Electric motorcycles and scooters
Electric motorcycles and scooters are plug-in electric vehicles with two or three wheels that can be recharged from any external source of electricity, and the electricity is stored on board in a rechargeable battery, which powers one or more electric motors to attain locomotion. Electric motorcycles, as distinguished from scooters, do not have a step-through frame.
As of August 2013[update], there are several commercial production electric motorcycles and scooters available in several markets around the world, including the Brammo Empulse, Zero S, Energica EGO, Quantya Strada, Yamaha EC-03, Vectrix VX-2, Electric Motorsport GPR-S, Yo Exl, and the Lito Sora.
- 1 History
- 2 Power source
- 3 Comparison of select production vehicles
- 4 Sales and adoption
- 5 Government promotion and incentives
- 6 Motorsports
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
|1895||Earliest known electric motorcycle patent.|
|1911||Popular Mechanics article introduces an electric motorcycle.|
|1919||Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies make an electric motorcycle prototype.|
|1936||Socovel electric motorcycle company founded.|
|1946||Marketeer company founded, based on an electric motorcycle made by Merle Williams.|
|1967||Karl Kordesch makes an hydrazine fuel cell motorcycle|
|1974||Mike Corbin's motorcycle Quick Silver sets electric motorcycle speed record of 165.387 mph (266.165 km/h)|
|1996||First mass-produced electric scooter, Peugeot Scoot'Elec, released|
|2011||Chip Yates sets Guinness record of fastest electric motorcycle with 316.899 km/h (196.912 mph)|
|2013||First FIM eRoad Racing World Cup|
1895 to 1950
The early history of electric motorcycles is somewhat unclear. On 19 September 1895, a patent application for an "electrical bicycle" was filed by Ogden Bolton Jr. of Canton Ohio. On 8 November of the same year, another patent application for an "electric bicycle" was filed by Hosea W. Libbey of Boston.
The October 1911 issue of Popular Mechanics mentioned the introduction of an electric motorcycle. It claimed to be have a range of 75 miles (121 km) to 100 miles (160 km) per charge. The motorcycle had a three-speed controller, with speeds of 4 miles (6.4 km), 15 miles (24 km) and 35 miles (56 km) per hour.
In 1919, Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies made a prototype electric motorcycle in which the batteries were fitted under the seat of the sidecar. Even though the vehicle was registered for road use, it never went past the trial stage.
In 1936, the Limelette brothers founded the an electric motorcycle company called Socovel (Société pour l’étude et la Construction de Vehicules Electriques or Company for research and manufacture of electric vehicles) in Brussels. They continued production during the German occupation with their permission. Due to fuel rationing, they found some degree of success. But after the war, they switched to conventional models. The electric models remained available until 1948.
During the World War II, compelled by fuel rationing in the United States, Merle Williams of Long Beach, California invented a two-wheeled electric motorcycle that towed a single wheeled trailer. Due to the popularity of the vehicle, Williams started making more such vehicles in his garage. In 1946, it led to the formation of the Marketeer Company (current-day ParCar Corp.).
1950 to 1980
In 1967, Karl Kordesch, working for Union Carbide, made a fuel cell/Nickel–cadmium battery hybrid electric motorcycle. It was later replaced with a hydrazine fuel cell, giving it a range of 200 miles (320 km) per gallon and a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h).
In 1974, Auranthic Corp., a small manufacturer in California, produced a small motorcycle called the Charger. It had a 30 mph (48 km/h) and a 50 miles (80 km) range on a full charge.
In the early 1970s, Mike Corbin built a street-legal commuter electric motorcycle called the Corbin Electric. Later in 1974, Corbin, riding a motorcycle called the Quick Silver, set the electric motorcycle speed world record at 165.387 mph (266.165 km/h). The motorcycle used a 24 volt electric starter motor from a Douglas A-4B fighter plane. In 1975, Corbin built a battery powered prototype street motorcycle called the City Bike. This motorcycle used a battery manufactured by Yardney Electric.
