cheap to run.
    Service intervals are short and they eat tyres.
    Service 2-3000km
    Rear tyre 1500-2000 km
    Front tyre 6000 km
    Crankshaft 9,500km

    The more upright are windy and noisy at speed.
    Fuel consumption at high speed was horrific. I never saw more than 40-50 mpg at speed. Electric or petrol they are not aerodynamic.

    If you are only looking for a simple commute, look at a moped type 4 kW
    much cheaper and you can ride on a car License and in heavy traffic not much slower. Loads of these in Paris.
    For touring, look at at something else.

    Why are you looking at a scooter in the first place?
    Joseph SEE wrote: »
    I've made up my mind about getting an electric scooter in the 125cc equivalent (125cm3 for the sake of SI purists. I'm going to try to chart the process (or at least a summary) on this thread and see how it goes.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    NIU NGT

    This comes from a Chinese company that produce a large volume of electric scooters. It's quite a relatively compact scooter at 1.8m long, boasts a top speed of 70kph and a retail price of 4,500 Euro on the continent. Range is about 80km to 90km hitting 70kph according to reports.

    Pros.

    It has dual 60V(not a nominal voltage) 35Ah batteries for a total of 4.2kWh. One contained in the base of the scooter underneath the riders feet. The other under the seat. You can charge the batteries on-board the scooter or carry one or two indoors with the external charger. The batteries are made by Panasonic.

    It's got a pretty well-designed app with all the integration you'd expect. However, all of the scooters have similar app functionality. The GPS works off US, Russian and Chinese satellites so it should be very accurate if dual GPS on your phone works to within 0.3m.

    The rear hub motor is 3KW nominal and made by Bosch.

    It has self-cancelling GPS- based indicators.

    NIU have been around for a good while and are quite popular in Europe.

    It uses a FOC controller rather than just a sine wave controller. This should mean good low down torque and smooth acceleration.

    One of the cheaper options while still being a relatively premium offering.

    Foot rests are further forward compared to the Silence.

    USB charger and bag holder.

    More affordable than the Silence.

    Cons

    A max speed of 70kph means motorway usage would be quite intimidating. You'd really have to avoid motorways.

    Very little storage with the second battery installed under the seat. You can operate with only 1 battery, but the speed is limited to 45KPH and the range is halved.

    A top box is mandatory if you want to carry items without resorting to using a rucksack.

    The charger is external and quite bulky. This would need to be carried with you on long journeys.

    There is less room for a pillion passenger as the scooter is 20cm shorter than the Silence.

    Lights are reported as being poor at night by owners and the colour LCD display is also too bright in darkness.

    Some customers have reported issues with the throttle and with the ECU battery.

    https://www.niu.com/en/n-gt/


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,599 ✭✭✭✭ ted1


    I’d an experience Opposite to the above granted it was much smaller 50cc, but the misses had a Vespa for a while. Ran on fumes, and little maintenance costs.
    Very cheap to run.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    sgalvin wrote: »
    Not sure of your age group but the license thing has changed quite a bit in the last 10-15 years.
    If you’re over 24 you should go directly to an A licence rather than having to do it again later after an A1/A2.

    I did my A test on a 180cc scooter in ~2002 as there was no point doing the A1 test and have a full A license.

    Have you looked at the BMW c evolution as an option. Insurance will be easier to get and there is one on autrader for £7k.

    I ran a scooter (Gilera Runner SP 180 2-stroke) for a few years and fast scooters are not cheap to run.
    Service intervals are short and they eat tyres.
    Service 2-3000km
    Rear tyre 1500-2000 km
    Front tyre 6000 km
    Crankshaft 9,500km

    The more upright are windy and noisy at speed.
    Fuel consumption at high speed was horrific. I never saw more than 40-50 mpg at speed. Electric or petrol they are not aerodynamic.

    If you are only looking for a simple commute, look at a moped type 4 kW
    much cheaper and you can ride on a car License and in heavy traffic not much slower. Loads of these in Paris.
    For touring, look at at something else.

    Why are you looking at a scooter in the first place?

    The BMW had a 100km range when new. The new version has an 160km range.

    That bike for 7k GBP is going on 5 years old, so I'd expect the range to probably be 10% less by now.

