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Peugeot’s incredibly frugal electric E-Vivacity scooter

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January 25, 2010

Peugeot E-Vivacity electric scooter has a 4kW engine equal to that of a 50cc scooter, but ...

Peugeot E-Vivacity electric scooter has a 4kW engine equal to that of a 50cc scooter, but its running costs will be one tenth as much - roughly EUR 0.4 per 100 km. So if you cover 4,000 kms annually, running costs will be EUR 16 (US$22.67)

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Peugeot mass produced the first electric scooter 15 years ago and it’s just about to launch another. Way back in 1996, the 40 km range of the Peugeot Scoot'Elec produced a chorus of yawns but when the new E-Vivacity hits showrooms late this year, it will be greeted by a much wiser and ecologically-aware public. Emissions aside, the biggest motivating factor behind the E-Vivacity’s likely sales success will be its remarkably low cost of use. Though its 4kW engine is the equal of a frugal 50cc scooter, its running costs will be one tenth as it recharges from a domestic powerpoint at regular tarrifs. In Paris where its 100 km range will be more than adequate, that will equate to EUR 0.4 (about US$0.56) per 100 km. So if you cover the yearly average scooter distance of 4,000 kms, total running costs will be EUR 16 (US$22.67)!

Way back in 1996, the 40 km range of the Peugeot Scoot'Elec produced a chorus of yawns with its 40 km range but when the new E-Vivacity hits showrooms late this year, it will be entering into a far more ecologically-aware marketplace.

Though it was marketed for a decade, being finally withdrawn from sale in 2006, it only ever sold 3500 units. Our guess is it will sell many more E-Vivacitys each year than that with such outstanding cost effectiveness available. Already Peugeot is receiving enormous interest from local authorities and public services interested in establishing urban fleets of clean vehicles.

Unlike the Scoot'Elec of 1996 which used nickel cadmium batteries for its 40 km operating range, the E-Vivacity uses a Lithium Ion Cobalt battery, for an operating range of 80 km to 100 km on the road, depending on the type of use.

located underneath the storage space, leaving the storage space completely free to store a scooter lock and a helmet! The Lithium Ion Cobalt battery has many advantages: it allows a minimum of 1,000 intensive charging/discharging cycles without any harm and without a memory effect, meaning it can cover over 40,000 km under normal usage.

The Battery Management System monitors the charge and the temperature of the different elements, ensures the safety of the system, manages battery life and a full charge takes around four hours at a 230 V - 16 A domestic socket using the bike’s on-board charger and charging cable which reside beneath the seat.

While a complete charge from empty takes four hours, the first two hours recover 80% of total battery capacity, while the last two hours are used to level out the monoblocs. The sophistication of the electronic management helps to optimise the energy output and life of the batteries.

Technical information

Engine : "brushless" synchronous electric motor with permanent magnets, air-cooled Fuel : Lithium ion Cobalt battery (approx. 25kg) Modes : economical - 45km/h – reverse Charging time : rechargeable in 4 hours On-board capacity : 2.9 kWh Max. power : 4kW Clutch : direct drive electric motor Transmission : notched belt Frame : steel double cradle Front suspension : ø 32 mm telescopic fork Rear suspension : adjustable single shock absorber Front brake: ø 200 mm disk Rear brake: ø 190 mm disk Front/rear tyres: 120/70 - 12 Dimension Lxwxh: 1910 x 680 x 1168 mm Seat height: 786 mm Dry weight: 115 kg

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9 Comments

Yes, the apparently remarkable low cost of running an electric vehicle is impressive on the surface, but the author has overlooked a key cost component - the very expensive batteries that need to be replaced eventually. The lithium ion batteries cost hundreds of dollars and need to be replaced, as you say, after about 40,000km. This may equate to around 5-10 years depending on your typical milage.

To gain a truer cost per km, you need to add the recharging cost to the battery replacement cost to get a total cost.

Then there is the higher cost of purchase for an electric vehicle in the first place - typically around 20-30%.

In all, this puts the financial side of things not in your favour compared to buying/running a normal petrol powered vehicle.

I would really love to own an electric vehicle, but from my research, I just can't justify the higher total cost of ownership.

TNS
25th January, 2010 @ 03:56 am PST

Well, TNS, I have similar concerns. I'm a scooter owner with about 10,000 miles on my 50cc scoot and it's time for an engine rebuild, at a cost of about U.S.$500.

