GoEco Recommends: The Most Sustainable Scooters and Mopeds

Mopeds; whether you dream of a sexy Italian Vespa (leggy blonde not included) or harbour a secret resentment of the scooters that nip round you in traffic jams, there is no doubt that these nifty little bikes can provide a convenient, more affordable and typically more sustainable alternative to traditional vehicular transport. (Although if you are in the market for an electric car, check out our recommendations here.) Requiring an approximate 1p per mile of electricity, simple servicing, no road tax and cheap parking these vehicles can help you expand your wallet while reducing your carbon footprint.

When looking at scooters and mopeds to recommend, we have considered the range, design and price in the products listed below, accommodating a range of different budgets whilst keeping an eye on the green credentials of the manufacturer.

Also worth noting is the Office for Low Emissions Vehicle (OZEV) grant; up to 35% off full price up to £500 for electric motorcycles and £150 for mopeds is available when bought new from a dealership (check out the list of approved models here) – however this scheme is currently being phased out with limited grants available, so best to get a move on! Otherwise buying second-hand is a great option for your bank account and the environment, saving on resources and emissions produced during manufacturing.

Our Top Picks…

Vespa (Piaggio SPA)

Company: Piaggio SPA is Europe’s largest moped and motorcycle manufacturer. With headquarters in Italy, Piaggio produces multiple renowned brands with manufacturing facilities in Italy, India and Vietnam. Piaggio outline the structure of their Environmental Management System across the separate organisational units of their company on their site, with Environment, Health and Safety teams in their Vietnam and India subsidiaries employed to review and improve upon practises. Energy for production is obtained from companies that use renewable sources in part, and water consumption at its Pontedera plant has halved in the last decade, however we would like to see clearer reporting of environmental goals and results from Piaggio, as their reporting is a little unclear, with vague and non-specific goals.

Product: The Vespa Elettrica is faithful to the longstanding “cool” Vespa design associated with many an Italian romance film, 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 the throttle go, 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.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 for a brand new model ranges from around £6,000 – £7,000, minus the potential £500 OZEV grant.

Super Soco

Company: As with many companies on the smaller side, it’s 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 electric vehicles, has built up relationships in Europe that could facilitate battery sharing networks and provides CO2 emissions calculations to support its clean mobility vision. In the future we want to hear more about solid company commitments to decarbonise to support this narrative.

Product: Super Soco offer have a T series and a C series on offer, and their bikes are certainly among the most popular for an affordable electric alternative these days. All models have a modern-scooter-likeness in appearance, accompanied by up to date tech such as 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. Their fastest and most powerful bike is the TC Max, an attractive option for those after a bit more power, with the very slight trade off of a 70 mile range, but a maximum charging time of just 4.5 hours and achieving speeds of 60 MPH with ease. Excluding OZEV grants, the CUX is priced at around £2,700 with an additional £450 for a special Ducati paint job. The CPX stands at around £4,500 for the single battery version and £5,500 for the double battery version.

BMW

Company: 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.

Product: The C evolution fits into a category known as maxi scooters. The model has been around since 2013 and while you will be able to find good second-hand options, new sales of the model were discontinued in 2020. Nevertheless, 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. Second-hand bikes depending on condition are available typically for between £5,000 – £6,500.

The new CE 04 will set you back a hefty £11,700 before OZEV grants, but does offer the ultimate luxury in electric scooters. Its futuristic frame is complemented by maximum speeds of an impressive 80 mph, and an 80 km range from a 1.5 to 2 hour charge. With a range of individualised tech packages, from the ‘Avante-Garde Player’ with heated handgrips and the quick charge port, to the ‘Breathing Urbanism’ package with backrest and DWA theft-alarm, there are a range of nifty features available to truly make this bike your own. The 10.25 inch display is. bluetooth enabled, connecting seamlessly to your smartphone to allow you to make calls, utilise the smart navigation or bang out your tunes easily.


We do our best to research and find the most environmentally-friendly companies to recommend at GoEco. However, if you have any suggestions that we might not know of, or disagree with any of our recommendations, please get in contact: hello@goeco.co.uk. We always want to learn more about the companies with the potential to save our future!

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