    It's more expensive than any of the options I've looked at and the bike is going on 5 years old. I don't really know enough about it to comment further.

    The wheels on the C Evolution are just a little larger than the Silence. Front wheel is the same size.
    Silence S01:

    Wheels (front and rear): 120 / 70-15 // 140 / 70-14

    BMW C Evolution:

    120/70 R 15 at the front and 160/60 R 15 at the rear

    Gilera Runner SP180:

    Front 120/70-12 Rear 130/60-13

    I'm in my 30's. I need to do a separate driving licence for a scooter. I plan on doing the À2 test as I've no interest in riding a full-blown electric motorcycle like a Zero. I won't be hitting the throttle hard from standstills. I'll probably limit whatever option I chose to mode 2 in towns (45/50KPH).

    I work at home and live in the centre of town. I don't have or need a car at present. Everything is within walking distance. I'll only be using the scooter to visit family and friends and perhaps to do some touring on the AC network, but that aspect would be a tertiary usage at best.


  • Registered Users Posts: 184 ✭✭ b.c


    moto4u do an electric scooter that might suit


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    The App Scooter is a Dutch offering from Etergo.

    The 95kph version with 3 battery modules costs 5,306 Euro. It has arguably the largest underseat storage with 50 litres of capacity and just under 3.5kWh of battery with 3 modules. The belt-driven motor seems to have a peak output of 7KW.

    Pros

    Battery system is very clever with each of the up to three modules running under the rider's feet. The batteries are accessed via the under seat storage with no impact on storage capacity.

    The display is one of the niciest. It's really head and shoulders above every other scooter. Connectivity like the rest is excellent but unlike the other options, such require your phone, this is standalone.

    It has impressive 2x 10W audio speakers so you can annoy everyone just like the fossil scooters.

    The portability of each battery module with over the shoulder straps is probably next to the Silence in terms of convenience.

    95kph top speed means you can use it on motorways and it's second fastest on the list only behind the Silence.

    It's a little longer than the NGT at 1.86m and foot rests have a normal position for the pillion passenger.

    Cons

    Etergo have no scooter experience. They are a new start up.

    It's a belt driven motor which means it's going to be noisy compared to a hub motor. The belt will also need to be replaced at set intervals.

    The battery offers one of the lowest capacities at less than 3.5kWh. I'd imagine a range of 50km at 95kph, may be a little less.

    https://etergo.com/appscooter


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  • Registered Users Posts: 36,082 ✭✭✭✭ ED E


    b.c wrote: »
    moto4u do an electric scooter that might suit

    The OP is looking at something beefier than a lifan (30mph max).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    The Outlandish Choice - the NIU TQi

    This is a self-balancing trike that's expected to release late this year. There's little details known.

    It has a roof like the BMW C1, a top speed of 80kph and a probable range of 100kph at 80. It has autonomous driving functionality, an airbag, adaptive cruise control, radar, all-round cameras and self-parking. Motor is a 10KW hub motor from Bosch. It has level 2 charging and two battery modules that can be removed.


    I can't see it being cheaper than 10k Euro and can't see it offering much storage compared to a normal scooter.

    Link to press release. Will update accordingly.

    https://www.niu.com/en/m/ces-2020/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    ED E wrote: »
    The OP is looking at something beefier than a lifan (30mph max).

    Yes I have looked at their offerings previously. I want something that can be used on main roads. 70kph is really the minimum speed requirement.

    I already have an ebike that, while not in that category of speed mentioned above, is far more practical for short journeys than any scooter. I've a large bicycle trailer with 150 litres of storage (lockable aluminium box attached to the trailer) and it's extremely practical for short trips up to 20km.

    My rational for the electric scooter is a fast mode of transport for quick journeys (it would be just as quick as a car) and perhaps some longer leisure trips eventually.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    b.c wrote: »
    moto4u do an electric scooter that might suit

    There's a Dubbin-based supplier called Lion for the NIU NGT. Their website is elion.ie. The only issue is that their price is 5,600 Euro which is 1,100 Euro more than the standard price in other European countries. It's much cheaper to purchase the bike in the UK and have it delivered.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 31,294 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Gumbo


    Joseph SEE wrote: »
    There's a Dubbin-based supplier called Lion for the NIU NGT. Their website is elion.ie. The only issue is that their price is 5,600 Euro which is 1,100 Euro more than the standard price in other European countries. It's much cheaper to purchase the bike in the UK and have it delivered.

