125cc-class electric two-wheeler from Volkswagen’s Spanish car brand, let’s take a look at the 2022 Seat MÓ electric scooter…
It’s not often that we see a car firm getting involved directly in bike production. Okay, BMW, Suzuki and Honda have separate car and motorcycle divisions, and the Volkswagen Audi Group still owns Ducati (though there are constant rumours about that changing). But apart from very niche stuff like the KTM X-Bow and the British Ariel firm’s Ace, the four-wheel and the two-wheel worlds don’t often collide directly.
So that makes this quite interesting. It’s an electric scooter – an increasingly common sight on the road, and there’s nothing really remarkable about it. Except for the name on the side: SEAT. That’s the Volkswagen Audi Group’s Spanish brand, which produces a line of entry-level cars in the VAG range – sort of like a sunny Skoda. SEAT also makes some cracking fast cars, and its Cupra marque builds a range of fire-breathing turbocharged rally race replicas, as well as the firm’s more sensible options. Typically a SEAT will be a version of a VW or Audi, with a bit of a redesign, and less exotic engine options.
The new scooter is definitely in the sensible category though. Called the SEAT MÓ, it’s a 125cc-class scooter, meaning it will just about hit 60mph and hits 31mph in 3.9 seconds. Range is an ample-for-commuting 85 miles, it charges in 6-8 hours from a normal socket, and the 40kg battery is removable, with an extending handle and small wheels like a carry-on suitcase, so you can easily take it into a home or office to recharge away from the scooter itself.
One quirk is a reverse gear, presumably added to assist car drivers who may not be used to manhandling a 152kg bike. There are disc brakes front and rear, and the MÓ also has a regenerative brake function, which recharges the battery when you brake, using the motor to convert the scooter’s kinetic energy back into electric power.
The equipment levels are good: onboard smartphone linking app, large LCD dash and enough underseat storage for two full-face lids. SEAT is also offering a range of accessories including SEAT’s own helmet design, a top box, higher windscreen, disc lock, phone holder and even winter or summer gloves.
It looks to have been set-up so that a car driver can be totally kitted out without leaving the SEAT dealership, which is pretty smart. . Price is decent for an electric machine: £4,996 with the Government’s OLEV EV Grant included or available for £95 per month (48 months) on hire purchase.
No massive surprises from the SEAT then – and it sounds like an ideal choice for city commuting, with zero emissions in use, and all the other cost advantages of an electric vehicle – plus the backup of a big mainstream car brand.
The big story is probably elsewhere though: will this be the start of something bigger, with car firms using their advances in electrical design to steal a march on the two-wheeled worlds? BMW is already dabbling here with its CE04 scooter, but there’s no sign of anything concrete in terms of production electric bikes from Honda or Suzuki as yet.
And as pointed out earlier, SEAT is owned by the Volkswagen Audi Group – which also owns Ducati. Watch this space, then, to see if the SEAT MÓ is just the beginning for electric two-wheelers from VAG.