Category Archives: Electric Motorbikes & Scooters

Electric motorbike and scooter news and reviews

V-Moto Super Soco Review

V-Moto Super Soco – December 2017

v-moto-super-socoThe V-Moto Super Soco is unique – unlike every other moped-class electric two-wheeler on the market, it looks like a proper little motorcycle.

The Artisan, Egen eG5 and various E Riders are all unashamedly scooters, while speed pedelecs (Kalkhoff, Stromer, Bultaco Brinco) owe more to cycling genes.
Only the Super Soco makes any attempt at motorcycle styling. And one has to admit, it’s quite well done, looking all of a piece with neat up to the minute plastic bodywork, LED headlight and running lights, upside down front forks, monoshock rear and disc brakes at both ends.

If it all conspires to suggest a sort of miniature Zero SR, then the Super Soco’s designers will probably be pleased – I’m sure that’s what they were aiming at.
So it looks good, but what’s it like on the road? We gave Avon Motorcycles’ demo bike a spin around the roads of Bristol to find out.

On The Road
The Soco has keyless ignition, so instead of a traditional key (so analogue, don’t y’know) you keep the fob on your person, which activates the ignition when you climb on board. Press a ‘Power’ button, the dash lights up with a PC-like ‘bong’ and you’re all systems go.

The dash isn’t exactly packed with information, but you do get a battery meter (showing percentage battery charge left, not just a random number of segments), speed and amps (power consumption). The latter is useful if you’re caught out with a low battery and need to eke out the juice to get home, but as this is a moped you’ll be flat-out most of the time.
There are actually three power modes (topping about 15, 22 and 30mph respectively) but in practice only the fastest one is of any use on British roads – unlike the Dutch, we don’t allow 25km/h mopeds on our cycle lanes.

v-motoFlat Out


Stick to full power mode, and the Soco has a reasonably smart take off, creeping up to an indicated 31-32mph on the flat, without so much as a whine from the rear wheel mounted motor. Within 30 limits it’s just about fast enough to be safe on the flat, but as with any moped, venture onto a 40-limit road and it feels like a minnow in a river full of sharks. That’s not really the Soco’s fault, and we’re told a quicker 45mph version is coming next year. But I did expect it to have a little more hill climbing oomph. Admittedly Bristol is a city of gradients, but one long, steep stretch had us down to a 12mph crawl, when the battery had about 30% left.

Range

Which brings us to range. V-moto claims 30-40 miles, and after an indicated 24 miles the test bike showed 18% juice left in the battery, suggesting 29.5 miles. Which isn’t bad, considering that some range claims are highly suspect and that the Soco spent much of those 24 miles at top speed or climbing Bristol’s mountains.
The battery meter was a gem, clicking down each percentage point nice and steadily.

As for the battery itself, that weighs 12kg and is a lift out job, so no need for long extension leads at recharge time, which V-moto says will take 7-8 hours from flat. It lives in the false fuel tank, and there’s space for a second battery if you want one, which is an option at £799. If not, there’s plenty of space for shopping.
The Soco is light (only 82kg) and very slim, so it’s easy to filter and I found myself following cyclists threading between rows of traffic, something you can’t always do on a bulkier moped or 125.

The brakes are fine, the suspension supple and the seat…rock hard – I’d had enough after 10 miles (at A to B we suffer for our road tests) but then who is likely to ride an electric moped more than 10 miles in one go?
v-moto-batteryThe Super Soco seems well put together. It’s a shame the footrests (which are adjustable) aren’t foldable, so they’d probably snap off on an unplanned connection with the tarmac, but otherwise it all seems well thought out and of reasonable quality.

Warranty

The warranty is three years on the battery (two years on everything else) which means it qualifies for an OLEV grant, after which the price is £2429. We think that’s good value – it costs the same or less than most 30mph electric scooters out there, and looks like a motorbike.

