SURU One Fifty, a made-in-Canada electric moped, is finally for sale, starting today.
SURU is the brainchild of designer Michael Uhlarik and Kevin O’Neil; many readers will recognize Uhlarik from his contributions here at CMG in the past. It’s not his first foray into the field of electric motorcycles. Uhlarik and O’Neil were the designers behind the Amarok P1, an electric motorcycle aimed at replicating a supersport racebike’s performance. Since then, he’s continued to tinker with battery bikes, and the SURU One Fifty is his latest project. Uhlarik and his partners haven’t had an easy time bringing it to market, but today, you can buy one for $3,499. A limited run of 150 units is available, for now.
The SURU One Fifty is a much more practical machine than the Amarok P1. It’s aimed at the commuter market, with top speed limited to 32 km/h, and a 50-km range (those numbers assume a 90-kg rider on level ground). And, there are bicycle pedals, meaning this machine is a moped, and therefore avoids strict legislation aimed at more powerful motorized vehicles. Uhlarik does point out the machine is compliant with all relevant American and Canadian federal laws, unlike machines that might be brought in via the grey market.
SURU One Fifty is powered by a 36V, 500 watt geared brushless DC hub drive, with a 650 watt-hr Sony lithium-ion battery. The charger is a 5-amp, 110v unit, meaning you shouldn’t need a heavy-duty outlet specially wired in for the machine. Weight is only 35.5 kg, and seat height is 79 cm. There’s a drum brake up front, and mechanical disc brake in back. It’s narrow, at 50 cm, and will fit anywhere a bicycle fits: car bike rack, apartment elevator, parking rack.
Charge time for the removable battery is 3.5 hours. The bike comes with DOT-approved rims and tires.
Of course, there are many Chinese electric mopeds on the market; the SURU One Fifty sets itself apart by using as many locally-made components as possible. About 60 per cent of the bike comes from made-in-Canada materials, even the stickers, and the bike itself is manufactured in Nova Scotia. Uhlarik says the parts his company had to find outside Canada (battery, motor, etc.) are high-quality. The intention was to build a proper commuting machine, not disposable junk.
Uhlarik says the monocoque frame technology used on the bike is the same as the P1 Amarok motorcycle, with increased strength, reduced weight, and 90 per cent less tooling cost than conventional frames.
For now, Uhlarik already has some units pre-sold, and with sales officially opening this week, he obviously hopes for more. But SURU has more potential than just everyday commuters; Uhlarik says “we want to expand into any areas of two-wheeled industry we can, mostly into power-train.” Does that mean another electric sportbike is forthcoming? We’d guess no, at least not soon, but Uhlarik does point out that “Amarok Racing inspired our innovation.”
You can find more details on the new moped at the SURU website.