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Čezeta e-scooter: The rebirth of the chicest communist-era scooter (theguardian.com)
120 points by r0n0j0y 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 69 comments

£11,000! I can buy an electric scooter here for $700.

Unfortunately, the article is really just a Press Release. So it doesn't go into any detail about what you get for all that money and whether it is worth it.

Where I live (not the US) there are a growing number of electric scooters. I'd guesstimate maybe 20-30% of vehicles on the road now are electric scooters.

It is amazing how much quieter it makes...everything. Internal combustion engines are so noisy yet we've become so accustomed to them.

Its an artisan rebuild of 60 year old rusted East block engineering corpses targeted at hipster clientele.

That explains the facial recognition block on the ignition: you may only start the scooter while sporting mutton chops or a handlebar mustache.

>£11,000! I can buy an electric scooter here for $700.

Perhaps, but there are also cars that cost $10000 and cars that cost $500000.

But is there parity between a $14k scooter and a $500k car? Probably not, but as the Devil said, "there is no accounting for tastes."

I think the better question is, who will buy a $14k scooter if and when $24k electric cars become available? Given the affect of mass production, will this scooter eventually get to $700?

Personally, I think that thing is ugly as sin and I still prefer crotch rockets.

Who buys a $500 second hand scooter when $1000 second hand cars are available?

Answer: People who want them.

An ICE scooter is usually in the 70-80db range. More lawn mover noisy than a car, and almost embarrassing to ride at night when it's quiet.

I finally tossed my old 50cc scooter just yesterday. Too noisy and while it got about 25km/l it only had a 5l tank which is less range than this electric.

For $700! This is the stand up push style pedestrian scooter. What they are selling is the larger motoscooter (I wish the English language had a better way to indicate the difference). Similar to a Vespa which is far more than $700.

No, $700 is not a push style pedestrian scooter where I live. That would be an insane amount of money to spend on something like that here.

$700 gets you something that you can drive on the city streets & highways with a range of 100km and can carry 2 people.


Well this is not really targeting the same market then. I also live "not in the US" (in France) and the electric scooter I see the most in our streets is the BMW C evolution which retails at more than 15k euros.

I'm not surprised that things are cheaper in Vietnam given the lower wages and very different culture when it comes to motorized two wheeled vehicles.

Gratuitous rip of Piagios "Vespa (tm) Trade dress there :-)

I can’t see any product info on the page you link (it’s just a static image; iOS 12 + Safari), but it appears to have a 50cc engine. $700 is still a pretty darn low price point, but I doubt it can go the advertised 95mph the scooter FTA claims. I’ve never seen a stock 50cc anything with claimed top speed above 50mph, so these are entirely different classes in both engineering and safety requirements.

If you kill everything but the root in his url you get here https://www.pega.com.vn/

Which lists scooters for up to 15,700,000 Vietnamese dong = 675 USD.

I don't speak any Vietnamese, but looking at the specs listed at the bottom of https://www.pega.com.vn/pega-trans.html I'm guessing top speed 50 km/h range 100km.

So, by "not the US" did you mean Vietnam, then? That would have been clearer.

Did you think "not the US" meant Canada?

No, there's a huge difference between 1st world nations and up-coming Asian nations. Cost of any given consumer item is vastly different, salaries vastly different, and in automotive industries, a HUGE difference in safety and design.

How much difference can there really be, safety-wise? It's a scooter...

Emissions. Quality of battery pack (lots of stored energy) on electrics. General durability/quality (things like fasteners, tires, brake lines) that might not impact immediate safety, but over time failures cause problems.

In China you can buy quite nice e-scooter (Vespa-like) for around 2500 - 3000 CNY which is around 320-400euro. I think the reason that dont come to other countries is just pure lobbying from local companies.

I would guess it has much more to do with shipping and dealerships- you can get these things delivered, but even a horrible quality gas scooter costs 800-1000 USD delivered. A buddy bought one several years ago. It showed up at his doorstep in a neat little box and worked quite nicely once we had changed the oil (full of metal shavings from manufacture), although the CVT and tiny engine weren't quite up to getting on the highway.

