Sunday, October 17, 2021

Kiwi-built electric moped hitting the streets

The rather fantastic looking Streetdog was built right here in New Zealand.

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The rather fantastic looking Streetdog was built right here in New Zealand.

A Kiwi company sick and tired of the hubbub of the urban commute is launching its first product.

The Streetdog is a creation of Wellington-based FTN Motion, which wanted to create something electric but accessible. That meant it couldn’t be a full motorcycle, but it should also be a bit gruntier than an electric bicycle.

It didn’t take long to land on the moped class, which generally refers to a two-wheeled machine without pedals with enough power to hit roughly 60kmh. Mopeds also don’t require a motorcycle licence to ride, you can use one on a car licence.

Luke Sinclair, one of the founders of FTN Motion, saw that the e-bike market was already saturated when planning for the Streetdog began, further cementing the moped idea. “Electric mopeds are also a lot more accessible than a petrol one, no noise or exhaust fumes with very little maintenance.”

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Electric power was chosen from the start, and after a few years of testing and tweaking, including an initial prototype of a BMX bike with batteries attached to the frame by gladwrap, FTN landed on the combo of a 3kW hub-mounted electric motor and a bespoke tubular frame, somewhat resembling old British motorcycles.

‘People should be able to buy the vehicle they want, that also happens to be electric.’

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‘People should be able to buy the vehicle they want, that also happens to be electric.’

As the mechanical side of things was being worked on, FTN wanted their creation to stand out in terms of design. “People want something they’re familiar with, that looks nice, and something they want to be seen driving… People should be able to buy the vehicle they want, that also happens to be electric.”

That design culminated in the awesome old-school look seen here, with the cradle-style frame holding a storage area of 30 litres instead of a combustion engine, with a classic red-with-white-stripe paint job.

Wire-spoke wheels, motorcycle-spec brakes, a banana, cafe-racer-style seat, and a single round headlight complete the look.

There’s 30L of storage in the cavity where an engine might normally sit, enough for six six-packs of beer. Or some milk, I suppose.

Supplied

There’s 30L of storage in the cavity where an engine might normally sit, enough for six six-packs of beer. Or some milk, I suppose.

“Electric power means you’ve got so much more freedom in terms of design to clean up the whole thing… The frame ended up providing the most practical layout for the battery and storage too, which tied in with the classic looks really well.”

The Streetdog weighs in at 62kg, not bad for an electric moped, with a range of 100km. It’ll take around six hours to fully recharge the removable battery from a standard power outlet.

Interestingly, Sinclair revealed that about 15 per cent of the Streetdog’s first 100 early adopters have “never ridden a motorcycle or moped before, while another 50 per cent haven’t owned one for a long time.”

Wellington Airport has its own Streetdog on display in the main terminal.

Supplied

Wellington Airport has its own Streetdog on display in the main terminal.

One of the first ten adopters is Wellington Airport, which is showing it off in the main terminal sporting special paint by artist Gina Kiel.

Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson says they are big supporters of FTN Motion, and is delighted to showcase them in the terminal for others to see and enjoy.

“The Streetdog offers a practical and sustainable way for people to get around Wellington and their design is the perfect fit for the capital’s creative style,” he says.

Interested? There’s a bit of a wait but the Streetdog should be well worth it.

Supplied

Interested? There’s a bit of a wait but the Streetdog should be well worth it.

“We are very happy with our own customised Streetdog and proud to be supporting local, with many parts sourced here in Wellington, as close by as Lyall Bay. I’m sure Gina Kiel’s colourful design will be quite a conversation starter.”

There’s a wait list of about 250 for the second production run. Pricing is set at $9000, with more production runs due in the future. FTN also wants to expand operations overseas, already gathering a head of steam in Europe.

If a moped isn’t quite your thing, Sinclair confirmed that FTN is looking into higher-powered bikes that will encroach on 100kmh, as well as pedal-powered e-bikes. Those are a bit further away yet, though.

This article first show on www.stuff.co.nz Source link Author NILE BIJOUX on date 2021-10-11 17:00:00

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