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  • Writer's pictureSimone, MUTE Garage Bali

Want to ride an electric scooter in Bali? Here are our Top 10 questions answered!

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

How does an electric scooter work?

Electric scooters work by linking a motor and removable lithium-ion battery through a BMS (battery management system) to produce the energy to run the scooter. To make the electric scooter operate you need to have a charged battery in the bike plugged in, switched to ‘on’, then you just put the key in and press the ignition button. With some models for safety reasons you need to hold the brake in at the same time as pressing the ignition. They accelerate like a normal scooter, brake like a normal scooter and the display shows you the speed you are traveling.

MUTE’s more sophisticated models have REGEN braking allowing the scooter to recharge as you apply the break. Once you’re rolling, it is exactly like riding a petrol scooter but without the noise and the harmful emissions.

Think of it as cooling the planet 1 km at a time!

Why would I ride an electric scooter?

There are many reasons to choose an electric scooter! The benefits hit you on all sorts of levels – the environment, your community, your back pocket, and they just look so good too!

By choosing to ride a MUTE electric scooter you will have not only a beautiful new bike to treat as your own, without the burden of ownership and the high investment (we offer a monthly subscription payment which is comparable to the old-fashioned monthly petrol bike rent).

MUTE’s goal globally is to get more bums on electric seats by making the transition to electric vehicles affordable and easy. With the membership package attached to all MUTE bikes plus the outstanding customer service, it really is a no-brainer – ownership is dead, trans{MUTE} instead!

The better environmental choice

Just like a battery-operated torch, or anything that uses batteries, an electric scooter does not emit anything nasty. No CO2, no smelly gas, nothing. This (obviously) makes for cleaner air quality and a cooler planet.

Did you know that scooters emit about 202 g of CO2 per km and per passenger over their entire life cycle. It’s about as much as a conventional car and 3.5 times more than an electric car.

The reason is that cars have engines that are modified by law to run with fewer emissions while petrol scooters have no such limitations. In Indonesia especially, we see scooters and motorbikes that are custom built but with no eco-modifications at all. Just modifications to make them LOUDER.

Which brings me to…

The electric scooters are noiseless

Anyone seen the sign “Loud Bikes Suck” in Umalas? Have you felt the burning annoyance from a loud, loud, loud, motorbike screaming up behind you and overtaking and just muttering “How RUDE!” inside your head?

The louder the bike, the more annoying it is. Fact. Unless you are the rider, in which case (I can only guess) it gives a feeling of superiority and a false self-image of being King of the road. Heads up – you are NOT king of the road when you wake up everyone in the village as you come home from a night out, and your noise is actually a contribution to the incredibly high noise pollution on the streets of the island.

Electric bikes are, by nature, completely noiseless. Electricity doesn’t make noise. Some of the newer models, including the MUTE GESITS actually have a very low hum built-in so the rider knows they are turned on – this hum is just a quiet reassuring tone and will not wake up every dog in your neighbourhood whenever you leave the villa.

Having a noiseless bike makes for a more peaceful riding experience – you can actually hear the world around you, and you can even chat to the person you are riding with without screaming into their ear through their helmet. Talk about a nice change!

Save Money

In Bali, we know that PLN/Listrik (power) is expensive. We turn the AC off when we aren’t home, and we are mindful of power consumption. The good news is that charging your bike costs about the same as running a laptop. The cost to charge an electric scooter is about 10,000 IDR per week based on daily use. Compared with a 40,000 IDR petrol tank fill twice a week for your standard Yamaha, you will save a lot of rupes in the long run, plus you can charge while at home overnight which is a dream when it’s rainy and wet out!

MUTE Membership Benefits

When you choose to get an electric scooter on a MUTE Garage Bali subscription, you not only get a beautiful new bike delivered with easy monthly payments and ongoing support, but you become a MUTE Lifestyle Member and receive discounts on drinks & dining, experience, wellness & spa, retail and more. Check out our current VIP deals here, and connect on whatsapp to find out more.

How do I charge an electric scooter?

It is so easy to charge your scooter battery. No different to plugging in a mobile phone really.

  1. Take the battery out from under the seat

  2. Carry it to a standard power outlet

  3. Connect the charger cord (which is a bit like an old-school laptop charger) into the wall socket

  4. That’s it. Happy Days!

If you have a secure garage or parking area with a power outlet you can even run the charger directly from the bike to the power outlet, so you do not need to remove the battery.

