The bottom line is that these days, you can get an electric urban mobility vehicle for your budget, your exact needs, and preferences. Just be sure you always keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Here’s an instance of that. Starting later next month, Carrefour France will be selling an electric scooter that’s the very definition of dirt cheap. MoovWay is also foldable, offers decent performance for the money, and, since the supermarket chain will sell it, will be instantly accessible. Too bad you can’t really use it for what it’s meant to be used.
NewsIn24 reports that the launch of MoovWay is officially scheduled for June 22, when the first units will appear in Carrefour locations. For the time being, there are no plans to sell it outside of France, which is probably for the best, all things considered. Between June 22 and July 5, it will retail at the discounted price of €199, after which it will go up to €249 (that’s $241 and $302, respectively, at the current exchange rate). By all accounts, this is a cheap as dirt EV.
The performance isn’t terrible, either. You get a 360 W motor powered by a 216 Wh battery, good for an estimated range of 12 to 17 km (7.4 to 10.5 miles). That range means it’s no proper solution for the daily commute unless you happen to commute over such a short distance and have someplace to plug it in before the journey back. Still, it’s a possibly good first- and last-mile option. The motor is good enough to take you to a maximum speed of 25 kph (15.5 mph), which is the standard legal speed for e-bikes in Europe anyway.
Despite the teeny tiny price tag, you also get mudguards, lights, a horn, kickstand, and, get this, disc brakes. The foldable MoovWay looks like an e-bike, but it has pegs instead of pedals, so it’s a sitting scooter. It weighs 14.5 kg (32 pounds), so it’s much lighter than most mid-range e-bikes today and comes with a maximum payload of 120 kg (265 pounds).
For this kind of money, that’s a surprisingly good offer. Maybe too good an offer, if you think about it.
Here’s where Carrefour is trolling: you can’t ride this thing anywhere in France, at least not legally so. Because it doesn’t have pedals and moves on its own power at all times, the MoovWay doesn’t classify as an e-bike (though Carrefour calls it a balance bike). It doesn’t deliver enough power to be a proper moped, either, but it’s still legally one.
Put it differently, to be able to ride this dirt-cheap sitting scooter, you need to register it, pay insurance, and wear protective gear like a helmet and gloves. Otherwise, you can’t ride it anywhere in the city: not on paved streets, not on cycle paths, and not on the pavement or in pedestrian areas. You can, however, enjoy it on private land and in private spaces. Maybe ride it inside your French apartment?
Trolling: pretending to deliver the perfect urban mobility solution at a seemingly unbeatable price, only to sell useless toys.