Thanks to Avon Motorcycles (0117 972 8769) for the loan of the Super Soco.
Peter Henshaw

Electric Motorcycle Price Guide (UK)

On this page we aim to list all electric scooters, electric motorbike, electric mopeds & electric trikes.
Please remember, the use of any of these electric machines is covered by UK electric scooter licensing laws, and most prices do not include registration costs (c £100).
Prices are the latest available on the road in the UK. Note our new column showing the price per kWh of battery capacity. Those shown in green are considered good value for money. Used together with the battery warranty, this gives a good guide to value for money and ongoing running costs.

Near Collapse and Rebirth

The young electric motorcycle industry had been more or less wiped out by 2013, but by early 2015 there were some stirrings at the superbike end of the market, and the government’s decision to finally allow subsidies for electric two-wheelers has helped a good deal. The bikes eligible for the Office for Low Emission Vehicles grant are marked OLEV. The grant is 20% of the purchase price, capped at £1500. The motorcycle must have a range of at least 31 miles (19 miles for mopeds). Our price generally includes the grant, but without registration costs.
By 2016, the electric motorbike was firmly back in fashion, with sales on an upward trajectory, and several new manufacturers looking at UK distribution.
Many newer machines have removable lithium-ion batteries, allowing users to keep a charged battery at home, or even carry one in a top-box, effectively doubling range.

 Errors & Omissions:  We do our best to keep this table up-to-date, but please do contact our electric motorcycle editor Peter Henshaw if you see any errors or omissions on this page.

electric-motorbike

Electric Motorbike Sales

Electric Motorbike, Scooter & Moped Prices

Make/Model Price Maximum Power Battery Type Battery Capacity Cost
per kWh
Battery Warranty Top Speed Comments
Razor Pocket Mod £299 0.25kW 24v
Li-ion
0.2kWh £1760 3 months 15mph Aimed at teenagers, but will carry small adult
E Rider
Model 15
£1495 (see note) 0.25kW 48v Li-ion 0.5kWh £2990 12 months 15mph Covered by pedal-cycle legislation. with £400 discount Christmas 2017
E Rider Model 30 City £1595 (see note) 1.5kWh 60v
Li-ion
1.2kWh £1580 24 months 30mph £300 discount Christmas 2017
E Rider Rondo £1595 0.25kW 48v
Li-ion
0.57kWh £2800 24 months 15mph New Autumn 2017
Artisan EV1200 £1695 1.2kW 72v Lead-acid 1.4kWh £1210 12 months 30mph 24 months warranty, £199 extra
eGen eG5 £2160 1.2kW 60v
Li-ion
1.8kWh £1100 24 months 30mph Removable battery
Artisan EV1200R £2195 1.2kW 60v Li-ion 1.2kWh £1830 12 months 30mph Removable battery. £2695 with extra 1.2kWh battery
E Rider Model 30 Moda £2250 (see note) 2.0kW 72v
Li-ion
1.4kWh £1610 24 months 30mph £300 discount Christmas 2017
V-Moto Super Soco TS1200R £2349
OLEV
1.2kW 60v Li-ion 1.6kWh £1470 36 months 28mph New listing July 2017
Juicy Bike Retro Li £2465 3.0kW 60v Li-ion 1.9kWh £1297 12 months 30mph Removable battery
eGen eG3 £3000 3.0kW 60v Li-ion 1.7kWh £1770 24 months 30mph Removable battery. 2.4kWh battery extra £780
SEV eTRICKS Evolution Z01 £3325 2.5kW 48v Li-ion 0.9kWh £3866 24 months 28/38mph Removable battery. Can carry extra 0.9kWh battery
ZRide e-city £3330
OLEV
?? 48-volt Li-ion 1.4kWh £2380 36 months 30mph Removable battery – warranty can be extended for £40/yr
SEV eTRICKS Evolution O01 £3425 2.5kW 48v Li-ion 0.9kWh £3983 24 months 28/38mph Removable battery. Can carry extra 0.9kWh battery
Torrot Muvi £3354
OLEV
2.7kW 48v Li-ion 2.4kWh £1400 36 months 30mph 3kWh battery and 37mph options
SEV eTRICKS Evolution S01 £3575 2.5kW 48v Li-ion 0.9kWh £4133 24 months 28/38mph Removable battery. Can carry extra 0.9kWh batter
eGen SO2 £3744
OLEV
4.0kW 48v Li-ion 2.0kWh £1870 36 months 30mph 4 & 6kWh battery and 50mph options
SEV eTRICKS Evolution R01 £3825 2.5kW 48v Li-ion 0.9kWh £4448 24 months 28/38mph Removable battery. Can carry extra 0.9kWh battery
E Rider
Model 60
£4995 6.0kW 72v Li-ion 4.3kWh £1162 24 months 63mph Out of Stock December 2017
eGen eGX £5040 6.0kWh 80v Li-ion 4.8kWh £1050 24 months 55mph 75mph/8kWh options
eGen eGX £5400 6.0kW 80v Li-ion 4.8kWh £1125 24 months 55/75mph Warranty is extendable. Also 9kW motor, 8kWh battery at £6720
Govecs Go!
S2.6
No list price ?kW Li-ion 4.6kWh ? 24 months 28mph Also T-type aimed at business users
Govecs Go! S3.6 No list price ?kW 72v Li-ion 4.6kWh ? 24 months 50mph Also T-type aimed at business users
KTM ??? TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA Due in 2018 with leased battery
BMW C Evolution £12350
OLEV
35kW Li-ion 8.0kWh £1544 5 years / 50,000 km 75mph Price varies with spec
Zero SR ZF14.4 £14745
OLEV
52kW Li-ion 14.4kWh £1020 5 years 102mph 18kW option
Energica EVA £27999
OLEV
70kW Li-ion? 11.7kWH £2390 36 months 124mph
Energica EGO £27999
OLEV
100kW Li-ion? 11.7kWh £2390 36 months 150mph Also EGO 45, details TBA
Energica Tricolour £32999 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Electric Scooter & Motorbike Manufacturers or primary UK dealers/distributors

