Scooters: Gas or Electric?

Gary S. Vasilash

ZEV—as in Z Electric Vehicle—has set a goal of becoming the producer of “The World’s Fastest and Longest Range Electric Scooters.”

So in keeping with that, it was launched the ZEV 10 LRC—as in Long Range Commuter—which, thanks to its 10-kWh lithium battery pack and hub motor (the motor is contained within the rear wheel; the outside of the motor is the tire rim and the axle is fixed as the stator, so the only additional parts are bearings), allows the LRC to travel 140 miles on a single charge.



The scooter also hit 80 mph during testing, which is probably the only time you’d want to hit 80 mph on that or any other scooter.

In addition to which, it was able to operate on an Interstate at 75 mph for 80 miles.

But what about a gasoline-powered scooter? The Honda PCX 150 scooter has a one-cylinder 152.9-cc engine. Its estimated fuel economy is 102 mpg. So given its 1.6-gallon tank, it has a range of 163.2 miles.

2013 HONDA PCX150

Honda PCX 150

While the top speed of scooters isn’t noted by Honda, in 2009 Consumer Reports did a review of some scooters, and the top speed in the 125-150 cc category was 57 mph.

Clearly, the 10 LRC has the speed advantage. But not so much when it comes to range.

A question that arises, however, is whether there is sufficient competitive advantage for the EV compared to a gas-powered scooter to make the EV scooters more mainstream.

2013 Honda PCX150