Tag Archives: electric vehicle

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 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

Will electric vehicles drain power grid?

One of the main concerns about motorists swapping to electric vehicles is that they would place an even bigger drain on the already strained power grid.

However, some electric cars and now the Damon Hypersport electric motorcycle have what they call “smart chargers” that actually prop up the grid.

Damon Hypersport Premier and HS
Damon Hypersport

This is how they work:

You arrive home from work on your electric motorcycle, plug it in to recharge, put on the kettle, turn on the air-conditioning, switch on the TV and/or computer and start cooking dinner.

The power grid labours under this surge in demand and there is a brownout!

However, because your bike is equipped with a smart charger, it doesn’t immediately start charging the vehicle.

Instead, it takes the remaining charge from the bike and puts it back into the grid.

Solar Cake Kalk electric motorcycles standardise election
Power back to the grid

So it actually supports the electricity supply at a high-demand period, preventing brownouts.

Of course an electric two-wheeler wouldn’t have as much electricity to give back to the grid as a car, but with thousands around the country plugging in at peak hour, it would still have a positive effect.

The smart charger only starts charging the vehicle later in the evening when the demand is low and the price is cheap.

Of course, if you decide you need to go out to get some milk you might find your electric bike is now flat!

Grid trial

So the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has launched a $A2.9 million trial providing smart chargers across the national grid.

The smart chargers will be installed across residential, commercial and industrial premises of EV owners and fleets, where they will be remotely monitored and controlled via software.

Australia Post postie bike electric trike eDV
Australia Post postie bike electric trike eDV

It will not only evaluate the effects of controlled smart charging on the grid, but also provide details on EV driver behaviour and willingness to accept third-party control of charging.

The trial would also ascertain what incentives are needed to encourage future participation in charge-management programs.

Some may see this as Big Brother intervention, prying into how, where and when they use their vehicle.

Of course, most of this information is already available through various sources.

And it could be a benefit to the whole community.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

10 unexpected benefits of Whirring Twenties

Rather than a return to the Roaring Twenties, this decade could see an abundance of electric vehicles creating a Whirring Twenties.

Let’s do the disadvantages first:

  1. Expensive;
  2. Limited range;
  3. Dubious whole-of-life environmental impact;
  4. Slow charging;
  5. Scant charging infrastructure;
  6. No common batteries across the industry; and
  7. They lack soul.

There is also the unanswered vexing question of how the government will respond to diminishing fuel excise revenue as electric vehicles take over. Perhaps a new tax!

I certainly don’t see myself buying one this decade, even though the first six disadvantages will soon be diminished by advances in technology and production.

However, I do see 10 unexpected benefits from the Whirring Twenties.

Whirring Twenties

1 Quiet

Now most of us think this is a negative, but there are many instances where a quiet, whirring motor could be a benefit:

  • For a start, police and security guards will be able to sneak up on thieves;
  • Meanwhile, police would not be able to fine you for having a noisy exhaust;
  • It would also nullify the latest draconian laws to limit use of off-road motorcycles on your own property as is occurring in some states;
  • There would be fewer complaints from residents near racetracks which might save some from extinction;
  • You could easily sneak away early on a Sunday for a ride without disturbing your cranky neighbours or come home late without waking the family; and
  • Young people may like the fact that they can still hear their phone calls and music clearly while riding!

2 Cool runnings

Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire parade silicon standardise
Harley’s LiveWire electric motor is cool to the touch

Even though batteries and electric motors heat up, it is nothing compared with the heat radiating from an internal combustion engine.

I rode the Harley-Davidson LiveWire at the world launch last year in Portland, Oregon, through the forest and through town, yet I was still able to place my naked hand on the battery and motor without it being burnt.

It was only warm, not even hot.

That is a real boon for those commuters who usually fry in slow traffic on a summer’s day.

It would also spell the end of pipe burn for young kids and novice riders.

3 Youth appeal

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

We crusty old riders love our internal combustion engines, but many young people see them as old technology.

However, funky, whirring electric motorcycles could just be the tonic to kickstart sales to millennials.

4 Design options

Speaking of funky, there have been some weird designs among the electric motorcycles we have seen so far.

LA custom motorcycle guru Roland Sands says electric motorcycles offer a wider range of designs than ICE bikes.

