What to Look for
Mopeds will clearly not be for everybody, with the associated dangers of two wheeled transport being well known. But if you are looking for a cheap and greener alternative for shorter motorised journeys then they are worth considering.
If you think electric cars are more your thing, check out our recommendations here.
As for their polluting equivalent, you will require to complete CBT and hold a provisional licence (full car licence) prior to taking your moped on the road with L plates. To lose your L plates you will need to pass the appropriate A category driving licence based on the power rating of your Moped.
With an approximate cost of 1p per mile of electricity, simple servicing, no road tax and cheap parking these vehicles can help reduce your carbon footprint inexpensively.
When making the recommendations below we consider range, design and price trying to offer different category alternatives but always with an eye on the green credentials of the manufacturer.
In all cases an OZEV grant, 20% from list price up to £1,500, should be available for a new purchase through the dealer. Remember this if you are buying on the second-hand market as any depreciation should be expected from the discounted figure.
The Brand: Piaggio SPA is Europe’s largest moped and motorcycle manufacturer. Headquartered in Italy it produces multiple renowned brands with manufacturing facilities in Italy, India and Vietnam.
Whilst we are pleased to see Piaggio are a member of the CDP sustainability (transparency) initiative given an A- for climate change reporting, we found reporting to be confusing and lacking in stated targets. As a potential leader in e-mobility we would like to see this improve.
The Product: The Vespa Elettrica is faithful to the longstanding “cool” design that has been seen on our roads for decades, but of course without the tailpipe emissions.
Visually, the major update is the digital mid handlebar display incorporating Bluetooth connectivity (music and voice) with all the other usual driver feedback (including battery status).
When riding, besides the lack of noise of course, the only real difference you will notice is the increased deceleration, due to the energy recovery system (KERS) when you let go of the throttle and the addition of a reverse gear to make parking easy.
Even with the battery under the seat there is still the familiar under-seat helmet storage space and the hidden fuelling point (cable in this case).
Range is stated at around 60 miles with a 4-hour recharge cycle from a 3-pin socket. Two versions are available, a 30 MPH, roughly matching the equivalent 50 c.c. model and a 45 MPH model equipped with an Eco and power mode.
Price ranges from around £4,800 to £5,200 after the 20% OZEV grant.
The Brand: As with many medium sized Chinese companies it is very difficult to unravel their green credentials with the lack of a common sustainability reporting style. We would like to see this change quickly.
This said, however, the company only produces EVs (two wheelers), has built up relationships in Europe that could facilitate battery sharing networks and provides CO2 emissions calculations to support its clean mobility vision.
We want to hear more about solid company commitments to decarbonise to support this narrative.
The Product: The CUx and CPx represent Super Socco’s 50 cc and 125 cc equivalent offerings respectively.
Both models have the “modern scooter” family likeness and accompanying up to date tech including powerful LED lights, USB connectivity, built in wheel lock, motion alarm and app connectivity.
The CUx is effectively a single seater, limited to 30 MPH with a single battery giving a range of 40 miles from a 3- to 4-hour charge.
The CPx is a two-seater, capable of 55 MPH with a dual battery option (single is available) giving a range of 80 miles from a 6- to 8-hour charge. The CPx also offers a more comprehensive driver console with some colour, although both can be considered complete, plus keyless tech and a reversing capability for easy parking.
The CUx is priced, after OZEV grant, at around £2,250 with an additional £250 for a special Ducati paint job. The CPx is priced, after OZEV grant, at around £3,600 for the single battery version and £4,700 for the double battery version.
The Brand: With an A rating for transparency on climate impact reporting, BMW have been setting measurable and meaningful climate impact targets since 2012. This has resulted in being able to announce in their 2020 sustainability report a 50% decrease in new car emissions between 1995 and 2020 in Europe, and globally the use of only green power for production plants.
Additionally, they are committed to the Paris Climate accord and have set concrete 2030 goals to measure progress. These include reducing C02 emissions in production by 80%, in the use phase by 40% and in their supply chain by 20%, from the 2019 baseline and all done with direct initiatives rather than offset.
The Product: The C evolution fits into a category known as maxi scooters. The model has been around since 2013 and you will be able to find good second-hand options. You may even struggle to purchase a new example currently as BMW is predicted to be introducing a new model based on the CE04 concept maxi scooter which is expected to be even more advanced and equally class leading.
Focussing on what exists, the C evolution is capable of over 70 MPH with a range of some 100 miles and a battery recharge time of 3 to 5 hours. As its name implies, it is a substantial looking machine, albeit still elegant and with performance figures more akin to a fast motorcycle.
Energy recuperation whilst braking, a reversing option for easy parking, 4 different driving modes, high tech stability features and a large colour digital TFT display all add to the feeling of machine made for more than short local journeys. This is complimented by large comfortable seating offering helmet storage.
As you would probably expect all this does not come cheaply and you will pay around £12,500 after the OZEV grant is included.
We try our best to research and find the best environmentally-friendly companies to recommend here. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org .We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future.