Hooniverse Asks: What forms of e-mobility have you tried?

E-Mobility is a term that covers a pretty broad swath of vehicles. There’s a high likelihood that a fair bit of you have driven in or ridden on a vehicle that utilizes an electric powertrain. Be it as large as a car or as small as a rideshare scooter, I believe more of you have ridden or driven something electric compared to those of you who have not.

So what have you experienced? For me personally, I’ve mostly just gotten my e-kicks via various electric cars. And not that many of them either. A few years back, I spent a total of 30 minutes behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S. Fast forward a few years and I’ve driven the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-Tron. Scaling down a bit, there have been golf karts, go-karts, and …not much else really.

But that is likely to change considering just how available electric-powered means of transportation are right this moment. We have electric motorcycles and dirt bikes. There’s a company working on an electric side-by-side. Another company has built an electric foil, which is basically a surfboard with a hydrofoil below it, and it looks amazing. There are electric skateboards, segways, and tons of scooters and bikes as well. The list of e-bike options in the mountain bike world grows seemingly by the month.

So I’m curious… what forms of e-mobility have you experienced?

25 Comments

  1. I own a Xiaomi M365 and a 2016 Prius (it’s only fueled by gasoline, but the electric system is a huge part of the powertrain), and have also driven a Power Wheels of some kind as a kid, a few Gen 3 Prii, a Gen 2 Volt (which I despised the suspension tuning of), a few Sodi GTX rental karts, a Fiat 500e, a Model S P90D, and a Model 3 Dual Motor.

  2. Yesterday, for the first time in about 10 months, I took an electric streetcar to work and most of the way back. I’m guessing that’s not the “e-mobility” to which that buzzword refers, though, so I won’t mention the pallet loader.

    I am thinking of converting the dirtbike to a Lithium starting battery, and getting one of those jump-start power packs for the Africa Twin, so the battery tech that drives this Emo-bility revolution is creeping into my scene.

    1. I drove a warehouse forklift about a mile and a half (ending up with about a half mile of traffic behind me, considering that this was a two lane road and the forklift went about 5mph). Unfortunately I took the gas forklift, not the electric one.

      1. When we moved the museum I work in to the other side of San Francisco I really wanted to drive the forklift halfway across town, but alas, the new building came with a new forklift so we sold the old one “as is where is”.

        1. Dæng, now I feel we missed out on a fabulous overlanding-satire piece in a city-crossing forklift.

        2. Dæng, now I feel we missed out on a fabulous overlanding-satire piece in a city-crossing forklift.

        3. Dæng, now I feel we missed out on a fabulous overlanding-satire piece in a city-crossing forklift.

  3. Not much. A few years ago I drove a friend’s Model S for about 20 minutes. I might have driven my sister in law’s boyfriend’s first generation Volt on the same trip. Both were surprisingly normal driving experiences. I think we took an Uber in a worn out Prius too. But probably the best e-mobility I’ve experienced was back when I worked at a Pepboys and for maybe a month or two we sold small Formula-1 car shaped electric go karts. Those were hilariously fun on waxed concrete… I’ve heard… I think they were Honda branded. They didn’t last long in the store and I think it might be because if someone put their kid on that, they’d have a pretty hard time catching them if anything went wrong. That thing was quick! Was very easy to drift it on a slick surface.

  4. “Experienced” in the sense of “have used one to get from place to place” would be: EV Global Motors Mini-E-Bike (i.e. the folding version of Lee Iacocca’s project), Lyman Electric Quad, Sinclair Zeta, Sinclair Zeta II, and Sinclair Zeta III.

    “Experienced” in the sense of “pushed it onto and off of a trailer and now am burdened by its inert presence” would be: Zap! Xebra.

  5. I drove a friend’s Tesla S when it was new 4-5 years ago – a huge disappointment, actually. The acceleration party trick was awesome, but it was really heavy and you could feel that in the steering wheel and even with all the fine tuned nerve endings in the seat. Interior was as poor as rumoured, too.

    We now own a first gen Leaf which performs like a golf cart with a roof. Trams are a popular mode of transport in Europe, even though they haven’t gotten the popular “e-treatment” yet.

    1. I looked up streetcars that carry their own rechargeable batteries and they’re surprisingly rare. I’m not sure what’s limiting them. Getting rid of all the overhead lines and pantograph connectors would seem to be the best benefit of a swappable battery tram. I wonder which system has better energy efficiency?

