Zero Motorcycles

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Zero Motorcycles, Inc.
Industry Vehicle Manufacturing
Founded Santa Cruz, California (2006 (2006))
Founder Neil Saiki
Headquarters Scotts Valley, California, United States
Area served
North America
Key people
  • Richard Walker (CEO)
  • Abe Askenazi (CTO)
  • Curt Sacks (CFO)
A 2014 Zero S
Zero Z-force

Zero Motorcycles Inc. is an American manufacturer of electric motorcycles. Formerly called Electricross, it was started in 2006 by Neal Saiki, a former NASA engineer, in Santa Cruz, California. The company is now located nearby in Scotts Valley.

Zero makes a line of 100% electric motorcycles including the S and SR (street), and the DS and FX (dual-sport).

Model history[edit]

The Zero S began shipping in volume in 2010, the first model year to include the Agni Motor,[1][2] at which time the DS, a dual-sport model based on the S chassis became available. The XU, a smaller street bike with a removable battery, based on the same chassis as the Zero dirtbikes was produced from 2011 to 2013.

In 2012, Zero introduced the ZF9 Power Pack with the Zero S & DS models making them the first production electric motorcycles that can exceed an EPA-estimated 100 miles on a single charge.

In 2013 the Zero S and DS were completely redesigned.[3] The battery capacity was increased to 11.4kWh, and a new brushless permanent magnet AC motor was introduced. In 2013 the Zero FX dual-sport model with modular removable power packs was introduced. CHAdeMO fast charging was also available on 2013 models.[4][5][6]

In 2014 the optional 2.8kWh "Power Tank" became available.[7][8][9] 2014 also saw the addition of the Zero SR to the range, a higher performance version of the Zero S, incorporating more powerful controller electrics and a motor with higher temperature magnets.[10]

The 2015 models had battery pack size increased to 12.5kWh, for a total possible maximum capacity of 15.3kWh including the optional Power Tank. Also introduced in 2015 were standard ABS brakes and Showa suspension. CHAdeMO fast charging was eliminated as an option, leaving instead an optional quick charger accessory at added cost.

Zero Motorcycles also produces a line of electric motorcycles for police, authority, and military use. The fleet motorcycles are based upon the company’s standard models but outfitted with equipment such as police lights, sirens, crash bars, and storage accessories.


Zero's Lithium-ion power packs and motors were developed in-house, and are branded under the names "Z-Force" and "ZF". The power pack uses a cell configuration that operates at 102 volts. The motorcycles' propulsion is provided by a single electric, air-cooled, brushless, permanent-magnet 3-phase AC motor.[11][12][13] The motor is directly coupled to the rear wheel by a belt or - optionally on the Zero FX - a chain. A controller manages the power delivery and comes in 420-amp and a 660-amp sizes depending on the model.

Racing Use[edit]

Zero Motorcycles has had success racing at Pikes Peak. In 2012 a Zero FX was the first production electric motorcycle to break the 12 minute mark.[14] Zero has also won the production electric motorcycle class in 2013, 2014, and 2015.[15]

Racers have used Zero Motorcycles against gasoline motorcycles in a number of other forms of racing, including flat-track,[16] hare scrambles,[17] supermoto,[18] and supercross.[19]


Zero's main competitor is the Victory Empulse[20][21][22] (formerly Brammo),[23] but current and upcoming models from Lightning, Energica, Alta, and Mission will compete with Zero's product lineup as well.[24][25][26] Some of the larger OEMs have also released electric concepts and prototypes such as the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric concept,[27][28] and Yamaha's PES1 and PED1.[29][30]


Zero Motorcycles have the same inherent advantages and disadvantages as most electric vehicles, but in particular have been criticized for lack of range and slow charging capabilities[31][32][33] - which make long-distance touring use difficult compared to their combustion engine counterparts.[34] Detractors also point out a comparatively high price compared to equivalent conventional motorcycles.[35][36]


  1. ^ "2011 Zero XU Review". 30 June 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "TTXGP Zero/Agni || ZERO MOTORCYCLES". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  3. ^ "Ride Review: 2013 Zero S Electric Motorcycle". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  4. ^ Yoney, Domenick. "2013 Zero Motorcycles lineup goes faster and farther, charges with CHAdeMO". Autoblog. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  5. ^ Tibu, Florin. "2013 Zero S Bike Gets CHAdeMO Charging - Photo Gallery". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  6. ^ "2013 Zero Motorcycles Double HP, Fast Charge - Motorcycle USA". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Yoney, Domenick. "Zero Motorcycles reveals 2014 lineup with SR variant, Power Tank range extender [w/videos]". Autoblog. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  9. ^ "2014 Zero S". Top Speed. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "ON THE RECORD: Abe Askenazi Zero Motorcycles' CTO explains everything you ever wanted to know about EVs—and then some.". Cycle World. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  12. ^ "Going Electric Technology || ZERO MOTORCYCLES". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  13. ^ "2015 Zero SR". Top Speed. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  14. ^ "Jeff Clark Breaks 12-Minutes On Zero FX At Pikes Peak". Gas 2. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  15. ^ Wire, The. "Pikes Peak: Zero Motorcycles Race Report (Video)". Cycle World. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  16. ^ "The Life Electric: Preston Petty". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  17. ^ "Zero Smashes Gassers". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  18. ^ "Zero FX Supermoto Racing Against Gas Bikes + Video - News". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  19. ^ "Zero Motorcycles Dominates at Minimoto SX - Motorcycle USA". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  20. ^ "Brammo Empulse R vs. Zero S – Electric Motorcycle Comparison Test Electric bikes come of age. If you could ignore the price, you'd buy one... really.". Cycle World. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  21. ^ "2014 Brammo Empulse R vs Zero S and SR - Motorcycle USA". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  22. ^ "2013 Brammo Empulse R vs Zero S ZF11.4 - Video". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  23. ^ "Victory Empulse TT -- A Rebadged Brammo Empulse R". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  24. ^ Cameron, Kevin. "AIMExpo: Thinking Electric New Alta and Zero motorcycles jolt the imagination.". Cycle World. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  25. ^ "6 Electric Motorcycles Ready to Battle Any Gas Bike". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  26. ^ "Electric motorcycle market: The OEMs ante up | Dealernews". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  27. ^ "Project LiveWire™ Experience Tour | Harley-Davidson® USA". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  28. ^ "Harley-Davidson Livewire Electric Motorcycle Concept: Test Ride". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  29. ^ "Yamaha’s Exquisite Electric Motorcycles Will Soon Hit the Streets". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  30. ^ Bruce, Chris. "Yamaha PES1 and PED1 electric motorcycles headed for production". Autoblog. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  31. ^ The Shocking Truth About Electric Motorcycles - /RideApart, May 7, 2012, retrieved 2015-09-01 
  32. ^ "Charging Time, Not Range, Is the Biggest EV Issue". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  33. ^ "The state of electric motorcycles". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  34. ^ "Zero Electric Motorcycles: Quiet, Efficient and Fun - Consumer Reports News". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  35. ^ "Do Electric Motorcycles Have A U.S. Future? One View Says No". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  36. ^ Tibu, Florin. "Why Are Electric Motorcycles So Damn Expensive?". Retrieved 2015-09-01. 


External links[edit]