    Then pay VRT & VAT.
    What’s the total cost to have it registered then?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,344 ✭✭✭ daymobrew


    I had a giggle the section on the Silence S01 page about Driving Modes:
    In ECO mode, the scooter has a top speed of 70 km/h. This means you can save petrol and take it easy.
    Save petrol!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    kceire wrote: »
    Then pay VRT & VAT.
    What’s the total cost to have it registered then?

    Price of 4,500 Euro includes VAT. There's no VRT on electric motorcycles.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    daymobrew wrote: »
    I had a giggle the section on the Silence S01 page about Driving Modes:

    Save petrol!!

    Yes there's a few inaccuracies. Motor is 9KW peak is some places or 11KW peak in other places. Typically peak output is measured electrically not at the wheel in the ebike world. 9KW is probably peak powerat the wheel with 11KW is the electrical peak drawn from the battery, I'd guess. You're going to be losing efficiency both at the controller and at the motor.

    Battery capacity figures are not consistent either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,994 ✭✭✭ colm_c


    What is the appeal of an electric scooter OP?

    If you have limited mileage/usage requirements, then you should broaden your search and get something fun, electric or not.

    I also wouldn't rule out a zero, you are above 30, you may look ridiculous on a scooter, although depends on the machine.

    Have you even ridden a motorbike before?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,984 ✭✭✭✭ tuxy


    ted1 wrote: »

    That site has a weird fact.
    Bear in mind most of us cover less than 20 kilometres on a daily commute.

    That's easily push bike distance, so they make the point of not using a motorised vehicle if you cover the average commute distance.
    If that fact was true you would have almost no cars on the roads, sure a few people would be lazy but not the majority.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,515 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    tuxy wrote: »
    That site has a weird fact.
    Bear in mind most of us cover less than 20 kilometres on a daily commute

    That's easily push bike distance, so they make the point of not using a motorised vehicle if you cover the average commute distance.

    If that fact was true you would have almost no cars on the roads, sure a few people would be lazy but not the majority.

    Census of Population 2016 – Profile 6 Commuting in Ireland
    https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-cp6ci/p6cii/p6td/

    238,341 workers lived 25 Km or more from their workplace location (straight line).

    1,875,773 commuters.

    That's 87% with commute distance less than 25km straight line distance.

    On average, workers lived within 15 Km of their place of work in 2016.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭ BigAl81


    I had been considering an electric vespa in the past.

    I did come across this one recently...

    https://electriccarsales.ie/autos/electric-scooter-elon-one/

    2799 euro with an alleged 80kms range. Do your research tho!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭ 0lddog


    Is the unit in the original link similar to the one in

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=112105427&postcount=26

    ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    0lddog wrote: »
    Is the unit in the original link similar to the one in

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=112105427&postcount=26

    ?

    That's the Silence S02. It's designed for delivery businesses. You need a separate trolley for removing the battery and I don't think it has a built-in charger.

    I believe it has a larger battery at 6kWh compared to the S01. Max speed is 80kph but the range is less than the S01 mainly due to the large rear box. That version in the link seems to be modified from the delivery vehicle. The delivery version is strictly a single seater.

    https://www.silence.eco/s02/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    sgalvin wrote: »
    Not sure of your age group but the license thing has changed quite a bit in the last 10-15 years.
    If you’re over 24 you should go directly to an A licence rather than having to do it again later after an A1/A2.

    I did my A test on a 180cc scooter in ~2002 as there was no point doing the A1 test and have a full A license.

    Have you looked at the BMW c evolution as an option. Insurance will be easier to get and there is one on autrader for £7k.

    I've given this further thought and I think you're right. I may as well get an A licence for the sake of some marginal cost. The C Evolution long range version is just on the very cusp of requiring a full motorcycle license with a peak output of 35KW.

    I got a few details about the C Evolution wrong. The one for 7k GBP is the 8.1kWh version with a 100km range. The 12.5kWh 160km plus version was already introduced in 2016, not this year as I thought.

