Saturday, May 23, 2009

Scooter Resource -- More Electrics

There's been a bit of news on the two-wheeled electric vehicle front lately.

The first thing I saw was that R Martin is now offering a lithium ion version of the EVD. The lithium ion version (with lithium iron phosphate batteries) costs $4500 ($1250 more than the lead acid version). These batteries increase the top speed from 50 to 55 mph, and the range from 50 miles at 30 mph to 60 miles at 30 mph. So basically for the extra $1250 you get a 10% increase in top speed and 20% increase in range.

A new company called Xtreme Green is also on the verge of offering vehicles to compete with the EVD and Vectrix.

Starting next month, they'll be offering two models of 'motor scooter'. Their EM40-A09 Motor Scooter will cost $5500 with a range of 50 miles per charge (I don't know what speed this estimate is based on, unfortunately), top speed of 50 mph, and also lithium iron phosphate batteries. Very comparable to the lithium version of the EVD, but with perhaps a greater range (but perhaps not).

Their EM60-A09 will cost a bit more (no details on this price yet), with a range of 75 miles per charge and top speed of 50 mph. Basically the same scooter with more batteries for greater range and a slightly more powerful motor (3.5 kW as opposed to 3 kW).

The Xtreme Green scooters also look almost identical to the EVD:

Their Vectrix competitor is the X Rider. It's supposed to cost $8000 (a bit less than the Vectrix), with a 65 mph top speed and supposedly 95 mile range (but again, it's hard to say how realistic this is). The weight of the vehicle is significantly lower than the Vectrix at just 266 lbs.

Italian scooter-maker Piaggio has unveiled a plug-in hybrid three-wheeler it says will get up to 141 mpg and could be on the road as early as next year.

The MP3 Hybrid that Piaggio rolled out at the big international motorcycle expo in Milan, Italy, combines a 125-cc gasoline engine with an electric motor in an easy-to-ride three-wheeler that reportedly could do zero to 60 in around 5 seconds

But of course the Vectrix vehicles are all-electric. One nice aspect of the Piaggio is that it will allow the rider to switch from all-electric to hybrid mode to gas-only mode. Pretty cool stuff. No word on the price tag though.

So anyway, it's good to get more competing electric vehicles on the road.

The Scooter Book: Everything you need to know about owning, enjoying and maintaining your scooter

1 comment:

  1. About the R Martin EVD:

    Heads up to anyone who may have found this view a search engine while

    looking for a reliable electric vehicle - the R Martin EVD is NOT for


    I purchased the EVD from Randall Martin (via his website) last year

    after reading the sparse reviews out there that seemed mostly positive.

    From the minute it arrived things went poorly.

    First, the company he uses (SAIA shipping) to deliver the bikes fails

    utterly. They could not deliver the bike to our door because they only

    use semi trucks and our residential street had wires too low. That

    means they left the bike, wrapped in a box wrapped in a banged up,

    rusted metal cage, 1 block from our house, in the middle of the street,

    with only my husband (I was at work) to unpack and move the bike down to

    the house (which I might mention is at the bottom of a large hill). Oh,

    and it was mid summer in Florida, so 95+ degrees and humid. The driver

    happily left him alone to do what is clearly (as stated in the manual,

    conveniently located INSIDE the giant contraption) a two person job.

    After several trips up and down the hill to get various tools, my

    husband was finally able to free the bike from its packaging, but in the

    process ended up with it falling on him once and almost another time

    (and they are heavy - almost 400 lb).

    We charged it that day and come evening tried it out - only to find out

    it was not capable of even driving up our hill (it literally stopped

    midway up, on a full battery, and made a dragging sound near the rear


    To make a long, aggravating story short, after contacting the dealer on

    a near daily basis (and then him contracting the manufacturer, in

    Japan), performing hours of labor ourselves on it (trying to replace the

    brakes several times, etc. - he wouldn't pay for labor, would only

    provide replacement parts based on our amateur description of what

    seemed to be wrong and some videos we emailed) and even eventually

    taking it to a shop for brake replacement, the thing still does not work

    as intended (sometimes can make it up the hill, sometimes can not - even

    on a full charge and on the same day) and Randall Martin eventually

    ignored my emails until we were forced to contact a lawyer (never had a

    reason to do that before).

    He now states it is too far past the time frame for return, but it was

    he who refused to return my email and never offered to return the bike.

    Mind you, I was somewhat skeptical of making such a large purchase

    online, but there were no dealers of fast, fully electric bikes like the

    EVD in our area. Also, I emailed him twice before making the purchase

    to ask questions and even specifically asked about shipping and whether

    he would take the bike back should it have any problems. He assured us

    that he would try to fix it via parts but if that didn't work, would

    have it returned (and also stated he had never had a shipping problem).

    Summary: I truly hope no one has to fall for this money trap like my

    husband and I did. Find a local dealer if you want an electric

    vehicle, test drive it well and know the return policy backwards and

    forwards. And whatever you do, I implore you not to purchase from

    Randall Martin (at least for his larger vehicles such as the EVD).