Are Electric Bikes the Future? Honda’s Not So Sure

 Lately, the Department of Energy has been pushing automobile manufacturers toward greener transportation solutions. This has caused a surge in the development of electric vehicles (EVs) that are powered by batteries rather than gasoline. This trend, though slow to take off is growing, and it has even started showing up in the motorcycle industry. EV concept motorcycles have appeared at motorcycle shows from KTM, Yamaha and even Honda, but will these motorcycles become our riding future, or is something else in the works?

Will Honda Really Go Electric?

Right now, few of the larger motorcycle brands have EV motorcycles available. KTM offers its Freeride off-road models, while Victory sells its Empulse, and Zero Motorcycles offers its electric line-up. That leaves room in the market for more EV bikes, and many of the manufactures seem to be dipping their toes into the pool, but as usual, Honda may be looking to take a gigantic leap forward.

A new patent application, published on October 5th, shows an interesting concept bike that Honda may be working on. On the outside, it looks like a common Honda Grom, but it’s what lurks beneath that bodywork that’s inspiring imagination. Where the engine usually is, there is a chemical processor of some kind. Under that is a very sophisticated battery setup, and on the swingarm is an electric motor to power the back wheel. All of this is connected to a hydrogen fuel-cell hidden under the bike’s tail section.

Hydrogen-fueled vehicles are nothing new to the world of vehicle. General Motors is notorious for its development of fuel cell technology, but the alternative fuel option has yet to be developed for motorcycles.

Using the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, fuel-cell vehicles power electric motors without the drawback of long charge times. Many see fuel-cells as the solution to inconvenience of EVs but there is one major problem. Setting up a nationwide infrastructure for hydrogen fueling is a big and complex task. Hydrogen gas has to be contained in a pressurized tank, making it difficult and hard to handle. That means setting up fueling stations can be difficult, by comparison, you can plug an EV in almost anywhere.

For now, we will have to wait to see if Honda presses forward with this fuel-celled moto. Do you think this could be the zero-emissions solution to the motorcycling call to freedom? Keep following the attorneys who ride at Metier Law Firm to see.

Tom Metier

Tom Metier

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