Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range
'Leccy tech firm touts revolutionary power pack
A California electric motorcycle manufacturer will start selling hogs – well, piglets – that are capable of a range of over 100 miles thanks to a new power pack that should outlast the bike itself, plus newly adopted energy capture technology.
The new Z-Force power pack has 95 per cent more energy density than previous models, enabling the company’s 9kWh Zero S model to travel 114 miles before needing a recharge – albeit at a maximum speed of 88 mph that will get you little cred from the local two-wheeled community. The engines also now come with brushless motors and regenerative braking systems to recapture some of the power used when slamming on the anchors.
Easy, though only mildly speedy, rider
The company claims the power pack will drop only 20 per cent of its capacity after 3,000 charges, which will provide an estimated range of over 300,000 miles – close to the expected lifetime of the bike and/or the rider.
"The 2012 model line is truly game changing. It marks the first time in history that riders can actually own an electric motorcycle that is capable of exceeding 100 miles of range on a single charge," said Scot Harden, VP of global marketing of Zero Motorcycles in a statement. "In less than three months, riders can see and purchase 2012 models."
The company has five sit-up-and-beg designs for the eco-minded, including the Zero S and DS sports models, an XU model for city driving (basically smaller and lighter, with a 42-mile range), and two electric dirt bikes, the X and MX. They will all go on sale, from between $7,000 to $13,000, in February.
While electric cars are growing in popularity (not least with El Reg) the same isn’t true for motorcycles. The design limitations of the frame make getting a working power pack with a decent range is a major issue, as is the speed. The world’s fastest electric bike set the record at barely 150mph, and Zero’s new models can be humiliated in drag races by the average 250cc kiddie bike.
The market for wheels like this isn’t the biker who’s really into the ride, more for the fortyish, midlife-crisis biker who want to create the youth their parents never allowed them and fancies going techy and green. ®
Seems like its really only suited to city riding, where you have almost zero chance of getting stuck with a flat battery, wonder if the dash has a 'point of no return' idiot light?
That aside, as a veteran rider of London town, i reckon a silent motorbike will guarantee its rider a first class ambulance ride in short order.
It may be a cliché but Loud pipes really do save lives.
Fuck I miss my bike, stupid procreation.
It's not for the leather-clad Neanderthal with an anger management problem who wants to go 150 mph when the cops aren't watching. It's for the commuter who wants to travel at any speed != 0 on the M25 (or its LA equivalent).
As for sound: if in the din of city traffic you rely on people hearing you coming, you are already betting your life on wrong expectations. Have you noticed the funny wires coming out of everybody's ears lately?
Paris, because the chick-attraction potential may be one of the few weaknesses. But being fortyish (going on fiftyish) and in a midlife crisis, not even a Harley would help.
Shoe on the other foot
I've been overtaken by cars in residential areas (doing dead on 30 I might add) including on one occasion as I was stopping for one of those choke point traffic evasion measures. Guy stopped about 2 inches from the front of the car coming the other way that he hadn't managed to see. Oh, and that kind of stuff happens when I'm in the car, when I'm on the bike it's the same thing with people pulling out in front of you, cutting you off at roundabouts, blocking you from filtering (which is legal, read the damn highway code if you're not sure) and generally acting like fools. And don't even get me started on people who absolutely _must_ overtake me on my pushbike in the last few meters before a roundabout before slamming on the brakes and pulling over hard to the left hand side because there was someone coming.
The golden rule is that everyone else on the road is a selfish idiot no matter what you're driving. I've seen plenty of stupid motorcyclists, car drivers, cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians and anything else that can be on the road. So because some motorcyclists are idiots you take us all for idiots. By you're own logic I've seen plenty of car drivers that are c**ts, so you must be one as well...
PS: There are plenty of idiots out there who want to hurt themselves, but that doesn't provide an excuse for you to hurt them. You're attitude is equivalent to saying it would be ok for someone to go around setting fire to fat people and drug addicts because they don't deserve sympathy.