Barcelona-based Silence electric scooters have been popular with delivery companies and municipal services for years. Now, the company is building on their success with commercial customers by expanding to consumer sales.
Their new model, the S01 electric scooter, is now taking pre-orders. And this is one electric scooter that you don’t want to miss.
S01 electric scooter targeting consumers
Silence scooters have been riding high on impressive sales stats. As of last fall, Silence S02 scooters (their commercial version) accounted for 62% of all-electric scooter registrations in Spain. The company finished out the year by tripling their profits thanks to increased adoption by a number of scooter sharing programs and commercial customers.
With the success of their B2B operations booming, Silence set its sights on consumer sales with their new S01 electric scooter.
The S01 has a 6 kW continuous, 11 kW peak rear hub motor mounted in an eye-catching single-sided swingarm. That motor provides a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) and a maximum range of 115 km (71 mi). That impressive range is achievable thanks to Silence’s innovative 5 kWh removable battery pack. More on that in a moment.
The scooter has performance in the 125-250cc scooter range, with a 0-50 km/h (0-28 mph) acceleration of 3.8 seconds.
A front hydraulic telescopic fork and rear side-mounted hydraulic mono shock suspension smooth out rough roads. Hydraulic disc brakes come standard, including a combined braking system for safety.
The scooter is designed for comfort with an extra-large seat to fit two riders without crowding. That large seat also conceals a cargo area roomy enough to store two helmets. The seat can even be opened remotely via the connected smartphone app.
The smartphone app can also be used to remotely unlock and turn on the scooter. The app can display historical and current riding data, monitor battery charge remotely and provide GPS tracking of the scooter.
But of all the interesting features found in the Silence S01 electric scooter, the battery takes the top prize.
Silence’s innovative removable trolley batteries
Removable batteries are nearly a necessity in electric scooters owned by city residents. They allow riders to park on the street yet still charge conveniently indoors.
The problem is that it becomes difficult to increase range (and thus battery size/weight) while still keeping the battery manageable. My City Slicker electric motorcycle has a 2.1 kWh battery which weighs 35 lbs (16 kg) and that’s about the limit for what I want to carry around. I certainly wouldn’t expect my wife to lug a battery that big up to our apartment.
That leaves 2 kWh as the approximate limit for removable batteries.
So how did Silence manage a 5 kWh removable battery? By adding an innovative wheeled trolley system, essentially.
The batteries are slid out the side of the scooter, which causes the wheels in the battery to automatically drop down. Think “hospital gurney” as it’s pulled out of an ambulance.
Then the user extends the telescoping handle and simply wheels the battery around behind them like a piece of carry-on luggage. The 30 kg (66 lb) battery is not light by any means, but with wheels and a low center of gravity, rolling it around is nearly effortless. I had the chance to play with one of their batteries last November at the 2018 EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show, where I was surprised by how easy it was to manage the battery.
Watch the short clip below to see the battery removal in action. It’s really a thing of beauty.
Once you get the battery inside, you don’t have to worry about pulling out a charger. It has a built-in charger. You simply reel out the cord from the battery and plug it in to any outlet.
The battery also has a built-in inverter that provides 12 VDC, 24 VDC and 220 VAC output to allow riders to power devices directly from the battery. At a picnic and want to power a speaker? Need to run your Burning Man light show? Stuck without power or a generator after a storm? Here you go!
The battery also features a built-in 55W heater that works in conjunction with the charger to warm the battery before charging when temperatures dip too low. That can prevent damage to the battery, as charging Li-ion batteries below freezing temperatures can shorten their lifespans.
And as if there wasn’t enough technology already stuffed into these batteries, here’s one more feature. A GPS module is also included in the battery, meaning you could theoretically track down the battery if it was stolen. And since there’s another GPS module in the scooter itself, you could track both independently if they were parted out.
Silence’s batteries have proven to be incredibly durable too. Many of their early scooters in service with delivery companies have surpassed 40,000 km. That constant commercial use has acted as an intense real-world proving ground for the batteries. Tests on the batteries have shown that the packs retain at least 97% of their original capacity after such long distance use.
Silence S01 begins pre-sales
The first run of S01 electric scooters are now available for pre-order. This batch of 500 electric scooters is limited to Spanish customers for now, though the company is expanding sales to the rest of Europe later this year.
The S01 is available for pre-order with a €600 ($675) reservation. The complete retail price of the S01 in Spain will be €5,995 ($6,770) including VAT. In the rest of Europe, the price will be slightly higher at €6,600 ($7,400) including VAT.
That is fairly high compared to other electric scooters, and places the Silence S01 in a similar price range to the Vespa Elettrica. However, the S01 is also much faster than most other scooters, with a top speed twice as fast as the Vespa elettrica. It also has a longer range, a larger battery capacity and more seating room/cargo space than the Vespa. Plus it has removable batteries. So while the S01 isn’t cheap, it’s a lot more vehicle than most other electric scooters as well.
As more electric scooters enter the market in both Europe and the US, competition will only be a good thing for consumers. So be on the look out for these scooters and more on your city streets soon.
What do you think of the upcoming Silence S01 electric scooter and its innovative batteries? Let us know in the comments below.