We are really lucky in Bali that there are charge points in almost every café so you can slide the battery under the café table and let it charge while you make your new code / design bikinis / write your lifestyle blog etc!

How long does it take to charge the battery?

Although it depends on the electric bike model, it is safe to say that charge time is between 3-5 hours. If you can, leave the battery to charge overnight.

The MUTE Viar takes 5 hours for a full charge.

The MUTE GESITS gets to a full charge in just 3 hours if you choose “fast charge” mode, or 5 hours on a regular charge. The difference between a fast and normal charge is (obviously the length of time to charge and) a fast charge uses a little more power.

A quick ‘on the run’ charging half hour also works if you need a quick burst to get to your next destination.

How much does it cost in power to charge the scooter battery in Bali?

About 10,000 IDR (10c AUD) a week. The cost to charge a battery fully is about 4,000 IDR, so allow for 2-3 charges per week based on cruising The ‘Gu and generally getting around from A to B.

How fast and how far can an electric scooter go?

The top speed of an electric scooter depends on the model of the bike and how it has been programmed. Like a petrol bike, speed will be affected by the terrain you ride on – on an incline you go slower and will use more power to keep moving.

Electric scooters have ‘modes’ which are like gears and you can select an ECO mode that keeps your speed down and preserves battery, a middle mode for standard riding, and a top mode for bursts of power and speed.

The MUTE Viar is programmed to reach a top speed of around 60km/hr and the MUTE GESITS will hit 70km/hr with no issue.

Keep in mind when you are riding an electric scooter that it is noiseless – and this is something to get used to when you are going fast. On a petrol bike, you tend to rely (even subconsciously) on the noise to know how fast you are going and having no noise, you need to keep an eye on your speed as you become accustomed to the way of riding.On my first high-speed electric experience, I very nearly ran into problems while coasting along with the wind in my hair (my hair is long and hangs below my helmet!) and a feeling of freedom when I needed to brake suddenly and didn’t realise how fast I was flying down Jalan Pantai Seseh. Just take it easy until you are used to it and you will be fine!

How do I know when the scooter is getting low in battery?

This depends on the individual bike, but electric scooters all have a panel indicator that lets you know where you are at as far as the remaining range goes.

MUTE Viar’s have a panel indicator with a battery bar that works like a petrol bike, showing the amount of charge left in the battery, also there is a % indicator on the display.

On a MUTE GESITS the panel indicator shows a % of battery remaining, plus a bonus distance countdown from the full battery of 50km so you know exactly how far you can go before a recharge is needed. We love this!

It is a good idea to not go below 10% to keep battery health optimized.

What sort of licensing is needed for riding an electric scooter?

In Bali, we see some changes happening at a government level at present which will change and improve the way electric vehicles are accepted into the growing market. New license plates with a blue stripe are issued for all new electric vehicles. The government is getting behind electric vehicles and we couldn’t be happier!

At this stage, consider your personal license requirements to be the same as a petrol scooter.

Be safe and have an international license or if you have a KITAS then get a proper driver’s license.

Can an electric scooter be stolen?

Like any bike, an electric scooter can be stolen. Of course, there are simple ways to prevent theft;

  • Store in a secure place, the garage, inside your villa perimeter, in a well-lit area etc

  • Lock the ignition when parked

  • Take charger inside overnight

  • Take battery out of bike and store safely if you need to leave the bike for a day or two

Installing a GPS makes dealing with theft a lot easier – tracking the bike when you need to can be a lifesaver on many levels.

Can you ‘kick start’ an electric scooter?

No (that was a quick answer eh?)

Can an electric scooter get damaged in the rain?

Like all bikes, electric scooters love a cool, dry environment. As long as the battery is kept dry (under the seat) then the body of the bike is OK in the rain. Under no circumstances leave the battery out in the wet or store it somewhere damp. A few drops here and there don’t matter but treat it like a mobile phone or any electric device. Full submersion in a thigh-deep wet season road is not recommended for any bike, including electric bikes.

Got more questions?

Hit us up on whatsapp or Instagram and we will help you!

It is our goal at MUTE to get more people onto electric scooters in 2021 than ever before by making it affordable and hassle free to get on board with the electric {re}volution. Come with us and let’s take the greener, cooler path into the future!

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