Auto EV Japan Co Ltd will release the "Scarpina," an electric scooter, in May 2009 in Japan.
The scooter uses extruded hollow aluminum alloy bent with a constant curvature, the same structure used for the company's "Girasole," a four-wheel electric vehicle. The company imports the parts from abroad and assembles them in Japan.
Auto EV Japan prepared two models of the scooter, the two-wheeled "Scarpina Due" and the three-wheeled "Scarpina Tre." The Due comes in two versions, the A-type (rated output: 600W), which can be driven with a motorized bicycle license in Japan, and the B-type (rated output: 1kW), which can be driven with a two-wheeled motor vehicle license or a small-sized special motor vehicle license.
The Tre has a rated output of 1kW and requires a regular driver's license in Japan. The price of the Due starts from ¥346,500 (approx US$3,544) for the A-type and ¥420,000 for the B-type, including tax, while the minimum price of the Tre is ¥651,000.
The Scarpina is mounted with a Li-ion secondary battery manufactured by Thuder Sky Battery Ltd of China, which was also employed for the Girasole, or that manufactured by BYD Co Ltd of China. The batteries passed safety tests based on the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety and Security Operational Test Criteria recommended by the United Nations (ST/SG/10/11/Rev4).
The batteries can be charged using a household 100V power outlet. And the scooter will run a distance of 45 to 85km at a time after one to two hours of charging. Removable batteries are offered as options so that users who live in an apartment building can easily charge the battery. The running cost is roughly 1/5 of a gasoline powered scooter.
The rear wheel of the Due is supported by a cantilever trailing arm made of extruded aluminum, and the motor is mounted inside the wheel. The Tre has a 500W motor for each of the rear wheels and is driven by two rear wheels.
The right and left drivers are independent from each other. And the program to achieve a good balance between the differential's performance for passing through a curve and the straight driving performance is currently under development, according to Auto EV Japan.
The rear suspension of the Tre is currently the "monoshock type," in which sides are connected by an equalizing beam and the center is supported by a coil spring. Because it is a parallel link suspension, it has no resistance against sideward tilting. But the type of the suspension will possible be changed, according to the company.