Electric powertrains are already quite common in two-wheel vehicles – thanks to electric scooters, which are already extremely popular in Asia, somewhat popular in Europe, but less popular in North America. Now a relatively new segment of electric mopeds is coming and should make two-wheel electric vehicles significantly more popular.
We could argue about the differences between motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds, which can also be different with an electric powertrain, but generally speaking a moped will look more like a motorcycle than a scooter and it will have weaker powertrain which generally results and less stringent licensing requirements and therefore, it makes them more accessible than motorcycles.
Electric moped (or e-moped) manufacturers are trying to give their bikes different power modes in order to make them compliant to e-bike requirements in different jurisdictions, which makes them easy to purchase without registrations, but when using different power modes or configuration, they can be almost as powerful as electric motorcycles or scooters.
The latest entry in this segment is the Chinese manufacturer Munro Motor with the Munro 2.0 – pictured above and below.
The company is planning an entry into the North American market and stopped by TechCrunch‘s booth at CES last week to give a demo of their latest product:
Technically, it would be hard to qualify the Munro 2.0 as an “e-bike” since it doesn’t even have pedals, but at 35 kg (77 lbs), you wouldn’t really want to use them anyway.
Instead, the moped is solely powered by a Bosch electric motor capable of a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h), which means that you should be able to use it in most bike lanes and the speed is also manageable for use in city streets for urban commuting.
The battery pack is removable and you can have as many as two packs powering the bike at the same time.
The company claims that each pack enables about 30 miles (48 km) of range on a full charge – meaning that a Munro 2.0 has a maximum range of 60 miles (96 km) before having to recharge or swap a battery pack.
In China, Munro Motor is currently selling the bike for the equivalent of $800 to $1,200 depending on the configuration and it expects to hit the US market in the second quarter 2017 at a price of around $1,700. The price is reasonable when compared to most e-bikes.
We expect several more entries in this segment in the next two years and we will keep an eye on them. Let us know in the comment section below if you know of any interesting e-bikes or e-mopeds coming to market or that you want us to cover.