Roland Sands design
Roland contemplates an electric custom motorcycle

Motors and batteries can be just about any shape and designers don’t have to factor in ugly exhausts and chain/belt/shaft drives; they can simply make them direct drive.

5 Easy to ride

Most electric motorcycles will be twist-and-go with no clutch lever, shifter pedal or gears to change.

Once again, we crusty old riders think this sucks the charm and skill out of riding a motorbike, but it may also make them more palatable to younger riders who relish convenience.

Since they will be easier to learn to ride, getting your licence should be cheaper as you would need fewer lessons.

Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire
No clutch on the LiveWire

6 Lightning fast

If it’s speed you want, it’s speed you get with an electric motorcycle.

Electric motors have peak torque as soon as you roll the throttle.

Consequently, most electric motorcycles will accelerate to 100km/h in about three seconds, which is faster than most supercars.

I tested this at the LiveWire and Victory Empulse TT launches and it’s easy to achieve. No need for a drag strip or any special launch controls. Just wind the throttle and hang on!

As for top speed, the Lightning LS-218 holds the land speed record for fastest production electric motorcycle in the world at 346km/h (218mph – hence the name) at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Lightning electric motorcycle fast electric LiveWire electric bike race expensive
Lightning record-holding electric race bike

7 Low maintenance

Maintenance expenses should be low as there is no chain/belt, no internal engine workings, no oil, etc.

Long-life brushless electric motors and batteries need no maintenance.

Even brake pads will need changing less frequently because regenerative braking from the motor means you use the conventional brakes less often.

Brembo brakes on the LiveWire

8 No mess

Scooters shielded their oily engines with panels so women wouldn’t get their skirts dirty while riding.

The same can be said for electric motorcycles, although they don’t need panels. There are simply no oily working bits to smear your clothes!

9 Slap for industry

So far, the electric motorcycle industry has been dominated by start-ups, not traditional motorcycle companies.

That’s great for entrepreneurial engineers such as Dennis Savic who has created Australia’s first electric motorcycle.

Harley-Davidson is the first traditional manufacturer to make a full-sized road-legal electric motorcycle, while the Japanese, Ducati and BMW have only been hinting at it.

BMW E-Power Roadster electric
BMW E-Roadster concept

If the start-ups steal some market share from these companies it could just be the slap in the face they need to pick up their game.

10 Traditional bikes

Isaac Newton’s third law is: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

That’s not just true for physics, but also culture. Look at the growth of hippies during the space age and hipsters in the internet age!

Perhaps a dramatic swing to whirring electric vehicles could inspire people’s love of motorcycling and a desire to preserve it!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Your electric bike could charge your home

Imagine riding home from work on your electric motorbike, then plugging it into the mains where it then helps charge your house?

Or running out of power and being able to recharge your bike off another electric vehicle so you are not stranded on the roadside?

Researchers at Sydney’s Macquarie University have developed a bidirectional intelligent charging device that will do just that.

Now they are looking to take their charging system to market.

Lead researcher at the uni’s School of Engineering, Dr Seyedfoad Taghizadeh, tells us their bidirectional charger would suit electric motorcycles as well as other electric vehicles.

“We have built the laboratory prototype of the device, and currently working to reduce its size to be acceptable for commercialisation,” the Doc says.

“The size of the device can be reduced to be applied for both cars and motorbikes, although this requires financial support from an investor/manufacturer.”

Power grid issues

Solar Cake Kalk electric motorcycles standardise election
Power back to the grid

One of the biggest concerns about mandating a proportion of new vehicles as electric is the load they might have on an already overstretched power grid.

However, Dr Taghizadeh points out that this charger would have the opposite effect and a actually support the electricity grid.

“Our charger creates less anxiety on the power network than existing systems,” he says.

In some ways it is like the Nissan Leaf electric car charger that puts power back into the grid and only charges when there is low load on the grid.

If there were a lot of these electric vehicles putting power back into the grid during early evening peak load times, it would prevent brownouts.

“It means that for houses that rely on batteries for storage, the fully charged vehicle is also capable of feeding power in the other direction, thus becoming a back-up system,” the Doc says. 

“Furthermore, while the device is used for charging/discharging the electric vehicle at home, it is capable of improving the power quality of the local power grid (household grid) via reducing the harmonics and improving the voltage profile of the local grid.

“The device uses an advanced control system which minimises the output transients of the chargers operation.”

