Suzuki has been testing its e-Let's electric scooter around its hometown of Hamamatsu for the past year and is now ready to send it out into the real world. Or, at least, the Japanese portion of the real world. While it doesn't have the kind of range that would prompt you to pen a letter home – 30kms (18.6 miles) at 30 km/h (18.6 miles per hour) – it does feature some pretty nice packaging and looks like a practical machine for commuting and errand running.

It's interesting to note is that Suzuki's first electric two-wheeler for consumers not only gets its Sanyo batteries supplied by Panasonic Group, but also its in-wheel motor, controller and charger that the two companies collaborated in developing. The battery has a built in management system, is stored under the seat and easily removable. The charger has the same form as the battery and can be brought along as well.

When the Suzuki e-Let's goes on sale on the 9th of January, the price tag will read ¥312,900 ($4,029 at today's rates) though if you want to get an extra battery, the "W" package will cost ¥396,900 ($5,110). Hit the jump for video of the e-Let's in action as well as press releases from both Panasonic and Suzuki.
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PRESS RELEASE

Suzuki to launch the e-Let's, an electric scooter with a detachable battery
e-Let's


Suzuki Motor Corporation will launch the e-Let's, an electric scooter which has an enhanced usability by equipping a detachable battery, while keeping the user-friendliness of a 50cm3 engine powered scooter. The e-Let's will be launched on 9 January, 2012*1.

The e-Let's has been developed as an electric scooter which realizes low noise, low vibration, and zero-emission environmental performance. Its aim was to familiarize a practical electric scooter which a user of an engine scooter can switch to without any hesitation.

Based on the Let's4 Basket, a 50cm3 scooter favored for its user-friendliness, the e-Let's has combined a high-performance in-wheel motor with regenerative braking capability and a lithium-ion battery. In addition to a typical smooth acceleration and nimble performance of an electric scooter, it realized a curb weight*2 that is 2kg less than that of the Let's4 Basket.

The lithium-ion battery has a built-in Battery Management Unit (BMU) which monitors the battery status, and can be detached to be recharged. A single charge from a Japanese 100V household outlet takes approximately four hours, giving a range of about 30km (assuming the e-Let's is ridden at 30km/h on level roads*3).

The compartment under the seat can carry either a charger or a spare battery, thus making it more convenient to charge away from home. It can also extend its range by replacing with a fully-charged battery, so it can be utilized to suit the purpose.

In addition to the basic e-Let's which is equipped with a battery and a charger, the e-Let's W is also available, adding a spare battery.

In preparation for a future zero-emission society, Suzuki is working on reducing CO2 by developing next generation vehicles (electric and fuel cell vehicles) such as the e-Let's, as well as offering our customers the fun of motorcycles.

*1: The e-Let's will be launched for the Japanese domestic market only.
*2: The weight of the charger is not included.
*3: The range of a single charge is a figure under a certain test condition. The actual range may differ depending on the difference in condition (driving and maintenance situations).

Panasonic Group to Supply Electric Drive System for Suzuki Electric Scooter

Providing total solutions to contribute to the accelerated development of light electric vehicles

Osaka, Japan - The Panasonic Group today announced that it will supply its electric drive system for Suzuki Motor Corporation's e-Let's electric scooter, to be released in January 2012 in Japan. The electric drive system consists of four components: a high performance in-wheel motor*1 and a high efficiency control circuit primarily developed by the Panasonic Group, as well as an electric motor battery system using consumer-use lithium-ion batteries and a dedicated charger that are backed by the Group's proven track record in the battery field.

Amid growing public concern over environmental protection, the development of electric vehicles, including two-wheelers and automobiles, is gaining momentum. Building on its experience in the electric assist bicycle market, the Panasonic Group has been cultivating technological expertise in drive motors and control circuits. In September 2010, the Panasonic Group, in collaboration with Suzuki, succeeded in developing a high performance in-wheel motor with regenerative braking capabilities and a high efficiency control circuit for Suzuki's prototype electric scooters, which have undergone on-road testing.

