Lost among the many wacky cartoon-car concepts at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show was the introduction of the Suzuki e-Let’s electric scooter.
The e-Let’s (yes, that’s how you spell it) is based on Suzuki’s JDM Let’s 50 Basket (Suzuki must have put Hello Kitty in charge of scooter marketing), a gasoline-fueled 50cc scoot.
I really like the way that basket is integrated into the front of the bike. In fact, all the bodywork looks good and fits precisely.
As with all electric scooters, the motor is contained entirely in the rear wheel. The battery, which has a built in self-management system, fits under the seat (see AutoblogGreen’s photo gallery) and is easily removed, as is the charger.
You’ll likely need to be lugging battery and charger around with you if you do much riding—range on a charge is 30 km, which is all of 18.6 miles. And the e-Let’s’ top speed is, you guessed it, 30 km/h, so there will be no epic road trips. Unless you’re a masochist.
Available only in Japan starting in January, an e-Let’s can be yours for $4,000, give or take; plump for the optional spare battery and the price goes up to a bit over $5,100.
While I’m not a fan of electric scooters, Suzuki’s approach is the way to make an electric at least somewhat practical. The spare battery can be at home charging up, while the one with the bike can be juicing up in your cubicle at work. Only eight hours to charge? No problem!
The PX could go ~130 miles on a fillup, and had a top speed of 45 mph, benchmarks that should be attainable by electric scooters in a few years. Maybe sooner.
As you can see in the video, it looks like a throughly pleasant ride.
No word on U.S. availability (unless you want to buy one in Japan and ship it home in pieces), but in light of the fact that the only scooters you’re going to find at a U.S. Suzuki powersports dealer are 2009 Burgmans, holding one’s breath is not advised.