Even most scooters and motorcycles in the US are sold through dealers, and they will simply be making no money on a vehicle that costs <$500. It's probably only feasible to store them in a warehouse and ship via freight, which is expensive. I don't know why you don't see them in Walmart, but maybe there's some sort of law or maybe even Walmart can't move them.

They wouldn't pass the safety standards. Most Indian cars got a zero from NCAP

There are barely any safety standards for scooters.

Safety, emissions, and probably IP protection are more likely. Even Piaggio stopped selling scooters in the US because their 2-stroke motors couldn’t meet our emissions requirements.

You think an electric scooter has problems with emissions?

What type of batteries do they have?

In English Scooter does mean a small wheel Italian style moped is the large wheeled step though Honda C90 et al are mopeds

Not really.

In many areas, the words are used as synonyms. A scooter could be anything from an unpowered skateboard with a stick to a some powered wheelchairs to a moped with decent speeds, electric or gasoline. A moped is always something one sits on and has wheels, though it can include both the small and large wheels.

Even the legal definitions don't reflect that. The difference is often more dependent on the size of engine, the speeds the vehicle can go, and things like that. These distinctions can make a difference in plates and insurance.

That's one definition. From google define, a second definition is:

"a vehicle typically ridden as a recreation, consisting of a footboard mounted on two wheels and a long steering handle, propelled by resting one foot on the footboard and pushing the other against the ground."

This also comes in electric versions (some of which even incorporate seats!): https://www.google.com/search?q=electric+scooter&safe=strict...

Despite being commonly conflated, mopeds are not scooters. The former having actual crank pedals and the latter not.

Cezeta souds more like a scooter Tesla - you get easy handling, chic looks and an innovative two-way throttle. So I guess the usual buyer is a scooter fan (or snob) more likely than a usual commuter.

>innovative two-way throttle


Every moderately recent Chinese electric moped works that way. One has to check if it is not just a white label Chinese moped in custom bodywork.

Well, the article claims it is patented. Maybe just shoddy reporting, though. Anyway I always thought the reason all throttles don't work this way was not because no-one had the idea, but for safety concerns.

https://www.atherenergy.com is trying the same in India

This thing is likely much faster than the $700 scooter. Most lower end scooters are e-bikes and are power/speed restricted.

We have something similar in Germany.

The Schwalbe scooter was built in Easter Germany from the the 60s to the 80s and has achieved a sort of cult status. One still sees them today, even in the west. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simson_Schwalbe

There is now a new electric scooter that looks just like the original: http://www.myschwalbe.com/en/

80 kg, oof. I bet you could crash that into a tree at 30 mph/50 kph and once you got out of the hospital you'd only need to hammer the dents out.

Wait until you hear that the new electric one weighs 120kg (one battery) to 135kg (two batteries).

They have a cult following because they can go 60km/h but are treated tax-wise and driver's licence wise like a modern scooter that is limited to 45km/h. (The regular speed limit in cities is 50km/h)

Yes, but it must also be the looks of the thing. The Simson S51 is newer, has the same sort of speed, is legally treated as a scooter, but does not appear to have the same cult status.

I see the new electric Schwalbe quite often in city traffic and the acceleration of the thing seems insane.

In Berlin you can use a scooter sharing service (Emmy) that has those Schwalbe scooters. If you change the ride-mode to boost the acceleration is very nice indeed, not quite motorcycle fast, but faster than most of the cars.

In 80's Czechoslovakia, S51 Enduro was the thing that cool teens had :).

I wonder when Electric Vespas: https://electrek.co/2018/08/27/electric-vespa-the-elletrica-... will finally be widely available.

Genze has been shipping inexpensive e-scooters for a while: https://www.genze.com/e-scooters.

> It’s always struck me as odd that scooters, with their pragmatic step-through design and fogeyish upright seating position, so easily outscore motorbikes when it comes to pure panache. They pack more sass and sex appeal into their dinky two-wheel frames than almost any other vehicle

That's a very bold statement.