Electric boost

2019 Savic electric motorcycle prototype orders
Australia’s first electric motorcycle, the Savic

This is yet another step toward making electric vehicles more appealing to motorists.

Last week we reported on Canadian battery company GBatteries working on a battery that recharge an electric motorcycle in about five minutes.

And last month we published an article about Deakin University research that makes lithium-ion batteries smaller, lighter and less likely to burst into flame.

Together with electric motorcycles now having up to 400km of range, the case for electric motorcycles is becoming more and more appealing.

Now they just have to reduce their price and give them a decent note!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Lithium-ion batteries made lighter and safer

Electric motorcycles could benefit from Deakin University research which makes lithium-ion batteries smaller, lighter and less likely to burst into flame.

Research fellows at Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials Research, Dr Fangfang Chen and Dr Xiaoen Wang, say their discovery means lithium-ion batteries would no longer pose a fire risk.

They have achieved this by replacing highly volatile liquid electrolytes with a solid material made from common industrial polymers. 

Lithium on fire!

While lithium batteries in Tesla and some laptops and phones have exploded in flame, the only known issues with electric motorcycles have involved overheating chargers.

The issues recently caused Harley-Davidson to temporarily suspend production of its electric LiveWire and sparked a fire which destroyed all the Energica MotoE racing bikes earlier this year(image top of page).

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle electric highways
LiveWire on a fast charger

The Deakin Uni finding has the potential to be applied to all lithium-ion batteries, including those used in electric motorcycles.

Dr Wang says almost all electric vehicles using lithium batteries are based on liquid electrolytes.

“If we use solid-state electrolytes in these applications, we will definitely make these batteries safer, with the potential to affect all applications where batteries are used, including motorcycles,” he tells us.

He says it does not specifically address the Energica and Harley charging issue.

But will it add to the cost, size and weight of batteries?

“We are at a finding stage,” Dr Wang says.

“Currently, there’s no all-solid-state battery available on the market that’s free from flammable components, and there’s still many challenges to make solid-state batteries competitive with current batteries in terms of price point.

“Our focus is developing one of the components for solid state batteries, which is the key to making them safer for everyone and hopefully a game changer in the lithium-ion battery world.

“The batteries will be lighter and smaller on the basis of the same energy. So, the same size battery that is in a phone now, using our findings, could last double the time, or alternatively, the batteries could last the same time as now – but be half the size.”

That’s a boon to electric motorcycles where size and weight is more important than in larger vehicles.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle lithium
Harley-Davidson LiveWire lithium-ion battery

How it works

The Deakin researchers have “reinvented the way polymer interacts with lithium salt, removing the normally highly flammable properties of traditional lithium batteries”, says Dr Chen.

They say they’ve used existing commercial polymer materials to create the new process, meaning the formulation could be applied commercially with little difficulty.

“All of the products that we’ve used to make this safer battery process already exist in the market,” Dr Wang says.

“Polymers have been used as battery conductors for over 50 years, but we’re the first to use existing commercial polymer in an improved way.

“We’ve done this by weakly bonding the lithium ion with polymer, creating solid polymer electrolytes. We believe this is the first clear and useful example of liquid-free and efficient transportation of lithium-ion in the scientific community.”

So far they’ve proven the process in coin cell batteries, similar to a watch battery size, with the next step being to scale up the batteries to bigger applications – such as for a mobile phone.

It may be some time before they are used in electric motorcycles and other electric vehicles.

Their research is now published by Joule.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Are Ducati-branded electric scooters coming?

The only thing Ducati about these Chinese-made Super SOCO CUx electric scooters is the name and logo.

Perth-based Vmoto who manufacturers in China has somehow obtained a licence agreement with the Italian manufacturer to make the luxury electric scooters under the Ducati brand.

The agreement was signed a couple of weeks ago, but it us still unclear where the scooters will be sold.

Apparently the scooters will be used as pit vehicles by the Ducati MotoGP team, but whether they will be available or sale anywhere outside of South East Asia remains a mystery.Ducati Super SOCO electric scooters

We tried to contact  Vmoto for comment and received this email reply from Super SOCO importer Urban Moto Imports:

We are still working through the processes and complexities that have arisen, and a press release is expected to be circulated in the coming days, which will explain what will happen in the future regarding these scooters.

Vmoto originally said the Ducati/Vmoto scooter would be marketed as a “high-end luxury product at a premium price” and sold globally over the next two years through the “existing worldwide distribution network”.

