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By Dr Huw Kidwell (PackThePjs) 22/5/18
Have you ever heard of an electric moped? Not a scooter that teens zip around on – but a full-sized motorbike moped? I hadn’t. Having met the CEO of Green Mopeds at the recent Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC, we were lucky enough to trial an electric moped for a couple of weeks. And I was really impressed with it.
With the increase in the price of petrol, electric transport is clearly the way to go. And with our congested roads, a switch to a moped/motorbike might just speed up your journey. Combine the two, and you have an electric moped. I’ve always been a bit wary of mopeds and motorbikes. However, when the opportunity came along for me to test drive an electric moped, I looked forward to the experience. And it was truly eye opening.
The moped was an ECCity 50 model from French manufacturer Artelec. It was sturdy, dependable and stylishly fashionable. With a range of up to 75 miles per charge (depending upon terrain) I was able to get around on all our local roads with no problem. ECCity represents the premium end of the electric moped market. With exceptionally high quality they have a French ‘chic’ styling and can offer great performance in an environmentally friendly package. I cried when I had to give it back!
The moped charges from any 240v socket and is ideal for local journeys. You could ride to work and then charge up during the working day to ride home. The charger and 2 metre power lead are in the seat compartment and will charge the bike fully within 8-9 hours. This means a charge at work would be able to get you back home with no problem. The model I tested was the 4kw Model 50 (L1e), which is the equivalent of a 50cc petrol engine. This meant the top speed on the open road was around 30mph. It does seem fast when you are riding.
The bike costs around 40 pence to fully charge and although it is around £6,500 to buy it requires very little maintenance (tyres and brake pads) and would last for years. Remember, in the UK, there’ll be no road tax to pay. The Samsung lithium ion battery has a life cycle of around 30,000 miles. I would rate it as ideal personal transport to get to work or shops. It could cut your transport costs in half. Remember 90% of our journeys are under ten miles.
I would rate my overall experience with the bike as excellent. It did everything I required. A delight to use. The 150kg moped was a little heavy to manoeuvre but there is a reverse gear to help with this. The twist grip gives instant torque and so care must be taken that the whole shebang doesn’t shoot off without you. There are no formal gears and so it is very easy to use and handle. I loved it.
Security was not an issue: a lock through the front brake disc immobilised the bike during all my journeys and was ample along with the steering lock. Anyone wanting to steal it would require a hoist and a truck. The brakes are 220mm disk brakes with double piston callipers on both front and rear. I can vouch for the effective brakes as a van stopped suddenly in front of me on one trip and I was able to do a semi-emergency stop on a sixpence.
Some people might worry about the storage space on this bike. I was able to do a weekly shop at Lidl’s and fit it all into the storage compartments. There is a big compartment under the armchair-like seat (bit like a Harley seat). There is also the top box. Both of these allowed me to stash my bread milk and melons with no issues!
To be honest I zipped around all over the place doing 30-mile round trips with no problems whatsoever. The moped was robust and sturdy on the road allowing freedom to carry shopping or park at the railway station for the daily commute.
Parking was really easy. Locking it up was a cinch and charging it took little effort. The controls were really easy. There is a speedo, a charge indicator telling you how much juice you have left, indicators with a bleeper to warn about you turning. There were even colour-coded retractable foot rests for any pillion passengers.
You can connect an ECCity moped to an app on your smartphone – you can use your phone GPS and monitor battery life etc.
The 4kw Model 50 (L1e) gave brilliant performance – the equivalent or better than any traditional 50cc bike. I would buy one.
It occured to me that this 2-seater moped would be perfectly suited to motorhome uses wanting the freedom of a vehicle once they are pitched on-site. My only concern with the ECCity 50 is its heavy weight, but it would be easier to transport on a rear carrier than a car would be.
The orignal post of this artical can be found here