Tag Archives: electric motorcycle

Electric kids bikes ensure our future

One of the biggest threats to the future of motorcycles is the loss of motocross tracks around Australia due to the noise issue in areas of urban sprawl.

Young MX riders are the next generation of motorcyclists.

Getting kids on motorcycles helps develop their hand-eye coordination, balance and alertness. 

But rapidly expanding urban areas are threatening the existence of motocross parks and in some states, it is now even illegal to operate a motorcycle on private property within 100m of your fence line.

However, the growth of quiet electric motorcycles and balance bikes for children could be the answer to this growing problem. 

Many manufacturers are now introducing these bikes to their range — even Harley-Davidson, although not yet in Australia!

Harley-Davidson electric bicycle balance kids
Harley kids bikes

French motorcycle manufacturer Sherco has had a lot of success here with their Factory electric enduro models which they are now expanding to electric balance bike ranks.

Less than a year after Sherco Australia launched their EB12 and EB16 electric balance bikes, the EB16 Factory now provides a higher-spec alternative.

It costs $999 and comes with a more powerful brushless motor, a rear disc brake, front suspension and styling updates.

They feature a simple twist-and-go throttle, a running time of up to 60 minutes and the option of a non-powered mode for kids to push, balance and coast before activating the brushless motor.

The EB16 Factory is supplied with an Australian 240V household charger, owner’s manual and toolkit. It has a 12-month parts-only warranty.

Sherco EB16 Factory electric balance bike
Sherco EB16 Factory electric balance bike

EB16 Factory

•    A 24V 250W brushless motor (EB16: 170W brush motor);

•    24km/h top speed (EB16: 21km/h top speed);

•    Better acceleration than EB16;

•    Suspension: front fork;

•    Three speed modes (EB16: two modes);

•    Higher handlebar;

•    Rear disc brake;

•    Anodised blue handlebar and seat clamp (quick-release seat clamp);

•    Blue rims with a more aggressive tread pattern;

•    New grips and brake lever; and

•    Sherco Factory decals.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Electric bike chases world speed record

A powerful electric motor and innovative aerodynamics are expected to help a British engineering company achieve a world speed record of more than 400km/h (250mph) for a motorcycle.

The bike will have emissions and economy implications for current and future electric and conventionally-powered motorcycles.

White Motorcycle Concepts has unveiled its prototype motorcycle which company founder and Chief Executive Officer Rob White will ride in attempts to break the British and world electric land speed records over the next 12 months.

It features three innovative technologies.

The company’s ultra-low drag system called V-Air has a large duct at the centre of the bike which forces air through the vehicle, rather than around it. 

V-Air reduces the WMC250EV’s aerodynamic resistance by as much as 70% compared to that of the market-leading high performance road bike according to the results of wind-tunnel testing at MIRA.

Aerodynamics of the bike and the rider are the biggest drain on motorcycle power and efficiency.

Australian Triple8 racing engineer Jeromy Moore says it is difficult for motorcycles to match a car’s aerodynamics, because they are too short.

“With aero, it will be hard to get a bike’s cD down as it is quite short so the air has to deflect at larger angles to go around and rejoin,” he says.

It seems the V-Air duct may have overcome this issue, especially with the rider tucked behind the fairing as in the above photo.

The duct also increases the axial load on the front of the motorcycle allowing the WMC250EV utilise a D-Drive motor unit that powers the front wheel, which in-turn makes it possible to harness regenerative braking energy – something unachievable with a conventional motorcycle. The third innovation, F-Drive final drive system, could filter down to your own motorcycle.

It is designed to give the bike a boost in power and enhance efficiency.

The WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator has been more than two years in the making and has already been granted a UK patent and expects Europe, the USA and Japan to follow suit by the end of August. 

If adopted by major manufacturers, these British devised technologies have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions across the industry and accelerate the mass-market de-carbonisation of motorcycles globally.

