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Written by Ant Stead    Wednesday, 21 January 2009 11:10     E-mail
EVT 168
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A scooter that uses no petrol, runs virtually silent and can kill you with a bolt of pure lightning... like some sort of ninja, wizard camel that comes to kill you in the dead of night... This I have to ride!

Ok I made up the lightning business but I did eventually get the chance to spend a few days riding the EVT electric scooter, and I my first impressions are good, it’s like no scooter I have ever ridden before. The first thing that got me is there is no start button or kick start. Put the key in and turn it one click to the right, nothing happens - there is no idle - but she's ready to go. Then turn the throttle and silently move off down the road.  It looks just like a normal scooter, there are brakes, wheels, everything seems to be where it should be, I don't have to spend hours learning to ride it. In fact, it’s hard to tell any difference… Well the exhaust pipe is missing but not too many riders will miss that. The model tested is designed to compete within the 50cc scooter market. It produces 2kw just like most of the 50cc models but the EVT does this with zero emissions (near the rider) via a series of four sealed lead-acid batteries mounted under the seat.

The scooter is almost silent, the only sound is a quiet electric whirrr when you get up some speed, but the noise of the wind is about the same volume. The actual motor is mounted inside the rear wheel. This placement leaves enough space under the seat for the batteries, but there are so many that all the under seat storage is used. Thankfully a rear box is available (although at an extra cost) for your helmet and other storage needs. Also included hidden away under the seat is the charging unit, including (of course) a small power cable to plug into any standard electrical outlet you can find.

So this electric scooter is almost silent and you'll never need to visit a gas station again, so is it all roses?  Well not completely; the first problem is that all those batteries are filled with lead - not the lightest of elements, so the complete bike weighs in at a 128kg. This is pretty hefty when compared to something like, say Piaggio’s Zip which is a only 89kgs. But, does that mean that all the power is sucked away hauling its self along? Well, yes...no...sort of, kinda....

I compared many of the 50cc petrol powered scooters reviewed on this site to the EVT to see how it’s performance compared on the 0-50 test. Its not the slowest, the Piaggio Zip the 0-50 dash (crawl) in 19.9sec, the EVT was marginally better than that - It managed 16.4sec to 50kph. It’s actually pretty good for a something that weighs almost 130kgs!  But it certainly is not a speed demon. The fastest 50cc we've currently tested is the 2008 Yamaha Jog, which set the bar at a speedy (and very useful) 8.7 seconds.

The electric scooter cruises along the flats at around 55kph, and will hit 60kph+ on even the slightest downhill. When it encounters hills however things slow down a bit, again compared with other available 50cc machines it is unfortunately at the slow end of the field.

An important aspect of an electric scooter, and one of the first questions anybody asks is range i.e. how far can it go on a charge. Now of course this isn't a easy question to answer, due to all the different variables, terrain, speed, wind, weight of rider..etc..etc.. But the most important question that people should be asking is: How many miles/kilometres do I travel in a day? The answer to that question for most people on a small 50cc bike is in the range of 10-20kms a day i.e. from home to work in the morning and  home from work in the evening. The EVT electric scooter will work perfectly in this situation because it can do up to 40kms on a single charge. Of course if you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger or your diet consists of large buckets of fried chicken and donuts then things may change a little.

How does the charging process work? Well, it’s all pretty easy really, pull into your garage at home, pop the seat and plug the scooter in to the wall. Next morning it’s charged.  The actual quoted specs are three hours to 85 per cent and 5 hours for full charge.

While most aspects of the bike are pretty much the same as a petrol powered scooter there are some subtle differences. One is the driveline; there is no CVT, therefore when then the bike isn't being given power (basically in neutral) there is absolutely no drag, no belts, no gears or cogs. You have to change your riding style to make the most of this; otherwise you end up wasting power and use the brakes too much. As you crest a hill, you can release the throttle and is rolls along like a pedal powered bike, slowly getting faster… yes faster as it is effectively freewheeling and being powered by gravity… hows that for carbon neutral? Gravity powered scooter haha. Its very weird to be rolling down the street on a scooter that feels like it isn’t even running.

The other subtle difference is the balance of the electric scooter. Its much heavier in the rear than the front, due to the batteries, on the model tested there was a rear disk brake fitted but not a front one.

Overall the EVT would be a useful transport device for anyone, especially a lighter person who’s daily commute was relatively short… and preferably quite flat. If you live in an apartment in the city and work nearby this would be perfect. In fact in quite a few Asian cities the electric machines find favour because they can be ridden… or at least parked inside and there are no emissions of any sort. There are only two really annoying aspects to the machine, one is the lack of storage but this is at least partially solved by the top box. The other is the very irritating BEEP BEEP BEEP The entire time.

This infernal beeping is warning you that you are overloading the electric motors, it happens frequently when at “full noise” or on hills and is a warning to reduce power, if you don’t pay attention to this warning you can overheat and damage the electric motor. Essentially you can’t give full throttle on hills etc… there is sound reasoning for this and wringing the throttle doesn’t actually make the bike go faster in these circumstances but it is a strange process and feels wrong after riding regular machines where more wrist = more speed. There is also that little advantage whereby it is virtually free to run… oh and if you are the sneaky type you can have a lot of fun with the silent running… just watch out for pedestrians they don’t hear you coming and tend to step out into the street as you are about to hit them.

PriceNZ $3,495 USA $2,899, UK £1,850
0-50km/h16.4 Seconds
Top Speed50kph (30MPH)
Lap Time---
Fuel Economy 40km per charge
Speedo Accuracy

50kph displayed = 48kph actual


Cost;Under 1c per km to run, Quiet, Green

Cons:Slow, Quiet, Limited Storage

Value for money
Ease of use
Build quality

Overall Score


Manufacturer Specifications

Max power at shaft 2kw
Max torque---
Engine Type48 volt brushless electric hub motor
Cylinder Capacity---
Seat height---
Dry weight 128kg
Kerb weight ---
Fuel tank capacityNA
Transmission“Twist and Go” Automatic Transmission (CVT)
Storage volume---
Bore X stroke---
Compression ratio---
Front suspension---
Rear suspension---
Front brakeDrum
Rear brakeDisc
Front wheel/tyre3.0 - 10"
Rear wheel/tyre3.0 - 10"
Length1652 mm
Width830 mm
Max speed (km/hr) ---
Type approval---
Consumption (ECE applicable text cycle)---
Consumption @km/h - km/l---
Audible Indicatorno
Full helmet storageno
Glove boxno
Fuel Guagecharge gauge
Trip Meterno
Seat release (via remote control)no
Seat release (remote, ignition/switch) no
Comments (1)add
written by viking , November 23, 2009
Hi, good write up, but you have a few bad facts "Engine Type 48 volt brushless electric hub motor" Sorry, it is a brush motor, and you need to clean the carbon out about every 2500km's.
"The other is the very irritating BEEP BEEP BEEP The entire time" This can be by past by using the power buttom on hills and overtaking, and range on 1 fully charge battery on flat ground without the power buttom is over 50km's with 100kg rider.
The only thing I have done to my 3.5year old one is replace the front forks with with a disk brake. I have 2 new sets of LiFePO4, 48v x 20 amp batteries waiting to replace the lead ones when they die.
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Last Updated ( Friday, 23 January 2009 10:58 )


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