In June 1975, the first Annual Alternative Vehicle Regatta was held at Mt. Washington, New Hampshire. The event was created and promoted by Charles McArthur, an environmentalist. On June 17, Corbin's motorcycle completed the 8 miles (13 km) uphill course in 26 minutes.
1980 to 2000
In 1988, Ed Rannberg, who founded Eyeball Engineering, tested his electric drag motorcycle in Bonneville. In 1992, the January issue of Cycle World carried an article about Ed Rannberg's bike called the KawaSHOCKI. It could complete a quarter mile (0.25 miles (400 m)) in 11–12 seconds.
In 1995, Electric Motorbike Inc. was founded by Scott Cronk and Rick Whisman in Santa Rosa, California. In 1996, EMB Lectra was built by Electric Motorbike Inc., which used a variable reluctance motor. It had a top speed of about 45 mph (72 km/h) and a range of 35 miles (56 km). About a 100 of these were built.
2000 to present
In 26 August 2000, Killacycle established a drag racing record of completing a quarter mile (400 m) in 9.450 seconds on the Woodburn track in Oregon. Killacycle used lead acid batteries at a speed of 152.07 mph (244.73 km/h). Later, Killacycle using A123 Systems Li-ion nano-phosphate cells set a new quarter mile record of 7.824 seconds breaking the 8 seconds barrier at 168 miles per hour (270 km/h) in Phoenix, Arizona at the All Harley Drag Racing Association (AHDRA) 2007, on 10 November 2007.
On 14 June 2009, the first electric Time Trial Xtreme Grand Prix (TTXGP) all electric street motorcycle race took place on the Isle of Man in which 13 machines took part. Rob Barber riding a motorcycle built by Team Agni won the race. He completed the 37.73 miles (60.72 km) course in 25 minutes 53.5 seconds, an average speed of 87.434 miles per hour (140.711 km/h).
In 2010, ElectroCat, made by Eva Håkansson, set the record time for an electric motorcycle to climb Pikes Peak. The motorcycle, ridden by John Scollon, completed the 12 miles (19 km) course in 16 minutes 55.849 seconds. ElectroCat uses batteries manufactured by A123 Systems.
On 26 June 2011, Chip Yates broke ElectroCat's previous record at Pikes Peak. He completed the course in 12 minutes 50.094 seconds. On 30 August 2011, Yates riding his prototype SWIGZ.COM electric superbike established the official Guinness record of the fastest electric motorcycle. The motorcycle clocked a speed of 316.899 km/h (196.912 mph) at Bonneville.
On 30 June 2013, Carlin Dunne riding a Lighting Motorcycles built electric bike beat conventional motorcycles at Pikes Peak. He clocked a 10 minutes 00.694 seconds at the 12.42 miles (19.99 km) course. Bruno Langlois riding a Ducati Multistrada 1200 S finished second with a time of 10 minutes 21.323 seconds.
ENV developed by Intelligent Energy is a hydrogen fuel cell prototype. The motorcycle has a range of 100 miles (160 km) and can reach a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h). Suzuki has also developed a concept hydrogen fuel cell scooter based on the Suzuki Burgman. Yamaha has created a hydrogen fuel cell prototype called FC-AQEL, which is considered equivalent to a 125cc vehicle. Honda has also developed a hydrogen fuel cell scooter which uses the Honda FC Stack.
Honda has developed an internal combustion/electric hybrid scooter. Yamaha has also developed a hybrid concept motorcycle called Gen-Ryu. It uses a 600cc engine and an additional electric motor. Piaggio MP3 Hybrid uses a 125cc engine and an additional 2.4 kW motor.
Zero Motorcycles allows quick battery swap in all its 2013 models, except Zero S and DS.
