Will electric motorcycles ever take over the motorcycle market? This issue has been debated for many years with skeptics pointing to performance, range and charging. However, times seem to be changing despite loud arguments otherwise.
The Rise of the Electric Motorcycle… Say What?!
For many years, purists have been decrying that electric motorcycles will never replace bikes powered by internal combustion engines. They have argued that electric motorcycles do not have enough power, nor do they have the range necessary for a long ride. Yet innovations have been pushing the envelope when it comes to these vehicles.
The latest model from Zero Motorcycles is boasting 116 ft-lb of torque, means it can pull off the line faster than a Porsche 911. On the racetrack, more of these vehicles are laying down laps similar to their gas-driven counterparts. Even MotoGP is getting into the act with its new MotoE category. Set to debut in 2019, the spec class will use Energica Ego electric motorcycles to run 10 lap races. Testing on the prototypes for this class are turning in lap times dangerously close to Moto2 lap times.
As far as range is concerned, Zero has been addressing the issue with its Power Tank option. With a 206-mile city range on the Zero S model + Power Tank, it’s not far off from the average 300 miles most motorcycles get from a full gas tank. The engineers at Lighting Motorcycles are even more ambitious, aiming to have an eMotorcycle that can go for 500 miles on a single charge!
For many younger riders, these stats are making eMotorcycles a tempting solution for their itch for riding. Young urban dwellers are finding these electric bikes handy in city environments, handling their often 10-mile each-way commutes with ease. Off-road riders are also finding eMotos to be the solution to their problems. With charges often lasting long enough for any dirt rider to get in a spirited set of laps, these machines also get around noise ordinances.
Zero is selling anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000 eMotorcycles a year. Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycles are even looking to get in on the trend, announcing their own soon-to-be released electric models. An expanding infrastructure, pioneered by electric car makers like Tesla, is quickly solving the problem of where to charge as well. This means the big problem still haunting these bikes are the hours it can sometimes take to charge them.
However, more people are starting to come onboard to the low maintenance, silent running and powerful performance of these electric bikes. Though the rumble of a gas-powered bike will always thrill, new generations may prefer the sleek quiet of these new vehicles. Do you think younger riders will flock to new electric motorcycle options? Let the motorcycling attorneys at Metier Law Firm know what you think on our Facebook and Twitter pages!