Artisan
www.artisanscooters.com
tel: 0800 1588 264
email: via website


BMW
www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk
tel: 0370 5050 160
email: customer.service@bmw.co.uk


eGen
www.egenscooters.com
tel: 0203 700 6728


Energica
www.motocorsa.co.uk
tel: 01747 811196
email: sales@motocorsa.co.uk


E Rider
www.eriderbikes.com
tel: 08450 941529
email: info@eriderbikes.com


Govecs
www.govecs.co.uk
tel: 01707 227928
email: via website


Juicy Bike
www.juicybike.co.uk
tel: 01298 25595
email: uksales@JuicyBike.com


KTM
www.ktm.com
tel: 01208 709500
email: via website


Sev
e-Motion
tel: 01793 251200
mail: email@e-motionevc.co.uk


Super Soco
www.supersoco.co.uk


ZRide
www.zride.co.uk
tel: 01800 228 9996
email: info@zride.co.uk


For more information on buying a petrol or electric moped or scooter, two-wheeler insurance company Bennetts has produced a handy guide

Eco-City

Eco-City electric scooterREVIEW January 2014
Welcome to the Eco-City – the lowest-powered vehicle you can buy in Britain, this side of an electric bicycle. The Eco-City musters just 800 watts, which is less than one of those old one-bar electric fires, let alone e-scooter rivals, most of which offer 1.5-2.0Kw. Performance is so modest that for many cyclists, a pedelec will prove faster away from the lights up to 15mph.

