From Ducati, Honda, & Rome to Benzina in Australia


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What’s it wish to go from a Ducati to an electrical moped? Can you employ a scooter to get to work? I requested Ben Silver of Benzina Zero in Australia for some buyer reactions to his product providing. He put me in contact with John, Vera, and Stuart. Listed below are the tales they advised me in interviews:

From Ducati to Duo — Sure, It Can Be Executed!

John is a retired scientific psychologist who now lives within the mountainous Sunshine Coast hinterland in Queensland. After driving Italian motorbikes and scooters for a few years, he determined to provide the Duo+ a go. “Being on two wheels is in my blood,” he defined. “It’s a freedom factor.” He was curious in regards to the Benzina Zero Duo+ and is sort of shocked with the flexibility of the bike. It handles the hilly terrain nicely, and in “energy” mode it may possibly obtain 65 km per hour. The Duo+ fees simply from an exterior energy level.


John along with his Ducati Diavel. Photograph courtesy of John Barletta.

He finds the Duo+ very straightforward to park. “After I need to nip into city, I don’t get soiled. In Maleny, the mountains are excessive and the emperor is much away. There are many bike parks as a result of heaps of riders come up on weekend.” And if not, he can simply park on a grassy patch. John’s Duo+ is fitted with a wicker basket, firmly connected for hauling groceries or {hardware} objects. He finds it quiet and funky. “Using the Duo has an ethereal high quality. No noise, no scent.” And since he offered his final Ducati, the spouse doesn’t fear a lot anymore. Sadly, there aren’t any lengthy rides along with his mates.

Maleny may be very electrical car pleasant, with a lot of charging accessible, nice air high quality, and entry to pure environments. The Duo matches in nicely. John says it’s like driving the Vespa again within the day. “You could possibly put on an Armani swimsuit on a Vespa.” On the weekends, when the vacationer hotspot will get busy, John finds that the Duo can simply deal with the gridlock on the principle road.


The Duo+ in Maleny. Photograph courtesy of John Barletta.

John rides the Duo+ the two minutes it takes to get into city, the place he makes use of it for purchasing and errands. It doesn’t take up a lot house. He has had the Duo+ for 12 months and sees it as a cool, refined purchasing trolly. John volunteers as a blacksmith on the males’s shed within the historic village. He makes hearth instruments and does repairs. “Warmth, beat and repeat,” he says. The vacationers find it irresistible. So does he — he has his personal forge at house.


John working at his house forge. Photograph courtesy of John Barletta.

John tells me that his subsequent automobile might be electrical — he’s simply ready for the costs to come back down. Then it is perhaps goodbye, Fiat Bambino.

Scootering from Rome to Brisbane

Vera grew up in Rome and has been driving a scooter since she was 14. “In amongst the crazies!” She tells me that she may be very conscious of individuals and vehicles from driving in Europe. She has lived in Australia for the previous 20 years and has observed that there are “so many extra scooters since she arrived. However you all the time want to concentrate on different automobiles as a result of the impression they make on you’ll all the time be better than the impression you make on them.” Australia is a rustic of migrants and quite a bit riders come from cultures the place scooters are embedded.

Vera had been a buyer of Scootopia, and when Benzina Zero launched with a contest to win a “Metropolis” scooter, she responded to the textual content along with her particulars. At work on a quiet Friday, she acquired the telephone name and raced into the boss’ workplace. “I gained the scooter!” There was a lot of pleasure within the workplace as she advised everybody. The boss introduced it at a gathering. It was a few weeks earlier than the scooter was delivered to her house in Hamilton. She needed to choose the color first. Initially, she simply took the scooter across the native neighbourhood. “It was an odd sensation to be on a transferring car that’s so quiet and has no vibration.” She remains to be getting used to “a distinct journey.”


Vera gained a Benzina Metropolis. This picture was taken on the day she collected it. Photograph courtesy of Ben Silver.

“Everybody I’ve spoken to have been intrigued by it. My buddy is contemplating changing from her Vespa to electrical. Everybody within the workplace knew I had gained the scooter after I acquired the decision — all of them need to attempt it however most have by no means been on a scooter so they’re too nervous.” Vera has supplied rides, however to this point, nobody has taken her up on it.

