05. 14. 2006
eGo electric moped
When designers blend modern sensibility with retro styling, the result isn't always beautiful or sensible, but eGo got it right when it combined retro bicycle design with an ecological, electric motor scooter. When I first saw the eGo, I thought it was lovely and didn't immediately recognize the nostalgia-inspired elements, at least not on a conscious level. Perhaps, subliminally, it called up memories of bike-riding as a kid. Powerful enough to "pull big people up big hills," this scooter goes from zero to 20 mph in 4 seconds. The chassis, described as "sculpture in motion," is heat treated, sand blasted and silver annodized for strength, scratch resistence and durability. The dash is equipped with digital instruments and a performance mode selector so you can switch between "Go Far" and Go Fast" modes. It also promises a smooth ride with its front dual spring suspension fork and shock absorbing saddle, and nearly silent "whisper drive" transmission.
Two different models are available in North America, both with a range of 20 to 25 miles per charge (full charge takes 4 to 6 hours) and a top speed of 24 miles per hour. The eGo Classic, intended for casual commuters, errand runners, and RV users, sells for $1,199.
The fancier and more powerful eGo LX, designed for more frequent use and for travelling in moderate to heavy traffic, is priced at $1,499.
Among the available accessories for the eGo, my favorites are the various cargo options. The rear rack is standard, but if you want more room to carry grocery bags or lots of books from the library, you can add on collapsible rear baskets or a lift-off front basket. And if you need a ton of cargo space, there's also an attachable cargo trailer.
Unfortunately, where I live, there aren't that many places where you can safely ride such a scooter (the photos on the eGo website appear to be of people riding around quiet places in European towns). The bike trails around here are reserved exclusively for non-motor bikes, and the roads are for cars with ornery drivers.