Meanwhile, Ducati Australia says they will not be sold here.Ducati Super SOCO electric scooters

They emphasise that the scooters are not a Ducati product, but “an electric scooter that wears Ducati’s colours, no more than that under a licensing agreement”.

However, the deal does show that Ducati is not shrinking away from the coming electric two-wheel revolution.

Electric noiseDucati electric mountain bike plug

Ducati has been making noises about scooters and electrics over the past few years and has licensed two electric projects to other companies.

In 2015, there was the e-Scrambler painted in Scrambler Urban Enduro colours. It was made under licence to Ducati by Italwin, an Italian company specialising in pedal-assisted electric bicycles.

In 2017, Ducati Western Europe managing director Edouard Lotthe said they were looking at both scooters and electrics, while VW Group Chairman Matthias Mueller said Ducati would have an electric motorcycle by 2020.

In the same year the Ducati Zero futuristic design concept was produced by the Milano Scuola Politecnica di Design (Design Polytechnic School).

In 2018, Ducati unveiled its first electric mountain bike, the MIG-RR.

Ducati MIG-RR electric scooters mountain bike
Ducati MIG-RR electric mountain bike

And this year Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali admitted he rides a Hypermotard converted to electric power with a Zero FX powertrain and said the company is about to join the electric bike race.

“The future is electric, we’re not far from starting series production,” he said.

So there could be more electrics from Ducati soon, rather than just a licensing agreement for luxury scooters.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati signs deal for electric scooters

Whoever thought they would hear the words “Ducati” and “electric scooters” in the same sentence?

But now it seems Chinese manufacturer Vmoto has signed a licence agreement with the Italian manufacturer to make luxury electric scooters under the Ducati brand.

They will be sold worldwide through current distribution networks, so they could be coming here.

Electric noiseDucati electric mountain bike plug

Ducati has been making noises about scooters and electrics over the past few years and has licensed two electric projects to other companies.

In 2015, there was the e-Scrambler painted in Scrambler Urban Enduro colours. It was made under licence to Ducati by Italwin, an Italian company specialising in pedal-assisted electric bicycles.

In 2017, Ducati Western Europe managing director Edouard Lotthe said they were looking at both scooters and electrics, while VW Group Chairman Matthias Mueller said Ducati would have an electric motorcycle by 2020.

In the same year the Ducati Zero futuristic design concept was produced by the Milano Scuola Politecnica di Design (Design Polytechnic School).

In 2018, Ducati unveiled its first electric mountain bike, the MIG-RR.

Ducati MIG-RR electric scooters mountain bike
Ducati MIG-RR electric mountain bike

And this year Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali admitted he rides a Hypermotard converted to electric power with a Zero FX powertrain and said the company is about to join the electric bike race.

“The future is electric, we’re not far from starting series production,” he said.

So there could be more electrics from Ducati soon, rather than just a licensing agreement for luxury scooters.

Chinese electric scooters deal

Ducati signs deal for electric scooters
Super Soco electric scooter (artist’s impression with Ducati logo)

The new licence deal signed with Vmoto will result in “CUX special Ducati edition” electric scooters.

Vmoto already make cheap electric scooters and motorcycles under the Super Soco brand which are available in Australia.

The top-of-the-range TS11200R electric motorcycle costs just $4990 ride away but has only 22km of range.

Ducati signs deal for electric scooters
Super Soco TS1200R

They say the Ducati/Vmoto CUX scooter will be marketed as a “high-end luxury product at a premium price” and sold globally over the next two years.

Vmoto and Ducati say they will promote the CUX special edition to the “existing worldwide distribution network”.

Ducati is imported by Frasers Motorcycles and Super Soco by Urban Moto Imports.

There is no word yet on whether they will be imported here or which importer would bring them in.

However, Vmoto managing director Charles Chen says the deal is partly intentioned to further grow Vmoto’s product awareness in Europe.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycles omitted from future report

Traditional and electric motorcycles have been omitted from a major academic report that claims to be a blueprint for future transport in Australia.

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering report, “Shifting Gears – Preparing for a Transport Revolution“, calls for the next Federal Government to provide incentives for electric and low-emissions vehicles.

However, there is not one mention of motorcycles or scooters, either electric or traditional.

We contacted the Academy to ask whether they had factored in electric and traditional motorcycles and scooters as well as e-bikes for their impact on future mobility?

