About the Electric Motorcycles category


#1

Electric vehicles are the future. Let’s discuss the electrification of the motorcycle!

Why are they the future? Well, we’re already seeing more and more electric vehicle (EV) cars on the roads, from short-distance town cars (Nissan, BMW, etc.), to long-distance cars (think Tesla, Jaguar). We’re also seeing leading countries implement legislation in the future to ban the sale of internal combustion engines (ICE) at some point in the future. We even have the ULEZ scheme coming to our capital soon which will attempt to curb the usage of polluting engines and will no doubt cause people to look at EVs a bit closer.

There’s now a growing motivation for people to consider buying an electric motorcycle, such as convenience (charge at home! No more petrol stations!), lower running costs, quieter operation within built-up areas and even performance (instant torque!).

Electric motorcycles are not a new concept, they’ve been around for over a hundred years, but they’ve yet to hit the mainstream, though more recently we have seen production electric motorcycles from brands such as Vectrix (which we reviewed a few years ago) to more modern, mainstream capable brands such as Zero Motorcycles, Energica, KTM and even BMW have a the C Evolution max-scooter.

The founder of Honda, Soichiro Honda supposedly once said: “Racing improves the breed”. To that end we have the brilliant TT Zero electric motorcycle road-race each year which is helping to further research & development into the technology needed to make electric motorcycles a viable alternative to ones with petrol engines.

There’s currently a number of interesting areas for motorcycle electrification:

  • Mid-size commuter motorcycles
  • Scooters
  • Ride-share scooters
  • Battery-swap schemes
  • Racing

Exciting times. Let’s talk EM (electric motorcycles)!


#2

I don’t think they are as green as painted.

Sure there are no exhaust pipe emissions but making an electric vehicle produces much carbon and consumes rare resources. Generating the electricity only moves the pollution problem elsewhere, unless our grid becomes 100% renewables, and there are frictional losses anyway in getting the electricity from the power station to the vehicle. Finally some claim up 75% of vehicle particle pollutants come from tyre wear and brake wear and although EVs have some degree of regenerative braking there is the claim that they are heavier than equivalent internal combustion vehicles, so they produce just as much brake wear.

Having said all that, I’m watching their development with interest and I think I would love one for town use.


#3

I don’t think anyone credible is seriously saying they’re the ecological answer to all our problems on their own right now, I think that’s being implied by some who don’t consider the whole picture as you say, but there are clear, immediate benefits to the owner and to us city-dwellers, though in the long-term, they can and must be part of the solution that see’s us damage this planet and each other less.

You’re always going to be damaging the environment by making a vehicle, regardless of whether it’s got an engine or a motor, we’re just doing it in different ways, but there’s promise that over time we’ll use less and less rare earth metals, or use polluting methods less and less by moving more of energy production to renewable sources, I.e through more micro grids (solar at home), more wind farms, more solar farms, less coal stations, etc.

Was it last year on Earth day we ran the whole of the UK on renewable energy for over 24 hours? No coal or nuclear. Amazing.

But for us city dwellers, we’ve got immediate benefits to using an EM, such as:

  • Vastly improve air quality (bad air quality is killing us)
  • Vastly reduced noise pollution (bikes make up most of the road noise pollution in my area at least)
  • Convenience (charge at home, reduced servicing requirements)
  • Performance (torqqqqqqqqque! :slight_smile:)
  • Stealth speed

#4

I completely agree with this point. But, and it’s a big but, it looks like parliament is about to legislate that all EVs should emit a warning noise. They are worried about blind people being run over.

I think it is a totally spurious argument and would at a stroke remove one of the main benefits of EVs.


#5

Yes, it’s another example of a moronic, knee-jerk reaction made without any actual long-term thought. People walk out into the road without looking regardless of how loud or visible a vehicle is. I’m sure @Rusty99 could testify to that (how many people get in the way/walk out on blues and twos?).

We should be being proactive through initiatives such as education and signage, not reactive with ridiculous legislation like that.

It’ll be wonderful when most vehicles are EVs and we don’t have to listen to horrible diesel engines or people ragging it around when you’re trying to relax at home (yes, there is a cognitive dissonance here with us all loving the sound of thrashing our bikes, yet not liking anyone else’s noise).


#6

I remember the first electric car I encountered, a Prius nearly ran me over in Tesco’s car park did not hear a thing. Still he was upset at hitting the shopping trolley.