Comparison of select production vehicles
The following table lists selected vehicles that are currently in production and are available to the public in various markets. The legal status of these vehicles may vary from region to region.
|Name||Model year||Top speed||Vehicle type||Battery type||Max Range||Price||Reference|
|Modenas CTric||2012||70 km/h (43 mph)||Scooter||Lead acid,
|60 km (37 mi)||US$ 1487
|Zero DS ZF8.5||2013||153 km/h (95 mph)||Dual sport||Lithium-ion||153 km (95 mi)||US$ 13995|||
|Vectrix VX-2||2012||45 km/h (28 mph)||Scooter||Lead acid,
|88 km (55 mi)||US$ 4295|||
|Brammo Empulse R||2013||169 km/h (105 mph)||Motorcycle||Lithium-ion||195 km (121 mi)||US$ 18995|||
|Yo Exl||2012||55 km/h (34 mph)||Scooter||Lead acid||60 km (37 mi)||US$ 741
|Quantya Strada||2011||89 km/h (55 mph)||Off-road
|Lithium-ion||40 km (25 mi)||US$ 10700|||
|ZEV10 LRC||2013||126 km/h (78 mph)||Scooter||Lithium-ion||230 km (140 mi)||US$ 13900|||
Sales and adoption
In the United States, adoption of electric motorcycles has been slow due to their high cost and low range compared to a similarly powered conventional motorcycle. In spite of rising fuel prices, cheaper gasoline motorcycles like Honda CBR250 are considered better alternatives. According to a market report published in 2013, the sales of electric motorcycles and scooters in expected to rise by 10-fold by 2018 in North America. The sales number of about 4000 units in 2012 is expected to be about 36000 by 2018.
In India, high costs and power grid problems have contributed to slow sales. In states like Tamil Nadu, where power supply of rationed electricity was reduced, a corresponding drop in sales has been observed by electric scooter manufacturers like Ampere and Hero Electric.
Government promotion and incentives
In January 2013, the Indian government announced a plan to provide subsidies for hybrid and electric vehicles. The plan will have subsidies up to ₹ 150000 for cars and 50000 on two wheelers. India aims to have seven million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.
The premier of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Liu Chao-shiuan said in 2008 that the government-financed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) will help domestic manufacturers mass-produce 100,000 electric motorcycles in four years.
TTXGP was conceived by Azhar Hussain. The first race was held on 30 June 2009 on the Isle of Man in which 13 teams took part. The event was endorsed by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).
FIM eRoad Racing World Cup
On 18 November 2010, Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) announced an ePower International Series for electric motorcycles, causing a split between TTXGP promoters and FIM. FIM, unlike TTXGP, was unable to gather many teams of the series. In March 2011, TTXGP announced it would again collaborate with FIM.
In 2013, TTXGP and FIM collaborated to organize the FIM eRoad Racing World Cup with races in US, Europe and a final race in Asia.
In 2013, FIM announced an all electric event, called E-MX, which was held in Belgium during Clean Week 2020 on 2 May. MiniMoto SX Energy Crisiscross is a regular event where electric off-road motorcycles are allowed to compete against conventional motorcycles.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Electric motorcycles.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Electric scooters.|
- Electric kick scooter
- Electric trike
- Electric vehicle conversion
- Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles
- List of modern production plug-in electric vehicles (includes electric motorcycles)
- Mobility scooter
- Plug-in electric vehicle
- FIM eRoad Racing World Cup
- "Patent number: 552271". Google Patents. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Patent number: 596272". Google Patents. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Popular Mechanics. Hearst Magazines. October 1911. pp. 560–. ISSN 00324558. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies: Motorcycles". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Erwin Tragatsch (1997). Alle Motorräder 1894-1981: Eine Typengeschichte. 2500 Marken aus 30 Ländern. ISBN 3-87943-410-7.
- Erwin Tragatsch (1985). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Motorcycles. ISBN 0890098689.
- Egon Duchateau, Geert Huylebroeck, Nick Jonkheere, Rick van Eycken, Luc Freson (2008). A-Z der Belgische motoren. ISBN 978-907734-6105.
