Boxx—the brand name says it clearly. It’s a box with wheels, handlebars, and an electric motor, capable of speeds of up to 35 mph. It can deliver 80 miles per charge and offers roomy internal storage compartments, two-wheel drive, traction control, anti-lock breaks, and an optional heated seat. Electric power blurs the difference between electric motorcycles and electric bicycles—the Boxx can be called either way. Legally the Boxx is a moped. For its super-compact size (120 pounds and a meter tall), the Boxx is solid—it can support a 300 pound person. A basic model will cost you $4000.
I’ve heard a number of mixed reactions about this bike. The Thekneeslider calls it a trendy hipster bike, a U.K. gadget magazine T3 puts it in the list of 100 hottest gadgets of 2012, some people think it’s ugly.
I agree with Red Ferret that the Boxx’s biggest advantage is its compact size—you can store it in your office, garage, even in your car. You can’t store a bulky traditional moped like that. The Boxx is more relevant to big traffic-congested European cities like Paris, where people live, work and travel in smaller spaces—why do you think are those public bicycle sharing programs for? I don’t see it in America.
Of course, as an electric vehicle, the Boxx has the advantage of low maintenance over gas-powered bikes. The price is a turn-off, however. You need to spend $600 more to get the “Core 2” modular power system to get the 80-mile range, otherwise you get 40-mile range. And if you want to charge it in 1 hour instead of 4 hours, you’ll need a 1-hour charger upgrade that costs $350.