Scooter life?

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maxdunn
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Scooter life?

Does anyone have any idea on how long electric scooters should last? I am trying to do a ROI calculation for electric scooters and this is an important number.

One person said that he hasn't seen any regular motorcycles advertised that have over 30,000 miles, so he thinks that is probably the upper limit. I have also seen some posts that suggest that the Chinese scooters might not last as long as Japanese motorcycles since they don't have a plastic coating on the exposed metal parts.

So if anyone has any experience with how long scooters should last (in years and/or miles), I would appreciate hearing about it.

--Max

PJD
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Re: Scooter life?

I think the low mileage on motorcycles generally reflects the light,seasonal usage by their owners rather than some kind of life limit. Replace parts as they wear out and the cycle could be kept running indefinitely. In the case of brushless hub-motor scooters, there is nothing to wear out except batteries, tires, brake parts, bearings, and light bulbs, maybe suspension parts, which are all replaced as part of normal maintenance. They certainly shouldn't "fall apart" at 30,000 miles - although the owner may tire of more frequent repairs and want to replace it.

A certain amount of mechanical/electrical knowledge and abilities and good tool box is strongly recommended for any e-scooter owner at this point, the possible exception being the $11,000 Vectrix.

Your analysis seems to be optimistic for the scooter - particularly the battery replacement frequency. (7000 miles is probably closer) and the pack purchase price is closer to $450. The car costs seem about right (Std gov. rate is 46.5 cents).

BUT, the biggest flaw in your analysis is the alternatives you are comparing. You are comparing e-scooter costs to a automobile. The proper comparison would be with a conventional gasoline scooter. Based on that, it will be a tougher sell for sure. The primary motivation for e-scooter ownership has to be reducing your personal carbon emissions, and as a tool for making people aware of non-polluting alternatives, rather than saving money.

We discussed this issue a while back here:

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/1509

maxdunn
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Re: Scooter life?

PJD: I appreciate the information, especially about the battery life. I was using the theoretical figures of 30 miles range and 400 deep-charge cycles, but your figures are probably more realistic.

The reason I am comparing it to a car is that my goal is to avoid driving my gas-hog as much as possible. So for me, putting miles on my electric scooter are miles that I am not putting on my car.

Thanks again for your feedback!

kringle777
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Re: Scooter life?

Max,
Very nice presentation, I must admit. It's concise and well thought out. I should print it out for my wife, she'd be interested in the numbers.

A couple of things:
These days, I would think that you'd be extremely lucky to get $10000 for a 7 year old car (average 15K/year miles) with 100K miles. Maybe that number should be a little lower.

As PJD said, maybe a gas scooter would be the proper comparison. If you did that, I don't think the numbers would be bad for the electric at all. Gas scooters and motorcycles suffer enormous wear and tear from the stress on the small engine. They require more frequent tuneups and repairs because of it. Because there are so few cycle shops and mechanics compared to cars, the costs are high for both parts and labor. Not everybody would work on their cycles themselves.

And lastly, it's funny that you have to justify owning an environmentally clean electric scooter with low operational costs. Or figure out a return on your "investment". Nobody ever justifies owning their car like that. To them, it's a necessity, like a house. Almost all of us in the cities would do just fine on mass transit if cars weren't around. It'd be a lot cheaper. But nobody wants to get up an hour earlier to be at the bus stop and they want to be able to do their errands as they please, and pick up the kids, and go to Starbucks, yadda yadda. We really are a disgustingly self-serving pompous society. No wonder the rest of the world can't stand us.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Thanks.

kringle777
Red XM-2000
Moss Green "Charger" ebike
Sacramento, CA

kringle777
Red XM-2000
Moss Green "Charger" ebike
Sacramento, CA

andrew
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Re: Scooter life?

maxdunn,
You can compare a gas scooter to a car. I'm sure it would be a lot cheaper, and it would also be cheaper than an e-scooter. If you are buying an e-scooter with the expectation that its going to be cheap you probably should reconsider and buy a gas scooter.

These e-scooters like any EVs can't compete with ICE vehicles in terms of expense, support infrastructure, recharging, range, ect. Basically, there is no advantage to yourself that you can reasonably quantify.

Add to that the fact that most e-scooters now available are probably not built to a reasonable level of quality. Without economies of scale the companies making them just don't have enough money to do enough testing, and they can't put high quality components on while charging a low enough price. Additionally most don't even have some components that they really need like battery balancing.

Personally, I don't think its about any kind of savings to myself. I just feel like I'm wasting resources every day, and I feel bad about it. I'm not out to save the world either, and I'm sure my decision to get an e-scooter will make such a Infinitesimally small impact. But I'm wasting resources and generating pollution I don't have to be, and for virtually no reasonable improvement in quality of life. I feel like another joe shmoe that the planet would be better off without. I don't think its about saving me money, or perhaps not even peace of mind since I know I'm not doing much on a large scale. I think its about me, and looking at what I'm doing objectively from a third perspective. I see myself as another idiot of billions on a small planet doing the same darn things for the same stupid reasons. I want to be one of the few with some sense to do something different.

"The voice of the crowd is madness." -[Can someone remember who this quote is by?]

---
Avatar taken from http://www.electricmotorbike.org/
My KZ750 Project: here

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

Ben
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Re: Scooter life?

If you are to compare electric scooters to IC scooters, be sure to factor in an engine rebuild at about 20,000 kilometers (about 12,000 miles). This is taken from manufacturers handbook recommendation, 2 stroke motor. Most likely need to factor clutch too. chain... Let's not forget the carby, spark plug. You get the picture. Well a lot of this will be keep in reasonable order with correct regular servicing, but it will cost. The rest of the IC scooter will have suffered more vibration effects as will the rider.. Although sometimes this does feel like a nice relaxing massage :)

Battery prices are dropping fast for lithium, so you can expect these to add a lot of extra time before replacement is required. Not to mention range.

The rest of the bikes are similar re wear and tear.

E-scooter improvements are coming at a rapid rate which in turn will make them even more competitive and vectrix certainly wont be the only supported option.

As to the quality of most e-scooters being somehow inferior to IC scooters.. I don't think so. There are a whole bunch (as in most for now) of them that are the same base bike. And the are certainly manufacturers that seek out very good quality components. Eg, shocks from the same factories as Yamaha uses.

Ben

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