I got my driving license for motorcycle 1997 and owned a motorcycle (Suzuki GSX-750F) for 1,5 year between 2001-2002. Since the car industry has produced a number of cars using hybrid and electric technology I have been thinking about electric motorcycles for a couple of years. Especially since we had a course in Sustainability within my education (Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering), I have been thinking more and more about green thinking and environment and really would like to have an electric motorcycle.

I know there are a number of “electric motorcycles” out on the market today, but do they match my criteria for me to buy one?

The motorcycles I have been looking at to buy the last years has been in the Sport Touring genre, like Kawasaki ZZR-1400, Suzuki Hayabusa (GSX-1300R) and Honda Super Blackbird (CBR-1100XX).

What are my criteria then?

* RANGE – I believe anyone with a sport tourer want to be able to go at least 450km a day (or before taking a 2-2,5 hour pause for recharging batteries). My parents, brother and some of my friends live in Eskilstuna, Sweden, which is around 400km from Gothenburg, Sweden, where I live.

* TOP SPEED – Even though the fastest legal speed is 130km/h (~81 mph) I want the possibility to at least go up to 200km/h (120 mph).

* COMFORT – Should be like a Sport Tourer, meaning semi-sport (not too aggressive riding position and not straight-up position) and should also have a

* DESIGN – Secondary to Range and Speed, but there is no reason why years of design improvement should not be followed by electric motorcycles.

Then added some extra information that is good to know for a purchase:

* COST TO BUY – How much the bike cost to buy.

* COST by CHARGE – How much the cost is per recharge.

* POWER SYSTEM LIFE – How far you can go on the fuel cells – life expectancy.

* MARKETS/AVAILABILITY – Is it even possible to buy it in Sweden? Even if it is possible to buy it, is it road legal (to drive it on public roads)?

I decided to search and to see if I could find any that could be interesting when I’m finished with my education in 1½-2 years time and want to buy a vehicle, possibly an electric motorcycle. This is what I found:

ZERO MOTORCYCLES – ZERO S (ZF9)

(http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/specs.php)

* RANGE: City (EPA UDDS) 114 miles (183 km), Highway (commuting, 70mph) 63 miles (101 km)

* TOP SPEED: Max 88 mph (142 km/h), Sustained 75 mpg (121 km/h)

* COMFORT: Has no windscreen and driver will get all wind on him/her.

* DESIGN: Really good looking – Streetfighter look.

* COST to BUY: $11,495 (in US), £ 9,995 (in UK)

* COST by CHARGE: $0.95

* POWER SYSTEM LIFE: 308,000 miles (495,000 km)

* MARKETS/AVAILABILITY: Not in Sweden today.
(Only in USA, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and United Kingdom.)

* COMMENT: Not matching my buying criteria but a cool motorcycle and if it had better range (above 450km range), this could absolutely be a candidate for me.

Electricmotorsport.com – 2011 Native GPR-S (72VDC EMC-RT KIT, 60 Amp)

(http://www.electricmotorsport.com/store/ems_ev_parts_motorcycles_native_gpr-s.php)

* RANGE: 40-55 miles (64-88,5 km)

* TOP SPEED: 50-65 mph (80-105 km/h)

* COMFORT: No windscreen. (Streetfighter look)

* DESIGN: Look like an old GSX with new lights. Quite ugly.

* COST to BUY: $2500 (in US)

* COST by CHARGE: ???

* POWER SYSTEM LIFE: ???

* MARKETS/AVAILABILITY: Does not state any market information. Not even in which country it origins.

* COMMENT: Hard to find information if it’s available for Swedish market. It’s not only if I can buy it. Must also be legal to drive the vehicle by Swedish law’s. Perhaps included by European Union laws.

Mavizen – 2010 TTX02

(http://www.mavizen.com/ttx02/ttx02_specifications.html)

* RANGE: 180 km (with 7,5kWh “circuit” battery pack) Other options are “Sprint” (4kWh) and Endurance (10kWh).

* TOP SPEED: 210 km/h

* COMFORT: Windscreen, but this is a race bike built on KTM, so aggressive position on the bike.

* DESIGN: Really cool sports bike look.

* COST to BUY: ???

* COST by CHARGE: ???

* POWER SYSTEM LIFE: ???