However, the Eco-City has two big advantages over rivals. It’s the cheapest lithium-ion e-scooter on the market, at £1699, though at the time of writing (January 2014) Yamaha is offering a massive £800 cashback deal on its EC-03, making that just £100 more – that isn’t much to pay for the security of such a well known badge and big dealer network. Secondly, the Eco-City has a lift-out battery, with obvious advantages for anyone without a powered-up garage. Only the E-City Emo offers the same feature, and that costs £300 more. Actually, there’s a third reason for buying the Eco-City. A replacement battery costs only £499 (the E-City’s is more than twice as much) with an introductory price of just £200. That’s dirt cheap for a lithium-ion battery, and this one is a reasonable 0.96Kwh capacity.

On the road, the downside of that miniscule motor is pedestrian performance. As mentioned, a keen cyclist or pedelec rider will be quicker from a standing start, and although the Eco-City will wind up to an indicated 25-30mph on the flat, it’s soon knocked back by hills. The same is true of many restricted mopeds (including the petrol ones) but at A to B we’d feel safer on a pedelec, which drivers expect to trundle along at bicycle speeds – the Eco City looks like a full-size petrol scooter.

Like all e-scooters, this one is very easy to ride, with an almost silent motor, backed up by good enough brakes and decent suspension. The small 10-inch wheels tend to react badly to potholes and manhole covers.

Eco-City claims a 30-35-mile range, but like most such claims it’s only on nodding terms with the real world. We managed 18 miles around Swindon, with little life left in the battery by the end. Still, that’s enough for most short commutes and shopping trips that moped-style e-scooters are used for.

Eco-City – The Verdict

While Yamaha is effectively offering its EC-03 for just £1799, that’s the small e-scooter to go for. When that offer expires, then the Eco-City should come into its own, even in Britain’s tiny market for these things. But if you can cope with pedalling and a lower top speed, a good quality pedelec makes more sense than either of them.

Socovel Electric Motorbike

Socovel – first ever electric motorcycle?

Socovel Electric MotorbikeWas the Socovel of 1930s the world’s first electric motorcycle? Probably not, but it was referred to (in faintly dismissive terms) by ‘Nitor’ the pseudonymed columnist of The Motor Cycle in December 1959.

Built in Belgium, the Socovel consisted of a conventional lightweight frame, with three 12-volt batteries (presumably lead-acid) mounted crossways. A 48-volt motor, rated at 2.6hp, was bolted on behind, with power controlled by a twistgrip. It was evidently a success in a small way, with over 1000 made.

The Socovel Road Test

Eager to find out what this was all about, The Motor Cycle imported a Socovel in 1936, and found that it weighed 441lb, nearly half of which was accounted for by the batteries. Performance was less than scintillating, with a cruising speed of 16-20mph. The range proved to be 27.5 miles, though by the end speed had dropped to 10mph or less. As you can imagine, petrolheads at The Motor Cycle weren’t bowled over by any of this, though they were impressed by the Socovel’s hill climbing abilities – it would restart on a 1 in 7 with some wheelspin…

Twenty-odd years later, ‘Nitor,’ writing at a time when men liked nothing more than tinkering with their tappets on a Sunday morning, wasn’t convinced either: ‘It will be a long time yet,’ he opined, ‘before we are robbed of all the fun provided by poppet valves, sparking plugs and chains – and reduced to whiling away maintenance time merely by topping-up some very clever but dull and uninteresting looking fuel cell.’ Ah, how right he was.

Electric Bike Law

Electric Motorbike & Scooter Law

Electric Motorcycle Legality and lawsOnce upon a time, any 17-year-old could ride any powered two-wheeler of unlimited size and performance – now it’s a little more complicated. The law applying to your electric motorbike depends on the maximum speed of the machine, see below for details.

If an electric motorbike is restricted to 15mph, has a motor of 250 watts output or less, and has pedals, it is legally an electric bicycle and can be ridden by anyone aged 14 or over. They require no registration documents, number plates, tax disc or MOT. The rider does not need to be in possession of a licence. These bikes are not listed on this page.