The Panasonic Group has been honing its technologies in motor control and rechargeable batteries over the years, which led to the development of the four components that comprise the core of light electric vehicles. The agreement with Suzuki has set an example for the Panasonic Group in delivering the four components as a total electric drive system for two-wheeled vehicles. The Group now aims to supply this total solution for light vehicles to companies actively developing electric vehicles.

The Panasonic Group continues to create and expand new markets in clean mobility, accelerating its efforts to contribute to achieving a low-carbon society.

An announcement has been made by Suzuki about the e-Let's electric scooter today.
Note:
*1: An in-wheel motor is a drive motor which can be incorporated into the hub of a wheel. A special characteristic of in-wheel motors is that the motor and tire axels are on the same axis. The drive mechanism can be fit completely into the wheel, which simplifies the structure of the vehicle and offers more flexibility in the design of the vehicle.
About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (US$105 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.
About SANYO

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., a member of the Panasonic Group, is a global company with leading energy and environmental technology and products for commercial and consumer use. SANYO offers products and services that focus on energy generation, energy storage and efficient energy usage, such as photovoltaic (solar) systems, small- to large-scale-use rechargeable batteries, as well as other energy-efficient products and electronic components that are designed with the environment in mind. For further information, please visit the company web site at http://panasonic.net/sanyo/




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      LEONARD
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whats wrong with these mfg ??? 18mile range Sad 18mph slow 4 grand way to much! just buld a ev bicycle way less cost faster and more range.
        Domenick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LEONARD
        It's likely the scooter can go faster but the legal limit in Japan for this size scooter is only 30km/h.
      • 3 Years Ago
      how many kilos does this scooter can coupe?
      Arun Murali
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any Idea whats the size of that Battery?
      • 1 Year Ago
      I recently came across some great information regarding the various state laws with regard to automotive window film. I recently got a ticket for having window film that was too dark on my MG. If anyone is interested, you can find out more at the International Window Film Association http://www.iwfa.com.
      • 3 Years Ago
      i wonder, where to charge the battery?
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lol@ Japanese product names I can see the advertisement already "e-Let's Scootering!"
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      18 miles per hour? don't go crazy now, speed racer. lol. A basic and extremely cheap ebike will go faster for a longer distance at a fourth of the cost. Why even bother with a scooter like this at such a low spec? seems like a waste of development money IMHO.
        Domenick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        The limit in Japan for this class scooter is 30 km/h. It probably could go faster.
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        ever think of making something along these lines?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice to support to GREEN VEHICLES BY SUZUKI, thanks to YOBYKES9ELECTROTHERM FOR INITIATION.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      'The electric drive system consists of four components: a high performance in-wheel motor*1 and a high efficiency control circuit primarily developed by the Panasonic Group, as well as an electric motor battery system using consumer-use lithium-ion batteries and a dedicated charger that are backed by the Group's proven track record in the battery field.' Panasonic turning out parts for manufacturers to stick together in their own designs is an interesting way to go.
        skierpage
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The removable battery pack is interesting, as is being able to carry two (or a charger). Everyone wanted user-swappable battery packs for cars, but they're coming to less-demanding bikes and scooters first. Honda Power Products is developing a similar "Loop" battery module for scooters and other machines (which must be a wrenching change for such an engine-focused group): "The Motor Compo is powered by a special loop battery that also serves as an auxiliary power source for the Micro Commuter Concept’s air conditioner, sound system and other systems, and can also be used to power devices such as laptop computers"; "a small battery pack that can be used in a variety of products—everything from lawnmowers and power products to vehicles."
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Any self build folks who might be tempted to buy the basic kit from Panasonic?
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          i'm a self build guy and the answer is absolutely no. You could spend a fraction of the money and get a high quality Chinese motor that will allow you to do non-stop power wheelies :) ..with a controller that is totally tuneable, non-proprietary, and serviceable.. ..with batteries that you could actually buy replacement cells for down the road, rather than 'oh darn, 1 cell is bad so i have to spend another $3000 on a replacement battery pack'.
      • 3 Years Ago
      GOOD TO KNOW NOW BIG AUTO INDUSTRIES ARE FOLLOWING THE THEME OF ELECTROTHERM THAT IS YOBYKES PHILOSOPHY. KEEP IT UP!
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