Scoot Coupe enchants shoppers, frustrates lawmakers

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The newest must-have green accessory: the Scoot Coupe micromobile.

Fitting somewhere between a scooter and a golf cart, this eco-chic vehicle zips around town at 45 m.p.h. – and at 70 miles per gallon.

The two-seaters from Panther Motors are street-legal. Scoot Coupe's smaller version (49cc engine) only requires a driver's license to take on the road, and the 150cc edition needs a motorcycle endorsement. Panther says that "an electric ScootCoupe is nearing completion and a retractable top 500cc Commuter vehicle is in the prototype stage."

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Their cute designs, open-air feel, and recent appearances on "The Price is Right" and "The Ellen Degeneres Show" have catapulted Scoot Coupe's profile. Tourists rent them for quick trips around Hawaii. Dealerships pitch them as an easy, novel way to run errands. And Google watched them hit "volcanic" popularity in online searches today.

Yet, Ocean City, Md., wishes that they'd just go away.

In a move to promote street safety, the city council banned Scoot Coops from public roads. The 4-3 vote in late July came down to an argument over whether "adding these vehicles to the town’s already crowded roadways, namely in the area of Baltimore Ave. between 15th and 33rd streets, was entirely too risky," reports The Dispatch, Ocean City's local paper. "Peter Gakurias claims that he and his brother Kozmas had done everything necessary prior to buying six scoot coupes for upwards of $40,000 in order to make sure that they were legal."

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