We constantly have discussions, which is the best way to move in Beijing. Quickly the topic comes to electric scooters or e-bikes, which are becoming more and more popular. And then comes the question, everybody answers differently: "How far can you go with one charge?"
Today, I did not talk about it. I did it. I went out to drain my bike to the last electron. It is a hybrid, which can be driven fully electric or as a supported bicycle - a so-called "Pedelec". The advantage to a scooter is, that you can extend range by pushing into the pedals and also, should the battery be really empty once, you can at least still get home. The manufacturer does not give information on the battery capacity or the power of the engine. Just the salesman said something like 25 km. So I expected this to be Chinese 25 km, which then should equal about, let's say 12 km.
I started with a full charge of the about 6 months old lithium ion battery and rode off into the haze through the Hutongs of Beijing, passing Tianamen Square and back to Dongzhimen.
Me, my clothes and water bottle made 90 kg payload. There was not much wind and temperature was around 20 Degree Celsius (that defines the battery capacity, which is lower at low temperatures). The route taken was quite flat and speed was sometimes limited by the traffic. As a result, the range was a surprising 33.2 km on electric drive. Then the engine suddenly fainted and I only had to make a few hundred meters on a conventional bicycle. Looking at the GPS track below (red line in the map), there is one outlier in the measurement which goes up to 120 km/h, which is of course an error. You can go quite continously at around 20 km/h and the average moving speed is with 13 km/h about what you can make with a car in Beijing. Quite good. Impressed.