Could Wheels 2 Work South West go Electric?
Well, taking the Super Soco TC Max and CPX electric powered motorcycles out for various ride outs certainly turned some heads. Everywhere we stopped, “excuse me, is that electric?” and ‘what’s it like’ and of course the most asked question is ‘how long does the battery last?’ I suppose people are getting used to seeing electric cars but electric motorbikes and scooters are much rarer and as such haven’t been in the public eye as much.
The CPX scooter variant allows capacity for two batteries and with our countryside range of around 30 miles reliably on one battery, you can see how the second battery may well be needed for most riders. That’s not to say that one battery wouldn’t be the perfect scooter for someone commuting locally. With a charge time of 3.5 hours it was ready for use in a relatively short time, certainly within most riders work schedule.
The TC Max is another breed, nippy acceleration and easy to maneuver, it’s got a light feel and handles remarkably well. It tops out at around 60mph with a stable 50-55mph on the flat, we even managed the odd overtake. The brakes are good but when you’re used to riding geared bikes, you do find yourself looking for the footbrake. Both front and rear brakes are on the bars and the rear is linked to the front giving a stable feel under braking.
Both bikes have a three stage power mode which is controlled on the right hand with a simple slide switch. It’s best to use this to get the most out of the battery. The first power mode allows you to travel through town without the risk of speeding, use the 2nd power mode in a 40mph limit and on the open road you flick it into full power and off you go. It’s really simple and easy to use and in no time it becomes second nature.
On a test ride with a Wheels 2 Work beneficiary, we were zipping down a series of country lanes and came across two horses pulling a cart, how novel it was to accelerate away once they had passed, knowing our silent electric motors wouldn’t spook them.
One thing we noticed was how people who wouldn’t have considered a traditional motorbike or scooter were suddenly considering smaller electric motorcycles as a mobility option for local town/city transport. We were approached by an older lady who thought the electric scooter would be ideal to get her back up the hill to her house.
We have had the electric bikes for a couple of weeks now and to be honest they are our first choice for various short trips to deliver parcels or pick up other items from town, it’s just so easy. We don’t really want to give them back!
So could Wheels 2 Work become electric? Well we’ve committed to converting 25% of our fleet to electric over the next three years so the answer to that is a big yes! These models come in under £5,000 each so although more expensive than our current PTW options, they are much more affordable than the Zero models we have looked at previously. We’re keen to see what else is out there, so watch this space…
Many thanks to the team at V-Moto for letting us test these bikes, it’s been a real eye opener.