Peugeot Begins Building Electric Scooters

Publish Date: 
Jan 8, 2008

PEUGEOT MOTORCYCLES and Oxygen SpA have reached an agreement that will have Peugeot produce the Italian start-up's battery-powered Cargoscooter at the Peugeot plant in Mandeure, France. The facility has the capacity to produce up to 1,200 units per day.

Oxygen SpA was established when U.S.-based battery manufacturer Evercel financed an employee buy-out of one of Italy's oldest bicycle makers, Atala-Cesare, to concentrate on the production of electric-powered transportation.

Oxygen currently has about 350 of its Cargoscooter on the road in Europe, where customers testing them include Domino's Pizza in the Netherlands, the Whole Foods Market in London, and the postal services of Belgium and Switzerland.

While Peugeot brand products are not sold in the United States, Oxygen's Lepton scooter is imported and distributed across the country through independent dealers and distributors.

Built around a tubular steel frame and weighing 230 pounds, the Lepton electric scooter can achieve 28 mph and cover a range of up to 31 miles. The unit is powered by a brushless motor with permanent magnets. The batteries that power it are standard-sized battery packs that weigh 30.8 kilos. The motor and drive mechanism are enclosed and batteries are placed low for best possible weight distribution. Regular charging time takes about five hours.

The scooter retails for around $2,000 with the 44-amp battery and for approximately $2,100 with the 50-amp battery package. The cheaper version uses lead acid batteries while the more expensive model uses nickel zinc.

Dealers of the Oxygen Lepton in the U.S. can be found in Bethesda, Md.; Cambridge, Mass.; Carlsbad, Calif.; and Laguna Beach, Calif.

Read a larger report about alternative power vehicles in the February issue of Dealernews magazine.