With the plucky claim that it took just $400,000 in capital and 18 months to pull it off, the Michigan-based startup Current Motors has begun selling electric scooters that it says have a range of up to 55 miles and an operating cost of two cents per mile — all the while being virtually maintenance free.
Current founders Erik Kauppi and John Harding call themselves “gearhead, motorcyle-loving engineers” who were intent on making an electric scooter with more range, more power and requiring less maintenance than the scooters on the market now. On its website, Current points out that its C130 Deluxe model — the most expensive at $7,499 — has a 5.75 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack, “compared to Brammo Enertia’s 3.1 kWh pack and the Vectrix’s 3.7 kWh.” Top speed on the C130 is listed at a highway-capable 65-plus miles per hour.
Current also says it’s more affordable than its competitors, a claim it pulls off by cleverly comparing cost to vehicle range: “CMC customers pay about $136 per mile of range, 32 percent less than Zero and Brammo (each cost $200 per mile of range), 59 percent less than Vectrix ($333 per mile of range) and 73 percent less than Tesla ($500 per mile of range).”
The company is taking orders now and making a hard sell for consumers to pounce before the end of the year “to take advantage of 2010 federal and state tax rebates.” However, under current law the 10 percent federal tax credit for 2- or 3-wheeled electric vehicles is available until January 1, 2012. Information on possible state tax incentives is available from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center. While Current is encouraging orders now, it didn’t say when exactly the scooters would ship.
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