Electric scooters – The best commuting transport on the planet?

Posted · 4 Comments

So, i’ve been using electric scooters for the past 4 years, which many people will know (because I’m always talking about them..sigh), but what you might not know is that I decided I wanted to do something about helping others to go electric!  At the beginning of this year I connected with Melex electro vehicles and founded ewizz to promote, provide and support electric vehicles in South Africa.

The main reasons I started riding electric scooters?

  • Super cheap to run  – at around 5c a km for fuel and with minimal servicing nothing doing these speeds gets close
  • Silent and smooth – they are very relaxing to ride.  I listen to music make calls on my journey’s and don’t bother others with noise an smoke
  • Plug in anywhere – I recharge from any normal plug point, so only 45 million to choose from in SA
  • Forget about gas  – electrics don’t use gas!  So no need to worry about fuel prices.
  • Very low maintenance – just brake pads and tyres every 10-15k (Battery life is dependant on type and usage)
  • Improved health – These are zero emission vehicles (pollution can be created dependant on where you get your energy from)
  • Climate change mitigation – reducing our carbon emissions, our carbon footprint and thus impact on our environment
  • Efficient energy usage – 5-10 times more efficient in energy usage and regenerative braking
  • Reduced dependancy fossil fuel – I’ve put down the pump, well mostly.
  • Reduced traffic congestion – scooters take up way less room than a car
  • Reduced journey times – Scooters always get to the front of lights and can filter.  So I don’t have to worry about traffic 🙂

I really enjoy cruising around on my electric as it costs me virtually nothing to run.

The electricity to commute around 10,000 km a year costs me less than one fill of my car’s gas tank.

Yup, around R500 in fuel for a year of commuting at 45 km a day and I’m keeping the kilometres off my car, which means it will last much longer.  And yes, I’m a wimp, if its very wet and windy or I need to carry more stuff then I take the car.  Problem solved!

The Thunder 6 electric scooter is silent & smooth, so with the bluetooth kit in the helmet I can listen to music, podcasts and make and receive calls while I’m going. That way I’m always in contact and can use the time efficiently.  One of the reasons the electric scooter is so cheap to run is that there is very little maintenance.  There are no gears, belts or chains and no oils.  Every 10,000 -15,000 km I’ll have to look at new brake pads and tyres and check the nuts and bolts.  These ewizz electric scooters have regenerative braking which makes the brake pads last longer too and produces less polluting brake dust.

Andy-at-Green-Faire-2013

Batteries can be a concern for electric vehicles, however the Thunder 6 electric scooter has lithium ion batteries and these are warranted for at least 5 years or 50,000 km, they should do a lot more and there are examples of these bikes with over 50,000 km in israel on fleet operations.  The lead-acid batteries, like those in the Spark 3 electric scooter, don’t last as long but the scooters are cheaper to buy.  If I was doing less km’s then the lead acid could be a better solution.  I’m investigating other technologies that can improve battery life on the models without lithium ion. The Lead-Acid batteries are replaceable and are almost completely recyclable locally.  For the Lithium ion batteries we don’t have a recycler for yet but we will store them until we do.

The number of public places I can recharge is growing and I’ll be putting this all up on the site.  For cafe’s and restaurants it only cost 1-2 Rand an hour to recharge our electric scooters, that’s pretty equivalent to the cost of wifi.  So it’s a great marketing tool to attract eriders.

My Thunder 6 electric scooter is fast, fun, zero emission technology and at R500 a year for fuel it’s basically free to use.  If you need to commute and want to keep up with the traffic there’s pretty much no other transport on the planet that is this energy efficient, cheap to run and environmentally friendly.  🙂

Please tell me if you find anything because then I’d like to offer it to South Africa!

4 Responses to "Electric scooters – The best commuting transport on the planet?"
  1. David says:

    Hullo Andy Le May,

    My new albeit Demo model is doing just fine. I have secured one definite charge point at Riverside Shopping Mall Rondebosch in the southern carpark entrance. Once plugged in at the pedestrian entrance to the Mall all you need to do is pop up to the Manager on the first floor and ask if it is okay. The other site which is not confirmed is the Seven/Eleven opposite the Tibetan Restuarant in Seaforth otherside Simon’s Town. You’ll need that 5 mtre ext you suggested I buy and a double adaptor for two three pronged plugs. Once I have called the owner and got confirmation I will let you know; meantime the woman who runs the cafe will surely be most accommodating if it’s desparate as I was (being a newby to electric scooters).

    Furthermore I am thoroughly enjoying the ride and can highly recommend this commute to all who are serious about saving… There are one or two little niggles but once I have popped round to your factory I am sure they can be sorted.

    Cheers
    David

Leave a Reply