* MARKETS/AVAILABILITY: UK

* COMMENT: Even though it is a race bike it can be made road legal. (For UK. Does not say in which other countries.)

Q: How much is the road-legal kit? What about legal issues?
A: The road kit includes lights, mirrors and a number plate kit. Cost will vary depending upon which country the bike is being registered in. The road legal TTX02 is identical for all countries.

Once the kit is installed, the bike would be submitted to VOSA or national equivalent if outside the UK.

Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) and MOT can be obtained. The MSVA test is a check that the design and construction of the bike meets UK regulations based upon type approval requirements. Our chassis meet these standards and is legal around the world. Parts of the test such as noise and emissions will not apply to the TTX02.

The Green Insurance Company is launching an insurance service for TTX02 owners who wish to use their bike on the road.

MISSION MOTORS – MISSION ONE PLE

(http://www.ridemission.com/motorcycles/mission-one-ple)

* RANGE: 150 miles per charge (241 km)

* TOP SPEED: 150 mph (241 km/h)

* COMFORT: Windscreen that seem to absorb much of the wind, but quite aggressive riding position.

* DESIGN: Looks like some mix of back to 80’s and futuristic…like someone from the 80’s tried to draw some futuristic. Not very cool, but could be ok.

* COST to BUY: ???

* COST by CHARGE: ???

* POWER SYSTEM LIFE: ???

* MARKETS/AVAILABILITY: ???

* COMMENT: It has the speed and it could actually work for me if it would have had twice the range. I wonder if the range could be a lot better if I ride it in legal speed limits between Gothenburg and Eskilstuna, where it is mostly 70 km/h (43,5 mph), 90 km/h (56 mph) and 110 km/h (68 mph)…?

MISSION MOTORS – MISSION R

(http://www.ridemission.com/motorsport/mission-r)

* RANGE: ???

* TOP SPEED: 160+ mph (260 km/h)

* COMFORT: Racebike with windscreen.

* DESIGN: Really cool race bike.

* COST to BUY: ???

* COST by CHARGE: ???

* POWER SYSTEM LIFE: ???

* MARKETS/AVAILABILITY: ???

* COMMENT: Doesn’t even say if it is for sale or not, but it is a cool bike, even though it would be too sporty for me.

BRAMMO – EMPULSE 10.0

(http://www.brammo.com/empulse/)

* RANGE: 100 miles (161 km)

* TOP SPEED: 100+ mph (161+ km/h)

* COMFORT: No windscreen and thereby rider absorb all wind, but quite straight-up riding position.

* DESIGN: Quite nice looking street bike look.

* COST to BUY: $13,995 (US)

* COST by CHARGE: ??? (~10 hours to recharge!)

* POWER SYSTEM LIFE: ???

* MARKETS/AVAILABILITY: ??? (In Sweden? Looks like US, Spain and Italy only, on the flags, but could be languages, and US market only.)

* COMMENT: Too short range, but could be interesting with better range.

CONCLUSION:

It seems that there is no matching bike for me, regarding especially the range criteria. The speed criteria is matched and even over my expectation for some bikes. I don’t know how much the speed affects the range, if a lower/legal speed allows me to go further or if it’s not affecting much.

I sure hope the electric motorcycles will be further developed and especially regarding range, power system life, recharge time. Would be nice to own an electric motorcycle in two years, but it seams that they are too expensive and it will take some time before we have any good electric motorcycles that fulfil my buying criteria.

TTXGP – The eGrand Prixhttp://www.ttxgp.com/

There’s a new Grand Prix class for Electric Motorcycles, or Zero Emission. Here’s a video showing a race:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_m1_OfvWeg

Just watched the Teams & Riders page (http://www.ttxgp.com/teams.php) and am happy to see that Sweden actually have two teams in the European TTXGP (Karlskoga Racing and Team Berix).

One thing that I don’t understand, is that none of the fuel engine motorcycle market brands are represented in the TTXGP. Well, not entirely true since a lot of the teams are having chassis from Suzuki, Yamaha and Honda. I mean, isn’t the electric motorcycle development and the “new market”, which probably will replace the fuel engine motorcycle market, enough interesting? I want to see Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda in the TTXGP as well. On the other side, it is nice to see a lot of new upcoming companies developing their bikes and components.

I hope this will take the development of components further and prolong the range for the bikes and life of the power systems and overtake the fuel engine racing soon.