This article caught my attention and I started reading. However, I got to this point in the article (the very start) and stopped reading. There's just no way I could bring myself to take anything after that seriously.

Comparing one entire class of vehicle to another so offhandedly is both brash and peculiar. It'd be like saying SUVs are much classier than sports cars. Which SUV and which sports car? Sure, that statement will absolutely be true in some cases, but it's a wicked generalisation. Particularly when the subject matter is inherently so obviously subjective.

Haha I enjoyed it very much. I love when the passion and impulse shines through like that.

Might this be tongue-in-cheek?

Indeed, in the UK scooters are associated with 16-year-old "chavs" riding dangerously. That or the recent spate of scooter-based violent crime in London.

It is very long, at 2 meters. I can't see that size being easy to maneuver or park. In Germany for example, scooters and motorcycles can be parked anywhere on pavements. This would be harder to park and more conspicuous (just by size, leave alone the looks!).

I'm all for e-scooters replacing ICE scooters though, for the noise and air pollution benefits. I bought an ICE scooter to putter around in the city mainly because the cheapest e-scooter was almost 3x the price and could only be serviced by the manufacturer. I hope the next scooter I buy will be electric and have a good range.

> In Germany for example, scooters and motorcycles can be parked anywhere on pavements

Not true, motorcycles have the same parking rules as cars. It's just easier to park a bike so that it doesn't get in the way, making it more likely it's ignored.

Usually the Ordnungsamt people don't ignore anything that can translated into fines.

You can park any motor bike on the pavement (sidewalk) - even a Goldwing ?

I have not spent much time in Germany, but I believe it is not technically allowed except for specifically marked (signage) sidewalks. It's just accepted basically everywhere. A Goldwing is very nearly as big as a Smart FourTwo, I would suspect that if someone complained you would get a ticket. Best case, a bemused policeman laughing and asking how you managed to get it up over the curb.

Germans are surprisingly relaxed about rules, despite the reputation. If nobody will get hurt, then it's usually not a big deal in my experience. This is the country of the autobahn and Oktoberfest. Compare that to Switzerland (where I have spent more time); there the police will give you stern warnings even if you haven't broken the law. They are very "just-so".

Usually yes, if it's not in the way of pedestrians. The MC/scooter parking laws (and filtering for that matter) are surprisingly lax in Germany. I've only once seen a MC to get a parking ticket and this was even warranted as it was blocking a entrance to a house/garage.

I think it looks rather clunky compared to a modern e-scooter like the new Schwalbe for example.

Say what you want about those modern city scooters but the design is nimble and relatively small. The Čezeta seems like a tractor version of a scooter.

Looks cool, but £11,000 is almost twice as much of a similar scooter...

> Looks cool

That's the whole point. It is marketed as being chic. People will pay the premium in to look cool.

Not in Czech Republic. We don't have money for that.

And non-Czech people who want chic will probably just wait for Vespa to make one.

Yes, Vespa Elettrica is pre-booking for $7,500.


Different class. This thing has a 10 kW motor.

10 kw motor doesn't cost 10 times the 1kw motor.

It's also the price of a small car, but less practical, depending on your need of cause.

And not that small, that's almost the starting price for a Škoda Octavia in Czech Republic, and that's kind of a big car.

>Power comes via a patented two-way “Sway” throttle. Roll it back as usual to accelerate, then roll it forward to brake

as novel and non-obvious as they come...

Silly question, but how does that keep from falling over when you stop? It looks like your legs can’t touch the ground?

The word chicest doesn't seem right to me; I keep reading it as a typo for choicest or something like that. Should it maybe be chic-est? Most chic? I'd have avoided the problem by saying "The rebirth of a chic communist-era scooter". Maybe even "a chic Czech scooter".

I didn’t figure out what that word was supposed to be until I read your comment.

I really want a scooter, but I'm really afraid of how vulnerable it makes me. I walk and bus most places I go (in Seattle) and I've wondered how much more dangerous it would be to ride a scooter than walk.

It doesn't look like the headlight can swivel.

> rebirth of the communist-era

Look like it started from 2014...

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