Electric Commuting Options
Since I have become a commuter of late, I started to look towards what my Electric Commuting Options options might be. My car driving days are usually limited to Sundays and Monday and that is for quick runs to the store and church. Living in a city like Austin, it’s fun to go downtown, but I don’t want to have to use my bike all the time.
Here the thing, I am a huge sweat monster. It doesn’t matter if it’s 20 degrees outside or 100. If I am riding or running, I sweat. Commuting to work by bike means I have to take a shower prior to walking in the office. It’s my curse, so it got me thinking what other options I have other than biking.
I could use a gas scooter like a Vespa or Buddy or I could go the electric route. Living just a short 3 miles from work, the idea of using an electric bike, scooter or skateboard sounds really appealing. But and this is a big one, I don’t want just any ordinary Walmart special, I want something all together cool and fun.
Doing a bit of research I have narrowed my wants to the following
- Boosted Board
- Evolve Skateboards
- Work Electric
- Monday Motorbikes
- Super 73
To me the one that makes the most since is the Super 73. It’s retro, it’s cool and while the others certainly have their perks, the Super just ticks all the boxes and probably is the easiest of the bunch to lock up, should I want to wander around by foot.
The Boosted Board has been on my radar for a few years now, I just never pulled the trigger. What makes the boosted board super cool is the fact that it’s a skateboard that can go really fast (22 mph) and still has a reasonable range (14 Miles) before needing a recharge.
- Boosted Plus
- 22 mph Top Speed
- Range (14 Miles)
- Super Flex Composite Deck
Evolve Electric Skateboard
Like Boosted Board, Evolve has also been on my radar for quite some time. The boards are ultra futuristic and great looking. They make both street and off road versions. The top of the line boards run around $2K, but are some of the fastest (26 mph) and longest range (31 miles) skateboards on the market. The off road boards are pretty sick and certainly look legit.
- Evolve Carbon GT
- 26 mph Top Speed
- Range (31 Miles)
Onewheel is all together odd and all together super cool at the same time. It’s fat one wheel design allows it to work both on pavement and off road, giving it the edge over most electric skateboards. While certainly not as fast as the top end electric skateboards, it seems fast enough and has that cool factor.
- Evolve Carbon GT
- 19 mph Top Speed
- Range (12-18 Miles)
Works Electric Scooter
The Work Electric Scooter is just oozing with power. It’s beefy and rugged and altogether awesome. Reaching top speeds of 35 mph and a range of 28 miles per charge, I could commute almost all week on a single charge and get to where I need to be faster than superman. At those speeds however, you will certainly need to wear a very good helmet and possibly leather gloves.
The downside and there is a downside, is each Scooter is hand built adding significantly to the cost (Over 6K).
That said, having one of these would make you King or Queen of the commuting world or at least get a few really crazy looks.
- Works Electric Hollyburn P5
- 35 mph Top Speed
- Range (28 Miles)
- Cost: $6,200
The Cycleboard is something a bit different. It’s not a skateboard and it’s not a scooter, it’s a 3 wheeled transport that requires leaning to turn. Not having ridden one I am not quite certain how well it operates in a busy street setting if you need to make a sharp turn. Still the concept seems very sound and it has great range (25 – 40 miles) and speed performance (25 mph).
Cycleboard currently produces 4 models including Sport, Elite, Elite Pro and Rover. Prices range from $1000 to $2000 depending on model. My preference would be to get the Elite Pro or Rover since they go the fastest and have the best range.
- 25 mph Top Speed
- Range (25 – 40 Miles)
- Cost: $1000 to $2000 depending on model
Looking for the ultimate electric motorbike, Monday Motorbikes just might have one for you. The Monday Motorbikes M1, is an absolute beauty. It features an impressive 40 MPH top end and up to 50 miles on a single charge (30-35 in city driving). The M1 features 2 driving modes including economy (20 mph) and sport (up to 40 mph). It’s $4,500 price tag seems quite reasonable for what you get and it’s futuristic looks are sure to get attention. While the company claims the motorbike doesn’t require a license to ride, I do think it’s hugging the line on what is and isn’t a bike vs a motorcycle.
- Monday Motorbikes
- 40 mph Top Speed (Sport Mode) | 20 mph economy mode
- Range (up to 50 miles in economy mode)
- Cost: $4,500
Monday Motorbikes Cool Features
I have to admit, the M1 looks too cool
- Real-time feedback on power consumption
- Keyless: user-programmable password
- USB port for mobile device charging
- Switch between Sport and Economy Modes with the push of a button
Ultra Low Maintenance
- No oil to change, ever
- No spark plugs
- No vibration
- Motor rated for over 200,000 miles
- Rear brake collects your kinetic energy and charges your batteries as you slow down
- Improves range
- Takes the guesswork out of braking
- Use brake pads less and ride more
Super 73 Electric Bike
For the money and features, the Super 73 seems like the clear winner. The issue with the 73 is availability. Demand has been so high that the company’s inventory is 4 months behind, so by the time you place an order it can take up to 120 days before they ship. This obviously is a total bummer for those who want it now. Another disadvantage is the bike comes unassembled, so those who are mechanically challenged may find assembly difficult.
Still the Super 73 is just a fun way to get around town.
- Super 73
- 20 mph Top Speed
- Range (35-40 miles)
- Cost: $2,200
At this point I am still trying to decide what option will work the best for me. One reason I am leaning toward the Super 73 is it seems ideal for commuting. It has a great range (35-40 miles), it has a good top end speed (20 mph) and is probably the easiest to lockup. The fact that it also has a mini rack would allow for extra carrying capacity. Having both front and rear lights adds safety and the battery is removable for charging for convience. Streets here in Austin can be annoying with potholes and chipseal. Having fat tires should reduce road shock and make for smoother traveling. The biggest downside of course is the wait. 4 months for delivery might be a deal breaker.
Another option that looks really really interesting is the M1 from Monday Motorbikes. It’s a much more expensive option over the Super 73, essentially double the cost, but also has that 1960’s look that will certainly get attention. What I really like about the M1 is the attention to detail and how it just screams ride me. The fact that it can go up to 40 mph and has up to a 50 mile range means you can get where you need to be really fast and if your commutes close enough, you might be able to ride a whole week on a single charge.
Let me know what your thoughts are and if you have pulled the trigger on any of these.