As the switch from petrol cars to electric-powered ones slowly happens, we’re seeing quicker turnover in another means of transportation: electric scooters. Locally, there’s already quite a lot, with more being won over each day because of their affordability, efficiency and ease of use.
Just recently, Taiwanese motorcycle manufacturer, Kymco, announced the launch of its two new electric scooter models for the global market. The Kymco Many 110 EV and Nice 110 EV are the first two of a planned broad offering of electric scooters under the new Ionex line. Kymco has eight more in the pipeline planned for the next three years with the goal of making electric motoring an accessible reality.
There could be no better starting point than Taiwan. The country has the world’s highest scooter density. Kymco is also the number one motorcycle manufacturer here, making it uniquely positioned to lead the electric charge.
Kymco’s electric scooters are all part of their Ionex system. The Ionex system is composed of standardized batteries, home chargers, and a charge point network and energy stations. The standardized size and form means each battery can fit and power all scooter models.
Each scooter can fit two batteries, easily stowed into a compartment that twists up from the floorboard. Besides the swappable batteries, each Kymco Ionex scooter also has its own core internal battery, allowing the user to continue to travel while the removable batteries are charged. Each scooter can fit two removable batteries and carry two more in its underseat storage, effectively extending its range up to 200-km.
As for the charge point network, scooter buyers are offered membership into this network for an annual fee of just US$10. This comes with an annual mileage cap of 1000-km. With this membership, they’re granted access to the charge point network and energy stations, already put up all around Taiwan. To extend an e-scooter’s range, simply switch out the used ones and add more batteries, which can be rented from energy stations throughout the country.
The EV scooters
Each scooter is still offered with its own charger. Each one also comes with a personal rental removable battery that weighs just five-kg, allowing the rider to easily carry it home to charge at night. These combine to provide a range of 60-km; more than enough for a couple of days’ use. Charging takes just four hours, or as fast as one hour with the fast chargers fitted in the charging network. The scooters are covered by a five-year core battery warranty, 10-year power motor warranty, and lifetime warranty for the rental batteries.
The e-scooter is powered by Biactron efficiency technology, making it more efficient with energy, and take up less space and weigh far less than its competitors.
The final cherry on top is the optional Noodoe Navigation system. The Noodoe system is displayed on a circular color LCD screen that can display the weather, navigation and clock. It can also connect to a cellular phone or helmet communication system to broadcast turn by turn directions from the navigation system.
Perhaps the only confusing part is figuring out if the bike is already ‘on’ as there really is no sound to indicate so.
The bike itself feels relatively light. It’s far lighter than a conventional scooter, making it easy for female riders or those of short stature to keep it upright. A gentle twist gets it going. And while the common perception is that electric motors give you all the torque instantly, the Many EV delivers it progressively, making it easy to handle while accelerating. The bike also comes with an Eco and Power mode, delivering variable power with just a push of a button.
Heading back to the parking space is when we got to hear the signal light indicator which had a rather unusual tone. Perhaps the Many’s final trick is its reverse gear. A button on the front of the left handlebar engages it. You have to throttle to get it rolling, but it’s certainly handy if you have a pillion and a tight parking space.
The Many EV certainly makes shifting to electric power quite tempting, particularly because it feels just like a regular scooter, minus the noise. The scooter has great build quality and is certainly more delightful to ride when fitted with Noodoe Navigation. It’s a far cry from the affordable e-scooters offered in practically every corner here with range, style and finesse that is leagues ahead.
The Many EV certainly makes shifting to electric power quite tempting, particularly because it feels just like a regular scooter, minus the noise. The scooter has great build quality and is certainly more delightful to ride when fitted with Noodoe Navigation. It’s a far cry from the affordable e-scooters offered in practically every corner here with range, style and finesse that is leagues ahead. Unfortunately, so too is the price, but if Kymco offers a similar long warranty here, then it will be worth it.
The New Many 110 EV Noodoe Navigation version and the Standard version are now on sale in Taiwan. Kymco Philippines has yet to announce if it will offer it locally.
Text and photos by Iñigo S. Roces