And the excellent news in 2015 is that the UK government has finally agreed to bring electric motorcycles and scooters in line with electric cars, by offering grants. A total of ‘up to’ £7.5 million will be available to give 20% off the purchase price of electric bikes, capped at £1,500 per machine.

 

30mph Electric Motorbikes

If an electric motorbike is restricted to 30mph, the law treats it as a 30mph 50cc petrol scooter. They cannot be ridden on motorways. Riders must wear a helmet and the motorbike needs a registration document, number plate and (once it’s three years old) an MOT. Electric motorbikes must carry a tax disc, but as with all electric vehicles, road tax is free.

If you don’t have a car licence:

Can be ridden by anyone aged at least 16 with a Provisional moped licence and a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) certificate. These riders have to wear L-plates and cannot carry a pillion. To ride without L-plates, they must take a further practical and theory test. CBT costs £70-£100, and includes both off-road and on-road riding and training. The pass certificate is valid for two years, or if you pass the car test in the meantime, lasts forever.

If you do have a car licence:

If your Full car licence was obtained before 1st Dec 2001, you can ride a 30mph electric motorbike without L-plates or a CBT certificate. If it was obtained after 1st Dec 2001, you must have a CBT certificate first.

30mph+ Electric Motorbikes

These are treated as small motorcycles. Full car licence holders can no longer ride any of them without a valid CBT certificate. But with CBT, they can ride for the life of the CBT (two years), with L-plates – no passengers or motorway riding allowed. There is also a power limit of 11Kw/14.6bhp.

All the 30mph+ motorbikes and motorbikes listed on our Electric Motorbike Price Guide come into this category, apart from the Vectrix VX-1 and Zero ranges, plus the Quantya Track (which is off-road only), which exceed the power limit. To ride a Vectrix or Zero, car licence holders (and anyone else) will have to take the motorcycle theory and practical tests.

Elecscoot 4 electric scooter

A to B - Elecscoot 4 Electric ScooterFIRST PUBLISHED March 2010

The Elecscoot is unusual. Most electric scooters, as you can tell from A to B’s listing, are restricted to 30mph. In a way, that makes sense. Most of them are bought for the same sort of trips as a 50cc moped – a few miles into town and back, all within 30mph speed limits.

But some electric scooters do offer higher speeds – 40, 50, even 60+mph – thanks to beefier motors and a bigger bank of batteries. The idea is to offer the same sort of performance as a 125cc petrol scooter so that you won’t feel embarrassed, vulnerable or unsafe on faster roads.

Finished in UK

The Elecscoot 4 is one of these, with a 4Kw motor and claimed top speed of 60mph. Basically Chinese, it’s part-assembled in Co Durham, with the controller and motor designed in Europe – the wiring loom (and I hope you’re sitting down) is actually Made in England! All this UK labour bumps up the price to £4395 (the all-Chinese Emotive 3, which claims similar performance, costs over £1200 less) but Elecscoot says the result is a more reliable, better quality scooter. And it is backed up with a two-year battery warranty.

On the road

It certainly delivers on performance. Once past 15mph, the speedo needle fairly scampers round the dial, up to an indicated 55mph and close to sixty downhill. So it’ll happily keep up with main road (though not motorway) traffic and will filter to the front of a traffic light queue before zipping safely away.

All this performance uses a lot of energy – what about the all-important range? Elecscoot claims just under 60 miles of mixed riding. That should have been enough for 50-odd miles of rural roads and urban photography, and it was. I did switch onto 30mph eco-mode for a while on the way home, when the amps read out erroneously told me the battery was nearly flat. Back in the garage, the scooter took 9 hours to recharge (they claim 4-5 hours) so by then it certainly was.

Verdict

So yes, you can ride an electric scooter at higher speeds and still get home on a single charge. Whether you think that’s worth the purchase price is something else.

www.elecscoot.co.uk

By: Peter Henshaw
Tested: March 2010