An Electric ScooterTour

We’ve been thinking of buying an electric scooter for a while now. But first, we thought it would be smart to rent a couple of them for a day and see what they’re like. It wasn’t cheap (over $50 a day for each) but we thought of it as research.

There’s a lot of this city you can see on a single change. And if you’re the penny pinching sort, a full charge apparently only costs a few cents. So what can you see for a few cents (plus the hefty rental fee)? We hit downtown, The westend, Kits, Mount Pleasant, Commercial, Strathcona, and Gastown.

My scooter’s power started to dwindle a bit near the end, and it did need some extra help getting up the inclines on Quebec street and just off Commercial. We got some odd looks, a few people asked us what we were riding and where we got them, and one kid thought I looked bizarre (seriously, it was just the helmet). All in all though it was a lot of fun. Still not sure about buy them just yet though.

route_2

strathcona_house_01

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china_town_park_03

burrard_bridge_03

5 Comments so far

  1. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

    John: what type of scooter was it? Were these the “electric bicycles” that need no license plate, or true electric scooters with no pedals? What was the top speed? If the route you mapped out there is complete, the range looks pretty limited.

    I’m somewhat interested in these machines, though I’m pretty content with my bicycles.


  2. Man Kong Chan (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 11:19 pm

    Just curious, do you need a class 5 to ride a scooter or electric bike? Any bylaws with these vehicles?


  3. john (unregistered) on July 24th, 2006 @ 11:56 pm

    I can’t remember the make or model, but no you don’t need a licence, or insurance to ride them. They are constructed like scooters–you sit down with your legs in front, but they have pedals. Given that they are as wide as a real scooter and the scooter seat positioning using the pedals was really awkward.

    The range and speed were admittedly disappointing. The top speed was around 35k, but I think they ship with factory installed speed governors–which I am sure are easy to remove.

    For buzzing around local roads they seemed plenty fast. Main roads were bit hair rasing as everyone is going much faster and neither throttle response nor braking nor handling are as resposive as a regular bike–so you couldn’t get out of trouble as quickly. That said I think you’re a lot more visible on them (after all some guy shouted at as about them from across Cordova street).

    The units we rented were 500-watts, and the store manager did warn us that they will slow down on hills. He then told us that he’ll have a shipment of new 1000-watt scooters in this week, and that they would have enough power to ride up main street with no problem.

    The ones we rented retailed for about $800 each. Add recharging cost, and you’ve got yourself a super cheap ride. And if you live in the Westend or anywhere near dowtown, I think they make a lot of sense.


  4. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on July 25th, 2006 @ 12:26 am

    The scooters you rode fell under the “electric-assisted bicycle” regulations in BC, which allow such a vehicle to be operated without license or registration. They have to have pedals and a maximum “assisted” speed on level ground of 32 km/h or so. The more bicycle-shaped versions are probably a better bet.

    Electric scooters that are real scooters are also available: they can go up to 60 km/h, and you only need a regular (class 5) car driving license to operate one. They do need plates and registration, but the insurance is cheap.


  5. Jeffrey (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 11:26 am

    I wanted to tell you about the site of an artist who creates drawings of scooters. His work is really good and reasonably priced! You can read my article about it at my blog, or go directly to his site at http://www.thescooterchronicles.com.

    I found your site by searching for articles about scooters on Technorati



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