White, who has more than 25 years’ experience of world championship level motorsport, including Formula 1 and Le Mans, initially conceived his idea for V-Air six years ago, but it was exposure to Formula 1 packaging and sports car aerodynamics that gave him the confidence to pursue it seriously.

Having formed WMC in 2019, White reached into his network of contacts gained through his career. 

Rob Lewis MBE, the owner of Total Sim and a global leader in sports aerodynamics, recognised V-Air’s potential and supported the project through the initial proof of concept. 

The Northamptonshire company began developing the all-carbon fibre WMC250EV High Speed Demonstrator to F1 standards of design specification, component-packaging and technology with the ambition to test its potential to the highest standard.

“If you want to demonstrate to the rest of the world that you’ve just invented a new aerodynamic concept that means you can go faster for a given power, the best thing to do is go as fast you can,” Rob says. 

“That’s why we created WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator, the most radical version of this concept, to challenge for the world land speed record. It is electric, as that is the pre-eminent zero emissions power source at the moment, but as the aerodynamic concept provides efficiency benefit, it could just as easily be hydrogen or any other future power source.”

The concept’s more wide-reaching implication is the impact it could have on vehicular energy efficiency, leading to better fuel economy and lower emissions.

“The records are all champagne, but are actually the insignificant part of the story,” Rob says.

“While this technology allows you to go faster, it also allows you to go much further for the same amount of energy. This has a direct and tangible benefit on CO2 reduction. Market-disruptive ideas like this are uncommon, and if successful, have the potential to revolutionise industry.”

WMC is already working on a real-world application for the innovation and is producing a 300cc three-wheel hybrid scooter – the WMC300FR – that includes V-Air technology and reduces drag by 25%. 

That equates to 18% improvement in fuel efficiency, from aerodynamic improvements alone and when coupled with a small hybrid system enhances the performance to somewhere near 500cc levels, but with 50% less CO2 emissions.

“What we’ve managed to do is create something for the world market sector where people can use these vehicles in a city where the population is most effected by CO2 output and pollution – and we’ve managed to cut CO2 by 50% through aerodynamics and hybridisation,” Rob says.

The land speed record programme meanwhile is fully underway, with shakedowns continuing through the summer and an attempt on the Motorcycle Electric Semi Streamliner British Record planned for later on this year. 

Then the focus for WMC switches to the world’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, where Rob will attempt to set a new mark for the Electric Semi Streamliner World Record in July 2022.

“What started off as some sketches of an idea I was pondering, has become an initiative that can potentially change the motorcycle industry,” he says.

“I’ve always loved speed, and motorcycles. The challenge of breaking the world record satisfies a tenacity to achieve great things. But more importantly, it’s the perfect way to practically demonstrate that the theory behind this technology works.

“There are other record attempts running concurrently that have superstar riders and talismanic leaders fronting the projects, but for me and WMC the star is the technology. It’s a product of British engineering ingenuity and it has a real potential to disrupt the industry in a very positive way, becoming an important step towards the mass manufacture of non-fossil fuelled motorcycles, another milestone on the road to a zero-emission future.

“The company’s ambitions are great, and we aim to constantly produce high level engineering with environmental responsibility at its core, reducing carbon emissions throughout the entire motorcycle market from design and manufacture to end use.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie-Italian alliance on electric bikes

Former MV Agusta boss Giovanni Castiglioni and Australian company Stealth Electric Bikes have teamed up to launch a range of dirt bikes designed by famed MV designer Adrian Morton.

Giovanni exited the Italian motorcycle company in recent years after a Russian investment company took over to concentrate on electric bicycles with his company C-Creative.

Now he has teamed with Stealth Electric Bikes which was founded in 2008 by Australian engineer John Karambalis.

To date, the Australian company has focused on the production and marketing of off-road products for civil and military use. 

The two companies now plan to produce a range of high-performance off-road products and road-legal products designed for urban commuting.

Two 250w city bikes and 250w dual-purpose bikes will also go into production in 2022.

They are designed by Adrian Morton who is responsible for the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce, Rivale, RVS #1, Superveloce 800, Brutale 1000, and Rush 1000.

