Our Dutch scooter correspondent, Maurice van Oosten, recently covered the Kymco ionex electric scooter presentation for us from the Tokyo Motor Show. The Netherlands is one country where electric mobility has never been more important, as soon as 2025 Amsterdam aims to be emission-free and millions of gas-guzzling scooters will be thrown into the canals.
Here’s how Maurice got on in Tokyo…
Japan is not the first country we think of when we mention the name Kymco. However, the Taiwanese manufacturer seized the Tokyo Motorcycle show for the presentation of their revolutionary electric scooter.
Until two weeks before the presentation, we did not really know much about the world premiere. It was, in any case, electric, but what we could expect further was kept secret in Taiwan. Meanwhile, the first teaser videos appeared on the internet and we gradually got more information on our screen.
Full of excitement, we travelled to Tokyo where the Ionex was launched at the Marriott hotel. We already saw chairman Allen Ko in Milan at presentations and he was also responsible for the presentation of this world premiere. It’s noteworthy just how he can always lead a presentation calmly and relaxed. A lot of CEOs can learn something from that!
Electrification is becoming an increasingly important part of mobility. In large cities such as China, virtually no fuel scooter is sold anymore. In Europe we are also on the verge of a major change. Emission-free driving in the cities will be customary in 5 to 10 years and Kymco is well aware of this.
Range anxiety issues?
Let’s talk about the scooter. The ionex is an electric scooter with space for five replaceable batteries. Two of them are placed in the footboard, the other three in the space under the saddle. Revolutionary is the backup (Core) battery that ensures that you can keep on riding at all times without getting stuck. Range anxiety (the fear that the scooter has insufficient charge to reach the final destination) is therefore limited. One of the two batteries under the footplate always ensures that the Core battery is fully charged. A Convenient switch on the handlebars ensures that you can automatically turn the battery compartment in the footboard to change the batteries, a real thinker!
Of course, this scooter will also be equipped with a handy app as we already see in the competition. The ionex is based on a model that Kymco never ran in the Netherlands (Many). The model is also very similar to the New Sento, which is no longer available. We see a compact city scooter with 10-inch wheels.
Power outlet stations
To ensure that the Kymco rider can always keep riding, people in urban areas want to provide power outlet stations, a station where you can change a battery, or a place where you can load your scooter. The latter can be done at the local kiosk or florist. This creates a network where you can always go to charge your scooter.
We advocate a universal network of charging stations where each brand can change or charge its battery. An individual specific switch station for each brand, no one is waiting for that. A range is always dependent on a large number of factors including speed, weight, temperature and weather conditions, but Kymco indicates that the ionex must be able to reach a range of 200 km. We are obviously eagerly awaiting a test.
The ambition at Kymco Taiwan is great, in the coming three years the brand wants to launch 10 new electric models in 20 countries with total sales of 500,000 units. According to Chairman Allen Ko, the ionex will be available in Taiwan in 2018 and in 2019 the delivery in Europe will start. Chances are that the Netherlands is high on the priority list of the Chairman. Prices are unfortunately not yet known but according to Allen Ko this will be slightly higher than a regular petrol version of Kymco.
Kymco ionex presentation
Out and about in Tokyo
Tokyo, you need to see it
Did you know that Tokyo is the largest city in the world with approximately 37 million inhabitants? Yet it’s not at all chaotic or hectic, everyone takes each other into account and you can safely speak of an organised life in this city. We were there for a few days and expected hordes of scooters, honking horns and endless traffic jams. Nothing is further from the truth, instead, we saw a lot of taxis, freight traffic and peace and quiet.
We can learn a lot from that in Europe…
Text and photos: Maurice van Oosten
New products always in development…