UK: Techknow - Things to come ... Scooters.

UK: Techknow - Things to come ... Scooters. - Despite their apparently anti-social aspects (eg overtaking on the inside at gutter level), motorised scooters could have a role to play in solving urban congestion tomorrow.

by JAMES WOUDHUYSEN Photograph (Omitted).
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Despite their apparently anti-social aspects (eg overtaking on the inside at gutter level), motorised scooters could have a role to play in solving urban congestion tomorrow.

In California, 40 employees at Patmont Motor Works make 20,000 Go-Peds a year, half of which they export to the UK. Weighing in at 9 kilos, the Go-Ped is propelled by a two-stroke engine: it can reach nearly 20 mph and does 100 miles to the gallon. All for about $500 ( £310). You just step on, as you did as a child, and throttle or brake by twisting the handlebars.

It also folds away and its rubber tyres never go flat.

Main snag? A low centre of gravity and relatively high speeds make Go-Peds scary in traffic. Enter the Zappy from zapworld.com. Electric, it can reach only 12mph and has a band/drum brake, pneumatic tyres and shock absorbers - altogether a smoother, safer beast.

Though a hefty 16 kilos, the Zappy costs only $600 and emits nothing.

It can take you seven miles and charges up in less than seven hours.

james.w@seymourpowell.co.uk.

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