      1. Yeah, it should be a significant saving in infrastructure to just carry energy with them. But I guess battery deterioration might still be an issue?

        1. If you’re going to carry the energy with you anyway, why a streetcar instead of a bus? When there’s no need for the power line infrastructure, there isn’t a good reason for a fixed route/tracks, either. Just detour around the potholes.

        2. If you’re going to carry the energy with you anyway, why a streetcar instead of a bus? When there’s no need for the power line infrastructure, there isn’t a good reason for a fixed route/tracks, either. Just detour around the potholes.

          1. Fair point. But autonomous rail shuttles have been a thing for a while, they are predictable, have their own designated area, thus making it easier to create car-free inner cities. I’m also convinced it’s easier to make those really heavy than a swerving bus driven by a depressed low-paid guy on a high carb diet, cough. I may have been watching too much dystopian stuff lately, though.

          2. Fair point. But autonomous rail shuttles have been a thing for a while, they are predictable, have their own designated area, thus making it easier to create car-free inner cities. I’m also convinced it’s easier to make those really heavy than a swerving bus driven by a depressed low-paid guy on a high carb diet, cough. I may have been watching too much dystopian stuff lately, though.

          3. Fair point. But autonomous rail shuttles have been a thing for a while, they are predictable, have their own designated area, thus making it easier to create car-free inner cities. I’m also convinced it’s easier to make those really heavy than a swerving bus driven by a depressed low-paid guy on a high carb diet, cough. I may have been watching too much dystopian stuff lately, though.

  6. I’ve driven a bunch of EV’s/PHEV’s (Leaf, iMiEV, Volt, Bolt, Focus EV, i3, Smart ED, E-Pace, A3 e-tron), plus a handful of conventional hybrids (mostly Toyotas). As I’ve mentioned before, if I were a) in the market for a new/gently used commuter car and b) knew I could guarantee a charging spot at home, I’d absolutely consider one.

    Other than that, we have a relatively expansive streetcar and subway network in Toronto, so that’s pretty electrified? I’m not sure the e-scooter has caught on here, and I’m not sure I want it to.

  7. Does one of these count?

    https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/c89177d5-d78e-45dc-935d-d679abaec942_1.4e938bc7ec3798e986af46e9ce35590c.jpeg

    Otherwise, a golf cart a few times, and some electric karts at an indoor karting place once. The latter I don’t recommend; not having to deal with the lag of a centrifugal clutch was nice, and they were quick, but having your power yanked out from under you remotely is disconcerting. Great for the staff, I’m sure, to be able to actually enforce yellow flags, but it was really strange to have the throttle “scaling” change on me.

  8. I’m e-bicycling daily. Passing the 100m deep trough between home and work it saves me about 40-50 minutes and a shower in comparison to HPV,and is quicker than the buses.
    For downtown dining, the most northern tram line (in the world) is serving me well.

  9. Never piloted anything purely electric propelled this side of the back nine, but I suppose I will before too terribly long. I may be in a spot to get a dedicated commuter in four or five years, by which time every OEM has sworn an oath to have some large fraction of their fleet to be all electric, and it sounds compelling for my situation, provided that situation doesn’t change in the interim.

    I would like to ride one of the Zero motorcycles, seems like a big torquey scooter. I also like the look of the Harley Livewire, apart from it looking uncomfortable.

  10. Most recently a Nissan Leaf and a golf cart, although I used to work with electric scissor lifts a lot. I also rode electric commuter trains which are a great way to move lots of people. E-scooters don’t hold any interest and I wouldn’t be caught dead on a Segway.

  11. Hmm.
    [thinks hard]
    I guess there was that time, a dozen years ago at a prior job, where I was certified to drive a stand-on electric compact forklift.
    (I could have just grabbed a skid-steer loader and put forks on the Bob-tachahem I mean quick-coupler to serve ~= the same purpose, but rules wuz rules.)

  12. Hmm.
    [thinks hard]
    I guess there was that time, a dozen years ago at a prior job, where I was certified to drive a stand-on electric compact forklift.
    (I could have just grabbed a skid-steer loader and put forks on the Bob-tachahem I mean quick-coupler to serve ~= the same purpose, but rules wuz rules.)

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