Hot summer days in July are just about perfect for me to take a ride with the new Tomos E-lite and explore the world of e-mobility.

These are the dog day afternoons, when you're sitting in your car, getting ready for a short drive around a few blocks and no cooling system is enough to make a real difference between very hot and insanely hot. The air is so thick you can hardly even breathe and cycling under these conditions is really not a healthy option. Enters Tomos E-lite. Imagine the sheer thrill I felt, when I was told I could take it for a spin. Thinking green about the future and being mobile with a clear conscience, our journey began. It didn't take me very long to figure, this electric babe is more than just a means of transport.  

The 48 Volt E-lite is powered by a 1,350 Watt motor, quenching its thirst for energy from a LiFePO4 battery, which (if fully charged) will take you for about 40 kilometers. That is, if you consider riding it at maximum speed, which is about 25 km/h (if you press the ''boost'' button, the meter will easily read over 30), making it possible for you to drive on a cycling path - and you are not even legally required to wear a helmet. Nevertheless, for your own safety, you should. Cyclists won't be exactly jumping for joy when they see you 'imposing' on their teritory. And not only that - you are actually sneaking on them, since they can all but hear you approaching from behind, expecting them to make way. Yes, a very silent, almost soundless ride does wonders at reducing city noise, yet at the same time it poses quite a bit of a threat to you and other traffic participants. 

In a matter of seconds someone can cross your path unexpectedly. Why? Because (s)he simply can't hear you. The horn is therefore your constant, reliable partner, ensuring that you are noticed and thus kept safe. On the other hand, travelling soundless is what turns people's heads. Electric scooters are still relatively rare, so people sometimes need some time to process what it was that just moments ago rushed past them. "Hey girl, what's powering this scooter?'' is one of the most frequently asked questions, usually posed by senior citizens who never shy away from a lively debate about retro Tomos vehicles they used to drive ''when we were young''. 

Scooter's battery weigs 8.5 kilograms and requires two hours to fully charge. If you tend to often swing around your favourite urban streets, 40 kilometers isn't all that much. Manufacturers were aware of that, so it is possible to use an additional battery, which gives you another 30 kilometers. If you're lucky (and not too fast), you are free to drive for even longer than that. Perhaps I was a little annoyed by the fact that you need to put quite some thought into calculating the perfect speed to reach maxiumum range and know exactly where to stop for a re-charge. The charger is not small and light, definitely not one, you could store in your purse or a bag. It is best, therefore, to think of charging ahead and take care of it, while you are still at home. Naturally, I was left on the street with an empty battery, but you know what they say - once bitten, twice shy. Next time I was more attentative to the number of driven kilometers, I can tell you that!

The advantage of driving green certainly lies in being able to take a ride with your eco-friendly scooter through cool, shadow-full woods, without being concerned about the amount of harmful emissions, polluting nature around you or disturbing the peace of little furry and feathery inhabitants, usually caused by roaring diesel motors. Even parking is simple and to my greatest joy, adjusted for girls. So far, scooters have been pretty heavy and it was difficult for me to put them on their center stands. But Tomos E-lite came up with an elegant solution - all-electric lifting and lowering of the centre stand. You can also drive it backwards, which makes turning to the left or right so much easier.

Exploring colorful city streets, runnig errands or driving back home through a country path by the pond - this babe is ready for anything. I have to admit, I will miss hanging out with it. Electric vehicles are becoming more and more trendy - they appear to be like a fashion statement, telling the world you care about our future and of course, that you are thinking and living green. The only  thing stopping me from buying E-lite is, sadly, the price.  2,249 € is the current price of environmentally friendly e-mobile future. Until things change and going green equals to going green in affordable way, I will remain faithful to my bicycle. But from now on, I won't be bothered by scooters taking over. Unless they are electric, of course! 

July 16, 2015 Driving photo: Katja Štingl

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