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Electric scooter to Zapp e-bike market

UK start-up Zapp’s 587Nm e-scooter muscles into the two-wheel market

General News logo1 Nov 2018

A BRITISH technology start-up is preparing to do a Tesla on the scooter market with an all-electric two-wheeler with a claimed 587Nm of torque at the back wheel – more than many high-performance petrol sportscars.
 
Zapp Scooter says its i300 e-scooter can dash from zero to 30 miles per hour (48km/h) in just 2.4 seconds, and on to 45mph (72km/h) in 4.1s, making it ideal for the traffic light drag race.
 
The company claims its scooter – on sale in the United Kingdom now with deliveries starting in the first half of 2019 – has two removable 48-volt lithium-ion batteries with a combined capacity of 2.5kWh for a maximum range of 60km in Eco mode when regenerative braking is engaged. Maximum speed is limited to 60mph (96.5km/h).
 
The electric motor that drives the rear wheel via a carbon-fibre belt produces just 14kW of power, but like many other electric vehicles, the torque is where all the performance is generated in the i300’s “Zapp mode” – the scooter equivalent of Tesla’s Ludicrous mode.
 
Other features of the Zapp i300 read like a sports bike sheet: upside-down front forks, single rear swing arm with single direct-link spring strut, 250mm ventilated front disc brake with four-piston calliper and ABS and a light-weight aluminium exoskeleton frame.
 
The cast-alloy wheels are 14 inches, with a fat, low-profile 140/60 tyre at the back to put all that torque to the tarmac. The scooter sits on a long wheelbase of 1387mm to help cope with the swift acceleration and to deliver sporty handling.
 
All up, the i300 weights 90kg, and can carry two passengers with a combined weight of 150kg.
 
The two batteries that slot into the enclosed frame can be removed to be charged at any power socket in three hours – handy for those people who live in an apartment block or work in a high-rise office tower.
 
Zapp was founded by Thai national Swin Chatsuwan, an investment banker who also helped to launch Paragon Partners, an international venture capitalist company.
 
Mr Chatsuwan – CEO of Zapp – says he founded the company because of his interest in motorcycles, describing himself as a “serial owner of some of the world’s greatest performance bikes”.
 
Zapp engaged a team of experienced automotive designers and engineers to develop the i300 “without being burdened by existing prejudices about electric scooters in the industry”.
 
“There is nothing like the Zapp i300, either from a design or functionality and practicality perspective,” Mr Chatsuwan said. “We are very proud of what we have created and think commuters will like it as well.”
 
The i300 can be ordered online in the UK for £5250 ($A6732) rideaway, with deliveries expected to start in the second quarter of 2019.
 
The company plans to focus on the UK and Europe initially, with the rest of the world to follow.

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