It may be light but don't call Xkuty a pedelec
Weighing in as it does at a mere 45 kg (99 lb), it's tempting to categorize the Xkuty as an electric bicycle. There's a small problem with doing so, though. It doesn't have any pedals. Needless to say, its designers from Spain bill this as a feature (thanks to the lack of chain), though it does leave little room for debate: the Xkuty is a scooter, albeit a remarkably lightweight one.
As well as the weight, the creators of the Xkuty are keen to stress its ease of use. The Xkuty ships without an instruction manual, the advertising boasts, needing the press of a single button on the right handlebar to start up. It's quiet, too, emitting an average of just 5 dB if the claims are accurate.
The Xkuty boasts a 1500-W motor granting a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). This is powered by dual lithium batteries with a combined storage of 17-Ah, apparently good for a range of 50 km (or 31 miles). Recharging takes two hours at a cost of 50 euro cents via one's domestic electrical supply. Such figures make for competitive running costs, though the makers of the Xkuty point out that one is likely to have to replaced the battery every couple of years if used regularly.
A nice touch is a smartphone docking station. According to autoevolution, when connected, an iPhone or Android handset doubles as a dashboard display, providing the rider with speed and charge information.
Although pictured in the white and lime livery that is fast become the fashion for electric vehicles, it seems would-be owners will be able to configure the color of the bike's chassis, saddle and handlebar grips.
The designers of the Xkuty claim to have whittled away at construction costs in order to bring down the end price for the consumer comparable with that of a common or garden two-stroke scooter. A post on the Xkuty blog puts the target retail price at €2,314 (US$3,138 – a conversion which suffers somewhat from the strong Euro at the moment). Launch dates aren't clear at this point, though the Xkuty blog states that those that pre-order will find a helmet and first year's insurance thrown into the bargain.
The Xkuty is "demonstrated" in the tongue-in-cheek tutorial video below.
Sources: Xkuty, autoevolution
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I've run into pedestrians this way when they've stepped out, lemming fashion, in front of my bicycle. One of whom stood up and told me that I had broken his leg!
There is a massive mama and papa run industry that has sprouted out of nowhere (no doubt to do with high price of petrol), to maintain these things. Anything from running gear, to battery maintenance to replacement/retreading of tyres. There are as many side of the road scooter maintenance and battery exchange/refurbishment joints as there are restaurants.
You can buy electric scooters from their equivalent wallmart and walk away with a top of the range scooter model good for 60km and 62mph rating for around $US3,500. Or half that much for a scooter that has half the range and top speed for round town. By the look of things this has been going on for a number of years because there are a lot of really used looking scooters around the place. And they aren't toys. Locals have peaked to the benefit of the torque from the electrics. Scooters are used to carry all manner of unwieldy items and sacs of various food stuffs.
My point is its been done, so why are other countries taking so long to get an affordable electric product for the people?