Now, if the lithium-ion batteries have to be replaced every 25,000 miles, that's about 2.5 petro-engine rebuilds at a cost of US$1,250 . Add to that the cost difference in electric vs. gasoline and oil change/labor and you have a better cost to compare.

I doubt that it would cost over US$1500 to replace batteries and service a low-maintenance electric motor. I may be wrong, but also note that the cost (and weight) of lithium-ion batteries are coming down -- and the cost of petrol can only go up.

Photon
25th January, 2010 @ 05:06 pm PST

Pointless-why not just ride a bicycle!Electricity is in all probability not going to be green.95% plus of electricity is not green!You miss out on a work out and it costs much more than a bicycle.All because people are too lazy to turn the pedals around.And it's less safer than a bike because it accelerates too quickly,because it has no gears...100% of the power is available immediatley once you turn the throttle.

Ozzietech
25th January, 2010 @ 10:18 pm PST

Interesting point Photon about the engine rebuild. I too am a scooter owner (Aprilia SR50) and did not realise that at around 10,000 miles I would be facing an engine rebuild. Mental note: sell scooter at 9,000 miles :-)

Of course an engine rebuild cost is just as valid for an electric engine too. I do not know how long electric engines last for - maybe less miles - and do not know how much an electric engine rebuild would cost - maybe more !!

I do recall reading recently that the costs of lithium batteries have not actually come down that much. Something like $750 per kWh in 2000 to $650 per kWh in 2009.

Anyway lead carbon batteries seem like they will make lithium ion technology obsolete soon anyway. Similar attributes, half the price apparently.

That said, it is a little hard to determine fact from marketing projection in the battery industry.

TNS
26th January, 2010 @ 03:01 am PST

This looks like a promising device for urban dwellers. Anyone know what the the sticker price is expected to be?

Moshe Feder
27th January, 2010 @ 04:24 am PST

Does anyone know what scooter will cost as compare to a conventional gas scooter?

rew999
27th January, 2010 @ 05:45 am PST

Generally, electric motors don't need rebuilt, especially synchronous motors. The only wear item is the bearings. Sure you can fry the motor by overworking it, but that would be bad design on the part of the manufacturer. And a 4KW motor for a scooter is quite a lot, since most are 1KW or less. No, I wouldn't expect really to have any maintenance on a electric scooter. With regenerative braking, you probably won't even have to replace the brake pads for the life of the scooter. So unlike a gas scooter, the only additional cost is likely to be the accessories you buy to add to it. Although no salesman would ever tell you of the future costs of maintaining a gas scooter, a good one might tell you how much you won't spend on an electric.

Eletruk
27th January, 2010 @ 01:50 pm PST

Here is one pricing comparison against the scooter that I currently own:

Aprilia SR50 Ditech Factory

Price: £1,965 OTR (http://www.maxmoto.co.uk/new_scooters.shtml)

Top speed: 55 mph (from experience)

Fuel consumption: 2L/100km or 120 mpg (claimed, and also from experience)

Annual fuel cost for 4,000km @ £1.10/L (in England): £88

Range: 210 miles ( 30 miles with reserve tank)

Service interval: 7,500 miles (so not sure I will need a rebuild at 10,000 miles??)

Electricycle City 4.oL (also has a 4kW engine, same as the E-Vivacity)

Price: £3,995 (http://www.ecitywheels.com/GB/Electricycles/CityMax.html)

Top speed: 55 mph (same as my SR50)

Annual electricity cost for 4,000km from article: £14

Range: 80 miles

Alternatively the Electricycle City 4.oL is available with a smaller battery pack for £3,295 (save £700), but this reduces the range to just 50 miles!

For me, the annual electricity/fuel cost saving of £88 - £14 = £74/year is hardly worth the extra £2,000 upfront cost with one third the range too.

Certainly, there are other electric scooters out there that are cheaper, and there are also other petrol scooters cheaper (down to ~£1,000).

In this example I tried to find an electric scooter with similar power, top speed, and range to my SR50 as a suitable alternative for comparison.

I don't think that there is a clear financial benefit overall to owning an electric scooter, if anything, the advantage lies with my SR50.

TNS
28th January, 2010 @ 04:55 am PST

the Electric Revolution has only just arrived,,,,, give it a couple of years and battery technology will bring the price down and extend the range and the price of petrol is still going up !

robinyatesuk2003
18th February, 2010 @ 05:17 am PST
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