“Travel for the modern era” is how Battery Motorcycles describe their e-bike range, which consists of three models. Jonathan Schofield explores the 25 RLI version.
Wow, it’s so very yellow. I know that’s obvious. Yes it’s the one thing that you really don’t need to be told – but hell, it’s the first thing that jumps out at you like an over-excited child at a birthday party, where they’ve been told to just go for it.
Its styling is the next thing to grab you by the senses and gives you a good shake. It’s striking in all the right ways. Built around the frame and bodywork of an older model Honda from the Asian market, this urban eco warrior’s ride has great foundations. The dash is an easy-to-read LCD display, which on this model shows all the normal information, but without an odometer. At first I found this strange but then I ask myself – is it something I’ve ever really used in the past (apart from to tell someone how far I’ve ridden, or when it needs a service next). But I soon got used to it not being there, as this is not the kind of machine that’s going from Lands’ End to John o’ Groats. Not saying that it’s not possible, but that’s a challenge for another day methinks.
This scooter is a brilliant urban street smasher. The riding position is as you’d expect from a standard 50cc moped with loads of room for even the biggest feet (I’m size 10) on the footplate. The seat angle is spot-on and keeps you engaged with the handlebars without pushing you forward too much; and comfort-wise I wasn’t sure at first, but as the miles passed by, the seat proved to be better than expected. This actually seems to be a common theme with this machine because when I initially gave it the once-over, I had reservations.
The scooter rides along on 10-inch wheels, which is if anything, it’s only downside. This is not a major criticism, just an observation; I say this because where I’m based in the darkest depths of Lincolnshire, it’s not exactly what you’d call urban. It’s more the haunt of agricultural vehicles, and with that comes rough, rutted road conditions. Potholes the size of small children to be dodged and puddles that can hide holes which could puncture tyres or spit you off if not avoided. However, the suspension and brakes coped with these far from ideaI conditions. On the odd occasion that I found a stretch of road similar to what I’d expect to find in a city, the ride was smooth and felt so relaxed that you kind of forgot you were astride a battery bike – until Mr Bloggs and his three children didn’t look and just decided to cross the road because it was quiet. Now that tested the brakes and I was easily able to stop with plenty of room. Mr Bloggs (not his real name by the way) looked on the shocked side to see me coming to a rather abrupt stop in perfect silence, until I raised my visor, and asked in my most polite voice, “Didn’t bother to look then?”. He quickly escorted his kids safely to the footpath and as I silently continued my journey I could see the kids pointing at my bright yellow stead with excitement. Maybe I was the first electric scooter that they’d seen or heard (or not heard).
The torque from the hub mounted 72volt electric motor is similar to that of a 50cc moped and I would say that it’s equal in the performance. This model is quite capable of 30mph on a full charge and happily eats up the miles, so I risked around a 35 mile ride in ever-increasing loops away from base to test the battery performance. It was happy to keep going with the brushless motor sailing quietly and quickly along, but I gave in and dived back home for a top-up charge at 30 miles with charge meter still showing about a quarter left.
The big asks!
Is this Electrocruz a contender in the commuter market place? Yes, in comparison with 50cc scooters it holds its own.
Is it good value for money? In its’ sector of the market the answer would have to be yes. It’s not as cheap as some 50cc imports but there’s no road tax, no direct fuel costs and it feels good to know that you’re not filling the air with harmful exhaust emissions.
The lights? A serious moment for me. I always take the bikes I test out for a night ride and have been let down in the past by major brands failing to make me feel safe when on the darkest of roads. How did the Electrocruz stand up? The 25 RLI I tested only had filament bulbs, but not as poor as I convinced myself it could have been. Yes it’s safe and you can see where you’re going, but there’s the LED option which makes a huge difference, so take it. My advice is always check-out the lights – who wants to be doing 30mph with the equivalent of a candle strapped to your helmet.
Would I use it on a commute? For the cost and range of battery versions available, it has to be a close call. Yes it does everything a petrol scooter does but one thing gives it an edge. You can speak directly to the guys who build them, ask them questions, and have the motors swopped and batteries upgraded – a big plus as far as I’m concerned.
All hail the growth of the electric banana (also available in other colours – but yellow rules)!
Battery moped range depends on the Amp hour (Ah) of the battery. The Electrocruz is offered in 20, 25 and 50 Ah.
The much cheaper 20Ah is a Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery. It can travel around 30 miles on a charge.
The 25 and 50Ah batteries are Lithium Polymer (LiPo) and travel about 50 or 100 miles respectively.
The weight of the bike varies from 85 to 110kgs depending on the battery choice.
SLA batteries are heavier whilst the LiPo is lighter and therefore makes the bike’s handling more agile.
BATTERY: Removable 72v 25Ah Lithium Polymer (upgradable)
RANGE: 50-plus Miles
TOP SPEED: 28-30mph
CHARGE TIME: 6-7hrs from flat
APPROX WEIGHT: 85kgs
PRICE: £2299 (Incl vat)