We are just days away from the EICMA motorcycle and scooter show in Milan, and there’s been a steady stream of new electric two-wheeler unveilings.
The newest is an impressive high performance electric scooter produced by the British startup company Zapp.
Zapp i300 electric scooter
Zapp began teasing their high-powered Zapp i300 electric scooter earlier this month.
Now they’ve finally revealed it for the world to see. And it was worth the wait.
With an electronically limited top speed of 60 mph (96 km/h), the Zapp i300 is one of the fastest electric scooters on the market.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about moped-style scooters – not the Lime and Bird variety.
That high-end top speed comes from a powerful motor rated at 14 kW or 18.7 hp. For comparison, most standard electric scooters have motors in the 2-4 kW range.
The Zapp i300’s motor also has an unheard of 587 Nm (433 ft-lbs). That’s even more torque than the crazy powerful Curtiss Zeus electric motorcycle, which clocks in at 393 Nm (290 ft-lbs) of torque. The high torque is possible thanks to a two-stage belt reduction, gearing down a high-speed electric motor to create massive torque.
That power and torque combine in the form of impressive acceleration. The Zapp i300 has a 0-30 mph (48 km/h) time of 2.35 seconds, and a 0-45 mph (72 km/h) of 4.1 seconds.
A carbon fiber reinforced belt drive silently transfers that power from the central-mounted air-cooled motor to the rear wheel.
The Zapp i300 houses two 48V batteries each rated at 1.25 kWh for a combined 2.5 kWh of capacity. The batteries are removable to allow for remote charging. At 5 kg (11 lbs) each, the batteries should be fairly easy to lug into your house or up to your apartment.
While the speed and power are both quite impressive, they take a combined toll on the range. At just 37 mi (60 km) of range, the Zapp i300 isn’t going to take you very far between cities. And keep in mind that if you’re going full speed, you’ll get even less range than the advertised figure.
The scooter’s frame is a chrome-moly steel tube frame with a load-bearing aluminum exoskeleton. The single-sided rear swing arm supports a coilover spring strut with manually adjustable pre-load. The inverted front fork also features manually adjustable pre-load suspension.
Full-floating anti-lock hydraulic disc brakes and 14″ tires round out the Zapp i300. The scooter also features regenerative braking and the option to activate regen upon release of the throttle. Zapp claims this can add up to 10-20% to the scooter’s range.
The 90 kg (198 lb) scooter can support two passengers weighing up to a combined 150 kg (331 lbs).
The Zapp i300 is currently available for pre-order in the UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The starting price is €6,300 ($7,130), which makes it around the same price as the Vespa Elettrica.
Additional options, including a third battery, dash cam, GPS tracking, and fancier wheels will all add a pretty penny to the price.
The scooter is also available in a number of flashy paint jobs.
The performance is impressive, I have to hand that to them. But I would have loved to see Zapp put more than 2.5 kWh of battery in the vehicle.
With a pretty standard amount of battery, 37 miles of range in Eco mode is not much to write home about. What’s the point of going so fast if you can’t do it for very long? At 60 mph, this should be the scooter that finally allows riders to leave urban centers and actually travel between cities. But without much more range, you’ll need to keep a charger in each city to ensure you can get back home.
And the price? For that I can get 3 city-speed electric scooters. If this scooter had twice the range, the price might be more reasonable. But it’s a lot to fork over for just speed and acceleration.
However, I understand that all startups must begin somewhere. I love seeing new companies enter the market. If there is demand for the Zapp i300 and production can increase, prices should fall accordingly. The first Tesla roadster wasn’t cheap, but now we’re approaching mostly affordable Teslas. That’s progress for you, and the same thing can happen for high performance electric scooters if we embrace the vehicles.