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Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 05:32 PM   #1
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Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

I'm moving to a new apartment that is about 2 miles from the office. The route to the office has sidewalks and no major highways to cross so it is relatively safe for pedestrians. I have been toying with the idea of buying an electric scooter for my daily commute. From a practical point of view, this would reduce wear on the car as well as gas expenses. From an idealistic point of view, I'd like to be responsible for one less car sitting in traffic and less pollution. Overall this will not have much of an impact, but it is a start (plus I could charge up the scooter at work, let them pay the electricity bill heh heh).

Has anyone done this? Would you recommend it? Any particular models of scooters that are not too expensive (under $500) but still well-built and reliable?

Obviously, this would be subject to the weather, but I still have a car for days where it is excessively hot/cold or rainy, or for trips to the grocery store and other things where I need a "real" vehicle.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 05:35 PM   #2
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

What about a pedal bike? Get a bit of a work out - lower cost to operate
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Re: 2 mile commute: realistic to get an electric scooter?
Old 07-27-2006, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: 2 mile commute: realistic to get an electric scooter?

Check your local regs. Some scooters have requirements like a drivers license, helmets, liability insurance, plates, etc. It can be a pain in the butt.

Realistically, for a 2 mile trip, wouldnt you be better off with a bicycle, an electric bike, an electric moped or even one of those high end electric 'skateboards' with a handle?

I had an electric bicycle for a while, it was a good toy and didnt give me much trouble. Many can be had for well under $500 and have removable battery packs you can carry inside for charging.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 05:38 PM   #4
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

It seems like the best way to get to work would be to walk.

I know that is heresy to most Americans. However you'll enjoy the world around you more, have time for yourself to think, and get some exercise along the way.

What could be better !
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 05:49 PM   #5
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

My father used his scooter chair on the city sidewalk all the time - shopping, doctor's visits and to people watch. *I thought it was great! *He wasn't handicapped in the traditional sense, but his driver's licence was yanked by Mom. *You can find that type of used scooters on Craigslist. *Take a couple for a spin, like cars differ in 'fit' and power. *Look for a basket to carry whatever.

In DT Seattle I saw a Segway in use. *The power version of the kid scooter might not have enough power. *

My only concern is the check your city ordances and consider where you would park your vehicle.

The little motor scooters, like the small Vesba, and power assist bikes are street vehicles.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 08:01 PM   #6
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

are your legs broken or cut off? two miles is an awfully short walk and an even shorter bike ride for people with operable legs.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 08:02 PM   #7
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

I think there's some confusion regarding the device I'm talking about. This is what I have in mind:

http://www.goped.com/Products/ESRSport/default.asp

It's small enough to avoid the need for insurance or a license plate and isn't street legal, so I would drive it on the sidewalks.

The area is too hot to make walking/bicycling an option because I have to dress up for work. But I think if I just stood on a scooter and didn't do any physical work, I wouldn't get sweaty.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 08:18 PM   #8
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

I think that the only powered vehicle that should be allowed on sidewalks is an electric wheelchair. IMO bicycles don't belong on sidewalks either.

Mothers are pushing prams, old folks are struggling along with walkers or canes, they donít need to worry about wheeled vehicles. Skateboards are bad enough, but at least they are noisy, and the kids are usually very good riders.

Some moron almost ran over me a couple times flying along on his bike about 12:30 AM on the sidewalk. Next time I was ready for him with a golf club. No altercation, but he got the picture.

Sidewalks are for walking- that is why they are called sidewalks.

Ha
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 08:39 PM   #9
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

Yeah, thats a skateboard with a handle. Scooters are a lot bigger.

Like this



You may find that its illegal to ride that device on many municipal sidewalks. Check your local laws.

You'd probably get away with it 99% of the time, but sooner or later you're either going to get a ticket from someone without enough to do, or someone else on the sidewalk will give you a shove...
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

I have never ridden an electric bicycle, but I visited a neat store in Austin, TX that carried several models and was pretty impressed with how they managed to keep them looking like bicycles and not like scooters.
Aha, found them on the web:

http://www.alienscooters.com/bikes.html

I would've loved one of those back in school when I lived 5 miles from campus.

Can't say the go-ped appeals to me much - but then I never got into skateboards either.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-27-2006, 11:05 PM   #11
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

As a kid who grew up in the late 50's a Vespa is the MG of scooters.* I saw a cute lime green one for sale in Pearl District of Portland last week,* DH needed to drag me off.. "You'll kill yourself!"* Maybe, but what a way to go.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 04:59 AM   #12
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

I think it'll work if it looks more like a bike than a scooter. If you see a cop, just start pedaling a bit. Plus, if you get a ticket, just chalk it up against your savings..

Plus it depends on the kind of 'sidewalk'.. a lot of American cities have miles of sidewalks where no one really spends any time walking, along highways and huge mega-buildings. Just be courteous if you do encounter others.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 07:31 AM   #13
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex
are your legs broken or cut off? two miles is an awfully short walk and an even shorter bike ride for people with operable legs.
Screw it Soupxon, buy the bike. Two miles is a nice walk but doing it every day in the hot summer, coming in to work sweating bullets -- yuck. When I was a suit, even a bike wasn't a reasonable answer - you would need a shower and a whole darn wardrobe at work. Better to ride your skate board and excercise after work. The fitness complainers here are all ERd - ignore em
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 08:10 AM   #14
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

I think your idea is great soup.

I live two miles from work. Except in the dead of winter I usually walk. But it has been two hot for the past couple of weeks.

During the winter or bad weather the DH drives me to work.

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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 08:15 AM   #15
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha

During the winter or bad weather the DH drives me to work.
...and the rest of the time he drives you to drink?

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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 08:19 AM   #16
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 09:39 AM   #17
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

Its hardly worth driving to drink, its a short walk.

Yep, some of the elecbikes are hard to tell from the real thing, at least the non el cheapo ones.

The cops around here and some other parts use the ZAP bikes. Even Mercedes made one and it was something in its day but a bit dated in technology now. Heinzmann makes some really nice looking ones. Giant Lafree always tops the ratings.

Mine was just a super duty fold up military bike with a battery pack and a motor splined into the rear hub of the bike. Lead acid batteries. Weighed a lot. But my house was built in a very hilly area so the first mile in/out was almost impossible for a normal person to pedal through. Once I got out of that area, it was a little easier to pedal around. Motor had some heat problems, so I stuck a gigantic CPU heat sink on it. It was pretty obvious I wasnt running around on a regular bike at that point

When I was done fooling around with it, I stripped off the motor, batteries and throttle and my dads used it as a regular bike for the last 5 years.

Some are 'pedelecs' which means you have to pedal at least a little and the motor kicks in to help. Some (like mine) just have a throttle. I could get up to 15mph and go about 16-18 miles on a charge, even with the nasty hills.

In CA, up to 1000watts doesnt require any drivers license, registration, insurance or anything else. Just a helmet, and you cant operate it in some places, like non-motorized bike paths and whatnot. At least thats what the law was when I was using mine.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

Here is a great link about this subject (electric scooters, bikes and the like): http://www.electric-bikes.com/levs/index.html
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 02:19 PM   #19
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

Any solar-powered bikes yet?

Seems like a 450 w motor running for 4 miles roundtrip at an average speed of 12 mph would consume 150 watt-hours of energy. A 12 watt solar panel might fit on a bike somewhere, right? That should charge the battery in 12.5 hrs.
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?
Old 07-28-2006, 03:33 PM   #20
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Re: Is an an electric scooter a realistic option for me?

There actually ARE some solar chargers for bikes.

It takes a frickin' long time though, as you noted...
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