Friday, December 8, 2023

From Ducati, Honda, & Rome to Benzina in Australia


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What’s it prefer 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 informed me in interviews:

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

John is a retired medical 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 concerning the Benzina Zero Duo+ and is kind of shocked with the flexibility of the bike. It handles the hilly terrain nicely, and in “energy” mode it will possibly obtain 65 km per hour. The Duo+ fees simply from an exterior energy level.


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

He finds the Duo+ very simple to park. “Once 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 motorcycle 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 hooked up 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 bought his final Ducati, the spouse doesn’t fear a lot anymore. Sadly, there are not any lengthy rides together with his mates.

Maleny may be very electrical automobile pleasant, with a number of charging out there, nice air high quality, and entry to pure environments. The Duo suits in nicely. John says it’s like driving the Vespa again within the day. “You may 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 avenue.


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 procuring and errands. It doesn’t take up a lot house. He has had the Duo+ for 12 months and sees it as a cool, subtle procuring trolly. John volunteers as a blacksmith on the males’s shed within the historic village. He makes fire instruments and does repairs. “Warmth, beat and repeat,” he says. The vacationers find it irresistible. So does he — he has his personal forge at residence.


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

John tells me that his subsequent automobile shall be electrical — he’s simply ready for the costs to return 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 pay attention to different automobiles as a result of the affect they make on you’ll all the time be higher than the affect you make on them.” Australia is a rustic of migrants and loads 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 bought the cellphone name and raced into the boss’ workplace. “I gained the scooter!” There was a number of pleasure within the workplace as she informed everybody. The boss introduced it at a gathering. It was a few weeks earlier than the scooter was delivered to her residence in Hamilton. She needed to choose the color first. Initially, she simply took the scooter across the native neighbourhood. “It was a wierd sensation to be on a shifting automobile that’s so quiet and has no vibration.” She remains to be getting used to “a distinct trip.”


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 bought the decision — all of them need to strive it however most have by no means been on a scooter so they’re too nervous.” Vera has supplied rides, however up to now, nobody has taken her up on it.

The “Metropolis” is equal to a 50-cc scooter. By legislation, you’ll be able to trip 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 peak hour site 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 might value 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 site visitors. I don’t must park far-off from the workplace so I can go locations throughout 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 easier 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 just a little bizarre.” The bike will not be allowed on the freeway, nor can she do her procuring 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 robust 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 cellphone (Melbourne is about 1800 km from my base in Brisbane) and he shared his story. His Duo has changed his earlier trip — a Honda 150. The Duo is beneficial for procuring, group volunteer work, and attending to church by the dense Melbourne site visitors. He can cost from a powerpoint in his storage and rides about 100 km per week.

Stuart lives about 5 km from the 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 procuring and it doesn’t use any petrol or oil. Stuart is eager to inform me that he nonetheless has massive petrol bikes — on his property outdoors the town.

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

He appreciates the truth that the Duo will journey at as much as 65 km/hour, excellent for city driving. Completely different states have completely different licensing guidelines — highlighted in CleanTechnica’s latest article on Benzina. You want a bike licence to even trip 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 a variety of curiosity. The worth is attractive (round AU$5,000), however individuals are delay by having to get a bike licence. This takes a couple of days and should value $1,000 for the intensive coaching. In South Australia, Queensland, and Western Australia, you’ll be able to trip a Duo on a automobile licence. Sellers in Victoria who want to promote the Duo must be a licensed motorized vehicle 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 motorcycle? Folks on decrease incomes may benefit by travelling on a Duo,” he provides.

Hopefully, tales like these of John, Vera, and Stuart will encourage individuals to vary perceptions and rules for the sake of the atmosphere and the convenience of metropolis dwelling.


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