Feeds

Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range

'Leccy tech firm touts revolutionary power pack

The next step in data security

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.

Zero motorcycles electric bike

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.