London’s mopeds have almost entirely avoided electrification so far, owing to the simple fact that they’re as cheap as the Deliveroo chips they carry, and you can run them from here to the moon on a figment of petrol.
But as the sword of Damocles hanging over the city’s smog-belching engines looks increasingly precarious, and the cost and efficiency of electric motors and their batteries enters freefall, the rise of the electric moped feels all but inevitable.
Enter the Super Soco CUX, a fully electric scooter that runs on nothing but nature’s own sweet, green lightning juice and emits nothing but positive, eco-smug vibes. After the government’s plug-in grant it will set you back £2,099, making it cheaper than many decent e-bikes, and a credible option for riders looking for a lightweight, daily commuter bike that won’t enrage folks who superglue themselves to DLR trains.
Riding it around London feels like stepping into the future, and even if it doesn’t single-handedly reverse climate change and transmute the city’s air from a noxious soup to a life-giving ambrosia, it’s still incredible fun to get around on. The CUX is a tight and zippy ride, and as it doesn’t have to faff around with bothersome combustion engines, it can drop all of its torque into the rear wheel as soon as you twist the throttle, meaning it feels agile and nimble at any speed, with none of the lethargic lurching of a petrol bike.
The planet-saving CUX pootles along at a heady 30mph, with a range of up to around 40 miles and a recharge time of six or seven hours. Whereas the company’s previous bike, the Super Soco TS, resembled a one-third sized classic motorcycle and attracted comments and questions at almost every red light, the CUX is a more traditionally styled and subtle-looking scooter. It’s only when pulling away that it actually stands out from other bikes, its rear-wheel Bosch hub motor almost completely silent, save for the faint, futuristic whir of the electrics and the gentle sound of rubber rolling on tarmac. Sailing down London’s alleyways like a well-to-do Victorian ghost, I had my thumb hovering above the horn at all times, ready to alert any unwary pedestrians as they mindlessly stumble out into traffic, oblivious to my soundless arrival.
The planet-saving CUX pootles along at a heady 30mph, with a range of up to around 40 miles and a recharge time of six or seven hours.
The battery can be removed from the compartment beneath the seat. It’s about the size of a breadbin and weighs as much as a bowling ball, so while you wouldn’t want to have to haul it up several flights of stairs, it’s still light enough to carry from the kerb to your house for an overnight charge. Pop the battery out and find a spare socket somewhere around the office each morning, and you could run the thing off your employer’s electricity, bringing the bike’s running costs down to precisely zero pence.
My usual commute is by electric pedal bike, and while the Super Soco CUX is as convenient an alternative as these things are going to get, the essential concerns of riding a licensed scooter are still there. You’ll need to have completed your CBT training, which lasts two years or until you get your full motorcycle licence. You’ll need insurance. And, while parking for electric bikes is typically free, you’ll need somewhere to safely store it. The CUX is light enough that two suitably motivated thieves, or one really buff criminal, could carry it away.
But if pedalling just isn’t your bag, and you’d still rather not contribute to slowly poisoning everyone’s lungs, the CUX is here for you.