Feeds

Production electric motorcycle breaks 100 mile range

'Leccy tech firm touts revolutionary power pack

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.