With a range of 30 miles, a top speed of 30 mph, and a recharge time of just 3.5 hours, the GenZe 2.0 could be one solution for clean urban transportation.
In our cities, cars aren't just contributing to poor air quality and global greenhouse gas emissions, they are also taking up a lot of valuable space, both on the streets and when parked, and make up the bulk of the transportation congestion, which wastes not only fuel, but time.
And all it takes is one quick look around at all of the cars on the road with only a single person in them to see that for the most part, we're doing urban mobility wrong. We've been using the 4-wheeled model as our "powered" transportation paradigm for so long that being the solo driver in an empty vehicle big enough for 5 people doesn't seem odd to us (or if it does, we may choose an electric or hybrid vehicle as a more sustainable option, which still takes up the same amount of space).
Driving a small two-wheeled vehicle can help ease congestion and parking woes, but up until recently, most of the common types of scooters or mopeds have only been available with small gas engines, which aren't exactly known for their clean tailpipe emissions. One solution which seems to be gaining steam is the development of a new breed of scooters which produce zero emissions at the point of use, and which can offer a greener and more affordable commute.
I recently covered Gogoro's Smartscooter, which is designed around a battery-swapping platform (and which Lloyd points out is appropriate for the many people in cities that can't just run an extension cord out to the parking lot), but until the initial infrastructure is in place, will probably a bit of a hard sell. Another promising contender in the electric scooter market is instead relying on the infrastructure which is already in place (outlets with AC current easily available), and aiming to redefine urban travel for the next generation of commuters.
The name of the company behind this scooter is a play on both the increasing influence of Generation Z, as well as a focus on zero emissions (ZE), and it comes from a Silicon Valley subsidiary of the multinational Mahindra Group, called GenZe. The GenZe 2.0, which will add to the company's current offering of their E-Bike, is slated for production in Ann Arbor in the spring of 2015, and is said to have a 30 mile range, a top speed of 30 mph, and a recharge time of 3.5 hours, all for about $3000 USD.
The battery pack for the GenZe 2.0, a 1.6-kWh lithium-ion, can be charged using a standard 110V outlet and then used to also charge gadgets through a pair of onboard 12V charging ports. The dashboard is a 7 inch touchscreen which functions as the control system, offering the rider access to settings for driving (three different modes) and for tracking and displaying a variety of info, including the speed, range and charge level of the scooter. The system also connects to the cloud (and the user's mobile device) through the "Cruise-Connect System," which is said to allow for the monitoring of 100 different data points about the scooter.
In addition to its connected features, the GenZe 2.0 also provides for the practical, with under-seat storage for smaller items, and a larger carrying bin at the back (plus the option for a cover and weatherproof cargo bags), so riders have plenty of room for their gear. The scooters come in either black, silver, or white, and the company is currently taking deposits of just $100 (refundable) for pre-orders of the 2.0 at the introductory price of $2999. Find out more at GenZe.