Friday, August 11, 2017

Electric Euro Cycles We Can't Have #4: Super SoCo

Yep, this electric cycle popped up on the internet this week. It was a bit of a surprise, but not really. I've been waiting for somebody to start building this bike - it just makes too much sense. You take a fairly simple frame, put the electrical components and battery in the center of the frame, and use a hub motor in the rear wheel. It's the same concept as the Motorman Cycle from last week's post, but on a larger scale. No chain. No gears. No problem.
I ran across the Super Soco in a techradar article. It's intended to be an urban commuter, not a hardcore sportbike. Really, its closest competitors will be scooters, not motorcycles. Let's say that you're that person who loves the idea of a scooter but does not love the idea of being seen on a scooter - the Super Soco could be your machine.

60 volt, 1200 watt Bosch powertrain - nice!
Ready for the entire European market - hmm...

Pretty simple - I like it!

You can find the owners manual on their site

Yep, it's another of those green vehicles you just can't get over here.
But not being able to buy a Soco may be okay. You see, the Super Soco, while pretty darn cool, doesn't make much financial sense over her. Looking at conversion rates (and ignoring import taxes) this bike would cost around $3000 here in the states. And it would need to be registered and insured. And most states (like Texas) would require a motorcycle operators license to ride it. Pretty soon this little eco-friendly money saver would cost a fair amount of cash but would barely outperform most electric bikes. It is limited to 30mph. Here is John Porter's conclusion in the techradar article:
While this particular patch of grass may look a little greener, I'd rather have a Karmic Koben S e-bike or something similar (that we can have over here). But then again, if the Soco were a 50mph cycle, I might have to reconsider.
May your quest for green transportation be a joyful one, regardless of which side of the Atlantic you find yourself on.