This Electric Moped Could Be The Answer to Low-Cost Sustainable Mobility Woes
Published On Apr 2, 2021 10:57 AM By Sudipto Chaudhury
The Ninebot A30C gets a 48V lead-acid battery along with pedal assist
- Fits one adult rider, but includes options for two passengers (via pillion or floorboard seat)
- Offers 40km of electric-only range at 25kmph
- Allows for OTA updates as well as for real-time stats to be accessed via app
China has always dabbled in some decidedly left-field alternatives, giving it a kind of first-mover advantage in some sectors. Wondering what I’m on about? Well, think about gyroscopic mobility scooters. Segway is perhaps the first brand that pops into your head, isn’t it? But did you know Chinese brand Ninebot owns Segway?
Well, the selfsame brand has now showcased the A30 electric moped-- and I say ‘moped’ as despite the electric underpinnings, it has been designed to allow for pedal operation. Hence, it comes stock with only one seat (for the rider), with two optional retractable seats: one as a pillion, and one just above the floorboard, perhaps for taking the kids to the preschool.
There isn’t anything worth writing home regarding the electric components, though. The A30 gets a 48V/12ah lead-acid battery offering about 40km of range and a 25kmph top speed, with brake force generation. But what it lacks in outright performance, it makes up for in tech. Its demure body encases a lightweight high-carbon steel chassis, with aluminium alloy wheels and tubeless tyres. It can be unlocked via both a keycard (proximity sensor) as well as a password.
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Besides, its alarm can be armed against miscreants moving (mobility sensor) or lifting it (altitude sensor). Additionally, all the relevant information, such as charge, trip distance, and range can be accessed via the included app. And finally, there’s also the provision for OTA updates (also seen in e-scoots like the Ather 450X).
The kicker, however, is the price tag. Ninebot has launched the A30 at 1999 yuan, which translates to just under Rs 26,000, excluding taxes. Now, though the chances of the A30 coming to India are minimal, it’ll only be a matter of time for this platform to gain widespread acceptance. And considering the pedal-equipped e-bike market in India is restricted to the likes of EMotorad and Motovolt, a full-size electric scooter with the option to pedal home when the chips are down doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?