- "Our History: The First Manufacturer of Industrial and Commercial Electric Vehicles". Columbia ParCar Corp. Archived from the original on 25 February 2004. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Alkali Fuel Cell History". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Karl Kordesch, PhD". Global Energy Systems. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Post 1953 Indian Motocycle History". Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Popular Mechanics. April 1974. p. 83. ISSN 00324558. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- Cycle World. 1992-01 - 1992-06. pp. 108–111. ISSN 00114286. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame: Mike Corbin". Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Corbin Yardney Motorcycle on top of Mt. Washington". Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Louise Ann Noeth (May 2002). Bonneville: The Fastest Place on Earth. MotorBooks International. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-7603-1372-5. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Electric MotorBike Inc: About Us". Electric MotorBike Inc. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Lectra VR24". Green Speed. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "Peugeot’s incredibly frugal electric E-Vivacity scooter". GizMag. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "The Roger Hedlund 150 mph Club". US National Electric Drag Racing Association. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "7.824 @168 MPH !!!!!! at Pomona AHDRA Nov 10th". Killacycle.com. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Zero Motorcycles 24 Hours of Electricross". Motorcycle USA. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "TTXGP: Rob Barber makes history". Isle of Man Today. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Electrocat Conquers Pikes Peak". EVWorld. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "SWIGZ.COM Pro Racing's Chip Yates Sets New Pikes Peak Record". EV World. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Fastest electric motorcycle". Guinness Book of World Records. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Lightning’s Electric Motorcycle Dominates Pikes Peak". Wired.com. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Lightning electric motorcycle beats gas bikes in Pikes Peak climb". Los Angeles Times. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Fuel Cell Motorbike to Hit U.S. Streets". National Geographic. 2 August 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Suzuki and Intelligent Energy Debut Fuel Cell Motor Scooter". EV World. 22 October 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Announcing the development of the Yamaha hydrogen fueled "FC-AQEL" fuel cell motorcycle". Yamaha. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Honda announces fuel cell, hybrid and electric scooters". Gizmag. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Yamaha unveils hybrid electric motorcycle and limousine scooter". Gizmag. 27 October 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Piaggio MP3 Hybrid review". The Telegraph. 19 September 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "2013 Zero Motorcycles lineup goes faster and farther, charges with CHAdeMO". AutoBlog. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Modenas CTric". Modenas. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Bikez: Modenas CTric". Bikez. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Modenas launches electric bike". Eco-Business. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Zero DS Spec". Zero Motorcycles. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Bikes: 2013 Zero DS electric motorcycle review". Autoweek. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Vectrix VX-2 Spec". Vectrix. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "2012 Vectrix VX-2 Electric Scooter Review". Motorcycle USA. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "2012 Vectrix VX-1E -2". Motorcyclist Online. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
- "Brammo Empulse R". Wired.com. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Brammo Impluse: Specification". Brammo. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Buy Brammo". Brammo. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "YoBykes: Yo Exl". YO Bykes. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Yo EXL". BikeWale. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Quantya Strada". Quantya. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Electric Motorcycles Buyer's Guide". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Quantya Strada, First Drive: The Street-Legal Electric Performance Vehicle You Can Buy Now". Jalopnik. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "ZEV Model Overview". ZEV Corp. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
- Dexter Ford (11 October 2012). "Electric Motorcycles in Search of a Market". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Annual Sales of Electric Motorcycles and Scooters in North America Will Multiply Nearly Ten-Fold by 2018, Forecasts Navigant Research". Yahoo Finance. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Grid Problems Curb India’s Electric-Vehicle Appetite". The New York Times. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Govt plans subsidy to boost electric, hybrid vehicle sales". Live Mint. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- ":: 中華民國僑務委員會 ::". Ocac.gov.tw. 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "More Suds In Electric Motorcycle Racing Soap Opera". Wired.com. 29 January 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Electric Motorcycle Racing Just Got Viable Thanks to FIM Partnership". Wired.com. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Electric Motorcycle Racing Hits the Big Time". Wired.com. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Signs of Peace In E-Motorcycle Racing Squabble". Wired.com. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Motocross set to become electric competition". Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycles. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Brammo to challenge other electrics, gassers in MiniMoto SX Energy Crisiscross 2011". Autoblog. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Electric motorcycles.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Electric scooters.|