Astara Western Europe, the former Belgian Alcomotive group and importer of Hyundai, Suzuki, MG, SsangYong, and Maxus, also becomes the BeLux distributor for the Spanish Silence scooters and micro-mobility EV, the so-called ‘nanocars’. The latter share an interesting ‘swapping battery’ technology.
At the opening of the Brussels Motor Show, Belgian prices were communicated with the S01 scooters, available from February, starting at €5 585 (45 km/h) up to € 8588 (100 km/h), the SO2 from €5 585 (45 km/h) to 5 885 (90 km/h). Production of the S04 nanocar will start in March and the list price is €16 285 for the basic version up to €17.785 for the one with Premium Pack.
The S01/S02 scooters and the S04 nanocar have one or two swappable batteries on a trolley-like wheelbase to be easily removed and transported as a flight trolley. Those batteries give the scooter (with one of them) a range of up to 135 km, and the car with two with a total capacity of 11,2 kWh, 150 km.
The car will be offered in two versions, one with a limited top speed of 45 km/hour that can be driven without a driver’s license and one with a top speed of 85 km/hour. The first offers 6 kW (8 hp), the second 14 kW or 18 hp (22 kW peak power).
Both have two swappable batteries with a 5,6 kWh capacity, an integrated battery balancing system, and pre-heating for charging in icy circumstances.
Powering tools and appliances
A nice feature is a plug for 12V, 24V, or 220V output (up to 1 500 W) for power tools and appliances. The battery can be carried anywhere on its trolley wheels, making it multi-functional in locations where no electricity is available. Charging can be done in five to six hours. And the batteries have a built-in GPS tracker in case they get ‘lost’.
The microcar seats two and has a luggage capacity of 247 liters. It features a touch screen, aircon, electric windows and mirrors, a multi-functional steering wheel, and Bluetooth connection.
Passion for two-wheelers
But initially, the Spanish start-up was born out of a passion for two-wheelers. Carlos Sotelo, the founder and current CEO of Silence Urban Ecomobility, was always a ‘motorbike-man’, both professionally and as a hobby, even competing in the Dakar Rally.
In 2011, he founded the Silence brand with the “goal of creating an electric vehicle that could break the existing barriers: infrastructure and price”. Work began on the S01 for private use.
The latter is an electric scooter in the 125cc class with performances comparable to 250cc, like accelerating from 0-50 km/hour in 3,9 seconds. It has a top speed of 130 km/hour but can be configured as a moped with a 45 km/hour maximum speed.
It has a 7 kW (9 kW peak or 12,1 hp) built into the rear wheel and, with the same (one) battery as the microcar, offers a range of 127 km. It has three driving modes and reverse gear and is equipped with regenerative CBS brakes. Under the buddy seat, it has a storage capacity for two integral helmets. Price online: €6 600.
Since then, Silence Urban Mobility has offered a whole line of electric scooters for private and professional (delivery) use. The cheapest is de SO2, which can be ordered as a 25 km/hour moped, not requiring a helmet, or as a 45 km/hour limited version. Then we’re talking about a €3 200 price tag online, but the 25 km/h moped version doesn’t appear in the model list of Astara BeLux.