Posted on 05 May 2009.
KLD has a new engine for its electric scooter, and is launching its product in Vietnam.
In the past, electric scooters had a high price tag, a limited range, sluggish performance and the tendency not to work when they get wet!
KLD Energy Technologies, an electric engine company based in Texas, believes that its new electric motor can overcome all these problems. It is teaming up with Vietnamese motorbike manufacturer Sufat to produce an affordable electric-powered scooter that has a performance just as good as a normal petrol-powered bike.
Rather than working at making the battery more efficient, KLD improved the performance of the engine itself. They built an engine using nano-crystalline composite materials, which it believes is 10 times more efficient than traditional iron core motors, giving an output of 2500 hertz.
“We chose Vietnam [to launch the bike] because there are 22 million scooters in a country of 85 million people. That’s a lot of people riding scooters in a contained area and the pollution is a concern. All governments in southeast Asia are looking for solutions [to pollution problems], but so far there hasn’t been one. We believe that we’ve found that solution,” Christian Okonsky, founder of KLD Energy Technologies told CNN.
The KLD engine is compatible with any type of battery. Top speed of the scooter is about 55 mph, which is almost double that of many electric scooters and delivers twice as much torque, accelerating from 0 to 50 mph in ten seconds. The engine also doesn’t require a transmission.
“The nano-crystalline material was developed 20 years ago, but it was incredibly expensive and people couldn’t figure out how to use it in a motor. Even 10 years ago a computer, to run this kind of high frequency engine, would have been more like the size of a desk top computer. The magnets we use today that cost 20 cents 10 years ago would have cost $4 to $5,” said Okonsky.
By the end of the year KLD expects 2,000 scooters a month to be produced by Sufat, with its electric engine. The projected retail price is around $1500, only slightly more than Sufat’s existing bikes that sell in Vietnam for between $800 and $1250.