“Good question,” they replied.

But no, they didn’t.

Omitted from future

The Last Motorcycle on Earth! panic omitted
Scene from the fictional film The Last Motorcycle on Earth!

This glaring omission neglects the virtues of two-wheeled mobility and its advantages for traffic flow and relieving the strain on parking and other infrastructure.

It also demonstrates how little regard authorities have for motorcycles and scooters and the coming tsunami of electric two-wheelers.

The omission may also be a portent for the possible future of motorcycles and scooters – nil!

In 2017, a group of American motorcycle industry luminaries, aptly called “Give a Shift”, released a report on the future of motorcycling saying bikes are in danger of being killed off by autonomous vehicles.

As governments and safety nannies place their hopes in these autonomous vehicles, we wonder whether “dangerous” motorcycles will simply be banned as in the fictional film “The Last Motorcycle on Earth“.

Period of change

Academy spokesperson Kathryn Fagg says the rapid advance of technology was leading to “an extraordinary period of change”.

“With Australia’s geographic isolation and long distances between urban centres, the transport sector will be both significantly disrupted and revolutionised by this technological transformation,” she says. 

“Failure to be prepared will risk a decline in many aspects of our Australian way of life and society, including increased congestion and vehicle-related emissions, a deterioration in health, safety and security, and a negative impact on the cost of living, productivity and the ease of mobility.” 

And maybe the loss of our favourite pastime and form of transport!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Plan to standardise electric motorcycles

The big four Japanese manufacturers are believed to be working to standardise electric motorcycle batteries and charging infrastructure.

Noted electric vehicle website Electrek says Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki hope to standardise the technology to prevent any obstacles to its adoption.

No doubt it’s also hoped to avoid the Beta/VHS situation where new video recording technology went two different ways.

Standardised batteries and charging infrastructure would mean plugs on bikes and sockets on charging points would suit all electric motorcycle models.

Perhaps a standardised battery size, shape and output would also lead to a battery swap solution which would be quicker than waiting for a bike to recharge.

Slow revolution

So far Japanese motorcycle companies have been much slower to join the electric vehicle revolution than their car compatriots.

Yamaha released the PES1 (Passion Electric Street) road bike and PED1 (Passion Electric Dirt) off-roader for limited sale, mainly in Europe.

Yamaha PES1 electric motorcycles product standardise
Yamaha PES1 electric motorcycle

Kawasaki has filed a patent for a water-cooled electric.

Honda has a hybrid scooter and an electric self-balancing prototype.

Honda reveals electric self-balancing concept Honda Riding Assist-e self-driving standardise
Honda electric Assist-e self-balancing bike

Meanwhile, Suzuki has done nothing, at least publicly.

But the fact that they are now collaborating on to standardise electric motorcycle batteries and charging means we may soon have to learn about terms such as volts, amps and kilowatt hours.

Learn electric terms

Living with petrol-powered motorcycles all our lives, we now find we will have to learn a lot of new terms.

We certainly don’t profess to know much about electrical terms.

But here is a very non-technical, idiot’s guide to the main terms. (Electricians may find this quite amusing!)

Volts: This is a measure between two points in an electrical circuit, sort of like the water pressure in pipes. The mains plug in your house has 240V (230V in UK, 110V in USA) and your motorcycle battery has 12V.

Amps: Together with the voltage, it determines the flow rate of the current. High amps with a low voltage means a lot of current flowing slowly, like a fat, lazy river. Low amps with a high voltage means a faster flow of less current, sort of like when you squeeze the end of a hose and the water spurts out.

Watts: It you multiply the volts by the amps you get the watts, which is the output power of the electric motor. You should already be familiar with kilowatts which are 1000 watts. One kilowatt is 75% of one horsepower.

Sporty Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire parade silicon standardise
Harley’s LiveWire electric motor

Kilowatt hours: This is the capacity of the battery. Think of how many litres you can fit in your fuel tank. A one watt-hour battery will power a 1W electric motor for one hour. The new Lightning Strike Carbon Edition has a 20kWh battery which means it can produce 1kW of power for 20 hours.

That’s just a start.

There are a lot of other factors involved and other terms for battery energy-density (watt-hours per kilogram), charging terms (AC, DC and fast chargers) and a variety of range calculations that take into regenerative charging.

Click here to read more about the complexities of range.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com