MV Agusta Rush 1000 beautiful
MV Agusta Rush 1000

Stealth will also increase its investment in the military sector, the original inspiration for the company.

Giovanni says he has been a Stealth customer for several years.

MV Agusta boss Giovanni Castiglioni classic cagiva 1000cc
Giovanni Castiglioni

“I have never found anything more exciting in the e-bikes scene,” he says. 

“Stealth is a brand that has a unique charm and charisma, and the C-Creative team is thrilled to be able to bring decades of experience is the world of two wheels to the company.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Fast-charging battery ideal for motorbikes

Range is a big issue for electric motorcycles, but an even bigger hurdle is slow charging rates.

Many modern motorcycles have small tanks to keep the weight down, so they have limited range. But at least you can fuel up in minutes. Electric motorcycle can take hours to recharge on mains power.

However, Australian company Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) may have overcome that hurdle.

They have made prototype batteries that will charge up to 10 times faster than a lithium-ion battery which is the standard among electric vehicles.

The results of recent testing at the University of Queensland confirms the company’s claims of fast charging times.

As the name suggests, Graphene Manufacturing Group uses graphene or a carbon material which is formed in a lattice or honeycomb design for its batteries.

Currently full-size electric road motorcycles such as the Energica models and Harley-Davidson LiveWire take about 11 hours to fully charge with range of about 250km in the city and 150km on the open road.Harley-Davidson LiveWire

A GMG graphene battery could potentially take a little more than an hour to fully recharge.

Quick-charging could bring that down to a matter of minutes or the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, although it would create quite a drain on the electrical grid.

So far, GMG has only produced coin-cell prototype batteries, which could be grouped together to make larger batteries suitable for powering electric vehicles.

Apart from fast charging rates, GMG claims several other advantages that makes them suitable for electric motorcycles:

  • They don’t overheat when charging, a matter that led to a fire when MotoE Energica motorcycles were being charged in 2019;
    electric garage fire energica
    Fast charger causes a fire in the Energica garage housing MotoE race bikes
  • they also don’t need cooling which means no need for a heavy and bulky radiator;
  • they last longer than lithium batteries with 2000 full charging cycles with no drop in storage capacity; and
  • they are easier to recycle and don’t use any lithium which mainly comes from China. 

However, on the negative side, graphene costs about US$100 per gram, so they could be quite expensive.

More importantly graphene batteries have only 60% of the energy density of a lithium-ion battery.

Satoshi Uchida in front of Suzuki Motorcycles logo

That means manufacturers would have to install much heavier batteries to claim the same range.

And that’s a big drawback as electric motorcycles are already quite heavy – Energica weighs about 260kg and a LiveWire is about 250kg.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Segway plans hydrogen sports bike

Personal mobility vehicle manufacturers Segway have branched out into electric sport bikes and mopeds in recent years with the help of Chinese company Ninebot and are now planning a cheap hydrogen fuel cell sports bike.

The Segway-Ninebot Apex H2 bike won’t be as fast as their 200km/h electric Apex, but it will sound more like a traditional bike and even has an exhaust pipe, although all that will come out is steam.

Segway Apex electric motorcycle
Segway Apex

They say Segway it will have 60kW (80hp) of power, enough to get it to highway speed in about four seconds and a top speed of 150km/h.

More importantly it will only cost about $A14,000 ($US10,700).Segway Apex H2 hydrogen bike

Segway Apex H2 hydrogen bike

Another interesting feature from the sketches are the single-sided front and rear swingarms.

There are no details from Segway about tank size, weight or range for the Apex H2, plus there are also issues with refuelling infrastructure which is negligent in Australia.Segway Apex H2 hydrogen bike

Howerever, hydrogen is largely regarded as the future for all motor vehiclesEven Honda is considering a hydrogen-powered motorcycle.

Further promoting the use of hydrogen power in small vehicles such as motorcycles is the development of a “Powerpaste”.

