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PHOTO CAPTION: Piaggio MP3 Hybrid combines 125cc gasoline engine with electric assist giving claimed fuel economy of 170 mpg, with up to 12 miles in electric mode.

Production Electric-drive Motorcycles

As with cars, electricity is playing an increasingly large part in two-wheeled transport/

Published: 31-Jan-2009

The incentive for motorcycle and scooter manufacturers to produce electric and hybrid two-wheelers is less obvious than with cars. Already they're making many small capacity machines with an everyday economy of more than 100mpg. The emissions regulations are easier too, with no imminent requirements to sell a certain percentage of low-emission vehicles across a product range, and less strict exhaust emission rules for individual machines than is the case with cars, although these are converging.

Perhaps the biggest problem is the packaging, particularly with regard to battery storage.

Then there's cost: £10,000 of batteries in a £60,000 car might sting a bit, but with £1,500 scooters there's little financial scope for pioneering, and therefore expensive, technology.

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RELATED NEWS ITEMS

Hero Motors Ultra Maxi uses a 250 watt motor to avoid falling into category that would require license fees, road taxes and registration.

The scooters currently come in two models, 1000 and 1500 watts, and retail for NZ$2200 and NZ$2400 including GST. Photo courtesy of Scoop.

Piaggio Porter pictured at right has electric driving range of 7-120 km with a top speed of 60 km/hr.

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