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Sym EP3 – hybrid model in development could arrive in Europe



Despite Taiwan being one of the world’s technological hubs, the Taiwanese manufacturer Sym, whose scooters have long been among the most popular in the West, has yet to really enter the world of electric scooters. On its global website, you can see an initial range of battery-powered models, but these are not yet distributed in Europe. All the more reason, therefore, for the prototype that goes by the name of EP3 to be in the news. It does not, however, offer all-electric power, but hybrid power, in order to get around one of the biggest limitations of batteries: range.

The range is increased from 35 km to 300 km. But with gasoline…The EP3’s electric motor has a power output of 4 kW (5.5 hp) and is therefore in line with products already on the market. The battery, however, is made of aluminum ions, which is a special feature. Of course, aluminum is much more common than the rare lithium, which makes batteries theoretically cheaper. Plus – another piece of good news – they’re easier to recycle. Experts say that the durability may also be greater, as well as the fact that they have more chemically stable materials with a wider temperature range. Another advantage is charging speed, with a much higher energy density than lithium-ion. However, on the other hand, the energy density is much lower, just over half, and, simply put, the lower the energy density, the shorter the autonomy. So this type of cell doesn’t seem ideal for an electric vehicle. Unless it’s a hybrid vehicle…

Hence the idea behind this concept. The batteries provide a range of just 35 km, which is enough for a city commute but not for a longer journey, but there is a traditional combustion engine on board that acts as a range extender or… a generator, to put it crudely. It switches itself on as soon as the battery voltage drops from 75 to 60 volts and, by burning gasoline, generates electricity, increasing the range to 300 km.


Of course it would be simpler, but we wouldn’t have at least three of the advantages promised by this EP3. The first is being able to drive with emission-free electric power where it is needed, i.e. in the city center; the second is being able to take advantage of the acceleration and comfort benefits of electric traction, but above all, the third and most important advantage is that the endothermic engine in question consumes much less than a normal gasoline engine for traction. The electric motor would be able to travel 90 km on one liter of petrol. The tank is three liters, which adds another 270 kilometers of autonomy to the initial 35 km.

At the moment, we don’t know if Sym will put this EP3 into production and, if so, when, but it is certainly an alternative proposal that could mean an attractive solution for those who, for example, live in the city but don’t have easy access to recharging. 

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