Powerpaste hydrogen fuel
Powerpaste hydrogen fuel

The German-made magnesium hydride paste stores hydrogen energy at 10 times the density of a lithium battery, is less volatile than gas and doesn’t need heavy pressurised tanks, making it ideal for motorcycles and scooters.

The other great advantage is that you could “refuel” or replace the Powerpaste cartridge in seconds rather than waiting hours to recharge an electric battery.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie states tax electric vehicles

Victorian riders who travel 20,000km a year on their new electric motorcycle will have to pay a $500 annual tax.

The state is the second in Australia to introduce a user-pays tax on electric vehicles after South Australia last year became the first authority in the world to introduce a similar scheme.

In many countries the reverse is true where buyers are given tax breaks and other incentives such as free tolls and access to transit lanes in an effort to encourage the uptake of the vehicles.

Critics of the user-pays tax say it will discourage motorists from buying electric vehicles.

The South Australian system has a fixed annual levy on top of their registration as well as a distance-travelled charge, requiring motorists to keep a logbook or provide odometer readings annually, at rego renewal time.

In Victoria, motorists will pay a fixed 2.5c-per-kilometre levy.

NSW and other states are excepted to follow the move to replace existing federal and state road taxes.

Meanwhile the Tasmanian Government’s plans to go 100% electric vehicles for their government fleet by 2030.

Motorists currently pay a fuel excise of about 42 cents a litre, which funds road maintenance and infrastructure.

Electric vehicles avoid the charge even though they use the same roads.

Some say user-pays road funding is a fairer system.

Electric motorcycles have yet to take off in this country with sales of the $50k Harley-Davidson Livewire very slow.

2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders incentives
Denis Savic with his Aussie electric motorcycle

There are a few electric scooters available and Melbourne-based says Savic Motorcycles is launching their production model C-Series.

Company founder Dennis Savic told us “perception plays an important role” in taxing electric vehicles.

Government currently receives 42c/L of petrol or $11 billion a year which goes toward funding road infrastructure and maintenance.

“If everyone moves to electric, the question is how we will pay for new roads and road maintenance?” asks Dennis.

“Implementing a new tax that replaces the old one like-for-like is one solution.”

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries Chief Executive Tony Weber says it does not make sense to apply the charge to zero-emission vehicles now “as these technologies are still in their infancy and account for a relatively small portion of vehicle sales across Australia”.

“Right now, Governments should be encouraging the uptake of these technologies with positive policy initiatives particularly around emissions targets, infrastructure development and appropriate incentives for fleets and private consumers rather than introducing charges that potentially reduce the incentive for these customers to buy these vehicles,” he says.

FCAI CEO Tony Weber is learning to ride a motorcycle NGK
Tony Weber

Mr Weber added that a nationally consistent approach to future road user charging frameworks should be introduced to provide clarity and consistency across the country rather than the potential for different approaches across each State.

Motorcycle paramedics

“There is no doubt that Governments must consider future revenue streams to ensure continuing investment in road and transport infrastructure. The automotive sector is wanting to be a part of those discussions to support positive outcomes driven by efficiency and effectiveness for all stakeholders. However, at current volumes, the funds raised through this proposed legislation will be minimal.

“Until zero and low emission vehicles become more mature technologies, Governments should be avoiding the temptation to subject them to new taxes and charges that impact on their acceptance from consumers.

“Advanced economies across the world are finding ways to encourage and incentivise the introduction of these vehicles rather than introducing charges that are barriers to their market growth.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Australia way behind in electric vehicle sales

Australia is miles behind the UK when it comes to interest in electric motorcycles and scooters.

A new survey shows half of UK bikers want to own an electric motorbike or have bought one, and 43.8% say sales of new petrol bikes should eventually be banned entirely.

In Australia, there are few electric models available:

Of course, the biggest obstacle in Australia is the combination of limited range of electric vehicles and the tyranny of distance in our big country, especially when compared wth the UK.