    The scooter is overdue an update with the latest i3 cells. That should give a range of 200km with 12.5kWh of battery.

    In the absence of DC charging, which seems a nightmare for typically much smaller motorcycle engineering teams, an 11KW AC charger with a type 2 connector seems like it should be mandatory on a 16k Euro plus scooter.

    https://chargedevs.com/features/zero-motorcycles-was-forced-to-abandon-a-dc-fast-charging-option-in-2013-better-interoperability-testing-is-needed/


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭ 0lddog


    Joseph SEE wrote: »
    That's the Silence S02. It's designed for delivery businesses. ......


    Those ones were from https://www.lovesharing.com/motosharing/ . Impression is that the idea has good traction in Santa Cruz. It seems to be pick one up, use it and leave it anywhere. Couldnt figure out who / when it gets recharged. Wouldnt work here - the fleet would be lifted and sent to god knows where within a week :(

    Owning one here should work fine if you can sort out the tax & insurance.

    Good Luck


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    BigAl81 wrote: »
    I had been considering an electric vespa in the past.

    I did come across this one recently...

    https://electriccarsales.ie/autos/electric-scooter-elon-one/

    2799 euro with an alleged 80kms range. Do your research tho!


    Can't find much info on that scooter. I suspect it's rebadged. No spec on the battery. I'd be a bit dubious about the quality of some of the parts and sceptical of range. Yes it has a Bosch motor, but that's just one component.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 108 ✭✭ Joseph SEE


    colm_c wrote: »
    What is the appeal of an electric scooter OP?

    If you have limited mileage/usage requirements, then you should broaden your search and get something fun, electric or not.

    I also wouldn't rule out a zero, you are above 30, you may look ridiculous on a scooter, although depends on the machine.

    Have you even ridden a motorbike before?

    Aesthetically, ergonomically, and practically-speaking, I feel scooters are superior to motorcycles. Motorcycles have never held any appeal from a young age.

    I would imagine that when I've the electric scooter how other people view me on a scooter would be very low down on my list of priorities.

    Who would judge me? Motorcyclists?

    I have strong dislike for fossil motorcycles and fossil scooters. I can't understand why they haven't banned new sales yet knowing what we know now. They are only somewhat better than the real emissions of diesels and that's really saying something.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly I've never ridden a motorbike. However, I've ridden a high power ebike. It was a lot of fun and soon of the electric scooters mentioned here should be a lot more capable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 122 ✭✭ sgalvin


    I have ridden mopeds scooters and motorcycles and offer the following.

    When you buy a new 50cc moped they are limited to 45 km/h by engine and transmission restrictions (~2kW) to comply with Moped regulations and can be driven on an M (moped) or B (car) license. They are very slow and tbh not entirely safe even in a 50 km/h zone as they can’t do 50 and acceleration is poor. Not really powerful enough to carry a passenger and pull out safely from a junction.

    Normally after the first service they can be derestricted and speed rises to 75-80 km/h. This pushes them into A1 license requirements but I’d say most people don’t realise/care. They are now 4 kW and are able to cope well with 50km/h and 60 zone and take a passenger. In 80/100 zones you end up riding in the gutter of the road. If there’s a bus lane I’d use it.

    Larger capacity scooters in a moped size are an amazing tool in a city. As manoeuvrable as a moped, high riding position, mirrors higher than car mirrors for filtering and excellent acceleration to get in/out of trouble.
    As you sit upright lots of wind noise on the motorway. Looses novelty after 30 mins!

    Regular Motorcycles are a lot more work in a city. Lots of DIY gear changes in a city is chore (but fun in the right conditions) Performance is much better but more so higher speeds.

    In the city the “point and squirt” of scooter cannot be beaten and I’d take it any day over a motorcycle.




    Joseph SEE wrote: »
    I've given this further thought and I think you're right. I may as well get an A licence for the sake of some marginal cost. The C Evolution long range version is just on the very cusp of requiring a full motorcycle license with a peak output of 35KW


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,515 ✭✭✭✭ Lumen


    Ebikes are faster than motorcycles through cities because the are narrower and can use cycle lanes.


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