The “Metropolis” is equal to a 50-cc scooter. By legislation, you may journey as much as 50 km/h. Most of Vera’s earlier scooters had been 50-cc. So, it was goodbye to the Aprilia Scarabeo that she had been driving for the previous few years. Each different day, she discreetly fees the removable battery from her “Metropolis” by plugging into an influence level within the board room. She likes to maintain it totally charged. The “Metropolis” has a 2.1-kWh battery utilizing LG battery cells and has a variety of 80 km.

Vera rides by means of peak hour visitors to work every day in Brisbane. The day by day commute prices nothing on the scooter, but when she must go by public transport, it may price as much as AU$35 per week. The 2-wheeler offers her a way of freedom — so quiet and responsive. “The Scooter is quicker and extra enjoyable within the dense city visitors. I don’t should park far-off from the workplace so I can go locations through the lunchbreak. That’s handy.” Vera tells me the electrical scooter is extra dependable than her earlier petrol variations.

Vera likes not counting on petrol and oil. “It’s very constructive from an environmental stance and I’ve much less issues with the bike as a result of it’s less complicated mechanically. To this point everybody has been so constructive. The constructing supervisor has tried it out and wish to get an electrical scooter — he rides bikes. It’s nice to have the ability to come and go with out disturbing the neighbours.” Vera says she has “snagged” a free park within the constructing she lives in as a result of the scooter is so small.

When Vera stops on the lights, she checks the display to verify the bike remains to be on earlier than she takes off. “It nonetheless feels a bit of bizarre.” The bike is just not allowed on the freeway, nor can she do her purchasing with it or take the canine. So, Vera nonetheless has a automobile for these duties. The scooter has changed the automobile for commuting to work. Vera is a powerful advocate of Benzina Zero and loves her Metropolis.

From Honda to Benzina

Stuart Strickland OAM rides his Benzina Zero Duo+, a faster model of the Duo electrical moped, round Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. He’s the previous Managing Director of Honda MPE and is aware of his manner round motorbikes. He has all the time been a champion of small-capacity private transport. He’s now 74 and retired. Stuart is an advisor to Benzina Zero.


The day Stuart picked his Duo+ up from Vespa Home with Dean Tonin. Photograph courtesy of Ben Silver.

Stuart and I caught up by telephone (Melbourne is about 1800 km from my base in Brisbane) and he shared his story. His Duo has changed his earlier journey — a Honda 150. The Duo is beneficial for purchasing, group volunteer work, and attending to church by means of the dense Melbourne visitors. He can cost from a powerpoint in his storage and rides about 100 km per week.

Stuart lives about 5 km from town centre. He tells me it saves him getting the automobile out. The Duo is quiet and unobtrusive, the cargo field holds all of the purchasing and it doesn’t use any petrol or oil. Stuart is eager to inform me that he nonetheless has huge petrol bikes — on his property exterior town.

Motorcyclists have a nasty rep as extreme danger takers, he tells me. They aren’t within the Duo as a result of they need energy and vary. The principle market he sees for the Duo is when individuals need a step up from ebikes. The Duo is flexible and may carry most issues, even a surfboard. However it’s troublesome to outline the market area of interest. He would really like governments to be extra proactive within the transfer away from vehicles within the cities. Maybe as individuals embrace environmental points extra, politicians will take word.

He appreciates the truth that the Duo will journey at as much as 65 km/hour, good for city driving. Completely different states have completely different licensing guidelines — highlighted in CleanTechnica’s latest article on Benzina. You want a motorbike licence to even journey the 50cc moped model of the Duo in Victoria. However you don’t want one for an ebike which does about the identical velocity. Stuart thinks that is ridiculous, and I agree.

When he rides to the café for his morning espresso, it creates plenty of curiosity. The value is engaging (round AU$5,000), however persons are postpone by having to get a motorcycle licence. This takes a couple of days and should price $1,000 for the intensive coaching. In South Australia, Queensland, and Western Australia, you may journey a Duo on a automobile licence. Sellers in Victoria who want to promote the Duo should be a licensed motorcar dealer.

“Governments don’t have a transparent view of electrical mobility. Confusion disadvantages automobiles just like the Duo. Is it an electrical bike or an electrical bike? Individuals on decrease incomes may gain advantage by travelling on a Duo,” he provides.

Hopefully, tales like these of John, Vera, and Stuart will encourage individuals to alter perceptions and laws for the sake of the atmosphere and the convenience of metropolis residing.


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