But it’s not just sales of electric motorcycles and scooters that are stagnant. Electric Vehicle Council figures show that last ear only 6,900 electric cars were sold in Australia, up just 2.7% on 2019. That’s just 0.7 per cent of total Australian car sales.

By comparison, electric vehicles in the EU increased their market share from 3.8% in 2019 to 10.2% in 2020. In California, market share went from 7.6% to 8.1%. Norway EV sales rose from 56% in 2019 to 75% in 2020.

In the the UK, it was 3.1% in 2019 against 10.7% in 2020, but that should improve markedly if the survey from motorbike insurer Bikesure is any indication.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari blames politicians for “yanking the handbrake” on EV sales in Australia.

Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide Revival Icons Collection

“We have no targets, no significant incentives, no fuel efficiency standards – and in Victoria we even have a new tax on non-emitting vehicles,” he says.

In fact, NSW, South Australia and Victoria have all announced a road user charge for low and zero emission vehicles, which includes electric motorcycles and scooters.

“Our governments are apparently doing everything possible to ensure Australia is stalled with its hazards on while the rest of the world zooms into the horizon,” Beyhad says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Honda, Yamaha, KTM, Piaggo Sign Letter of Intent for Swappable Battery Consortium

Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Piaggio have all signed a letter of intent to stage a swappable electric battery consortium for EV motorcycles and lighter EV’s. 

Together, they will collaborate on batteries that can be swapped amongst each of their EV lineups. This will make it possible to use a universal battery across all models. This initiative will take some time before coming to the streets however the letter of intent is a huge step in the right direction. 

Yamaha EC-05 Concept

From the press release: ‘The aim of the Consortium will, therefore, be to define the standardized technical specifications of the swappable battery system for vehicles belonging to the L-category; mopeds, motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles. By working closely with interested stakeholders and national, European and international standardization bodies, the founding members of the Consortium will be involved in the creation of international technical standards.’

Honda Managing Officer of Motorcycle Operations Noriake Abe said:

Motorcycle paramedics

“The worldwide electrification effort to reduce CO2 on a global scale is accelerating, especially in Europe. For the widespread adoption of electric motorcycles, problems such as travel distance and charging times need to be addressed, and swappable batteries are a promising solution. Considering customer convenience, standardization of swappable batteries and wide adoption of battery systems is vital, which is why the four-member manufacturers agreed to form the Consortium.
Honda views improving the customers’ usage environment as an area to explore cooperation with other manufacturers while bringing better products and services to customers through competition. Honda will work hard on both fronts to be the ‘chosen’ manufacturer for customer mobility.”

Activity on the new consortium will begin in May 2021, while invitations have been extended to other manufactures to join in on the initiative. Once this initiative is live and available to the consumer, it will mean huge benefits for all EV owners. It will mean less time charging and more time traveling – since you will be able to simply swap your battery and go. This concept isn’t anything new but with major players in manufacturing stepping up means it will be a matter of time before it becomes reality. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aussie states hamper electric bike companies

A plan by three Australian states plan to introduce a road-user fee on electric vehicles (EVs) could hamper the country’s fledgling electric motorcycle industry.

NSW, South Australia and Victoria have all announced a road user charge for low and zero emission vehicles (LZEVs), while the Tasmanian Government’s plans to go 100% electric vehicles for their government fleet by 2030.

This comes as the Melbourne-based says Savic Motorcycles launches their production model C-Series this Friday (26 November 2020).

Company founder Dennis Savic (pictured above) says “perception plays an important role” in taxing electric vehicles.

Government currently receives 42c/L of petrol or $11 billion a year which goes toward funding road infrastructure and maintenance.

“If everyone moves to electric, the question is how we will pay for new roads and road maintenance?” asks Dennis.

“Implementing a new tax that replaces the old one like-for-like is one solution.

“And the way it was communicated appears to have a negative impact towards EVs – but the government is kind of discounting their current taxes for EVs. So taxing EVs isn’t incorrect, but isn’t a perfectly accurate statement either.

“I wonder if a scheme was considered (and it probably was) where the public would be incentivised to buy and use electric vehicles, while the government recouped the potential lost taxes in another way.

“If the government invested in charging infrastructure to make charging more affordable and convenient to the public, the government could charge people for using them (no pun intended).

“I’m sure this is easier said than done.

“Electric vehicles cost less to run and maintain than ICE vehicles. Period.

“The industry will have to adapt and innovate if it would like to continue along its growth trajectory by offering products and services that suit the ever evolving customer. “

Fonzarelli NKD is first Aussie mini electric subscribe
Fonzarelli NKD is first Aussie mini electric

Michelle Nazzari, MD and founder of Australia’s award-winning Sydney-based Fonzarelli electric scooter and minibike company, says “any government imposing an EV tax when we lag behind so greatly in EV uptake, their policymakers require a sanity check”.

In September, Australia’s first electric motorcycle company won the Australian Good Design Awards’ Automotive – Best Exterior category for the fun, electric, dual-sport Fonzarelli Grom-sized NKD minibike.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) boss Tony Weber says the road-user fee would “destroy the path to a greener and cleaner motor vehicle fleet for this and future generations”.

Bloodbikes Australia has become an integral part of transporting COVID-19 tests from testing centres to medical laboratories.

“Don’t worry about health outcomes, don’t concern yourself about the environment –  short-term revenue collection comes first,” he says.  

“Other countries bend over backwards to increase the use of EVs and other low emission vehicles, because they recognise the benefits.  

“Australian state governments want to kill the technology at its infancy.  Is this because some states want to substitute the Commonwealth excise tax with their own tax?  Are motorists being caught in a petty game in which the states want to establish a new revenue base at the expense of the Commonwealth?

“The FCAI recognises that the decline in excise, the taxation of motorists and their vehicles, is a long-term issue that needs to be addressed.  We also understand that road user charging may play a role in Australia’s future tax regime.

“However, such a transition needs to be undertaken in a holistic and nationwide manner, recognising the importance of EVs and other low emission vehicles.  Let’s not kill EVs in their infancy.”

Meanwhile, Tony has applauded Tasmania’s decision as “forward-thinking”.

“Tasmania’s unique position with its renewable energy advantage means that the fleet will utilise domestic energy sources and create a more affordable second-hand electric vehicle market that will support the longer-term widespread adoption of low emission vehicles,” Tony says.

“This proposal shows great leadership by the Tasmanian Government and will hopefully inspire some less progressive governments around Australia.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Voxan Chases Land Speed Record October 30th, 2020

The Age of EV Domination

Humans have been chasing land speed records for over 100 years now. In 1898, Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat set the world’s first official land speed record in his French-made electric vehicle, hitting a top speed of 39 mph. It’s pretty insane to think that the first land speed record was achieved 100 years ago with an electric vehicle.

Today, elective vehicles have returned to lead the pack with impeccable acceleration, unlimited torque numbers, and wicked top speeds. Voxan Motors, a French motorcycle builder, is gearing up to fulfill their claim made on October 27th of beating 12 world speed records at once.

After testing in June and August of this year, the team has decided to return to their familiar airstrip at the Châteauroux airport for the third time this year between October 30th and November 1st to take their trio of Wattman machines to the limit.

Max Baiggi

Max Biaggi will be riding three different versions of the 270 kW Wattman to a hopeful victory lane. Each motorcycle has different variations and stages of aero.

“The whole team has been ready to take on these world records for several weeks. So instead of waiting to find out whether we will be able to ride in Bolivia in June 2021, I have decided to make the attempt now, on the track that’s both best suited and closest to our base in Monaco. If the weather conditions are good, we will be able to collect some records. It will be a fine way to mark 20 years of the Venturi Group”  Says Gildo Pastor, President of Venturi Group.

Ural Gear Up 2WD

All three bikes will attempt ¼ mile, 1 mile, and 1 km drag races with both standing and running starts. 

We wish Voxan and Venturi group the best of luck with their record attempts and will be eagerly waiting to see the results.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com