Sunday, June 22, 2014

Another kind of Electric Vehicle

So electric cars are the main thrust of my posts, but there is another sort of vehicle we have not paid much attention to.

Electric Motorcycles. ( And other trikes and bikes... )

Look at the recent announcement by Harley Davidson of the Live Wire, a 53 mile range all electric motorcycle. It may be time to look at a wide range of transport not on 4 wheels.  My motorcycle days are behind me - granted it was great fun. However a bike with electric assist would be great for exercising but still getting home when older legs start to get rubbery. Bicycles with both primary and assist capability exist. I'm not sure if this capital bikeshare pictured has electric but they are out there.

Kevin at last year's electric social run tried out a neat enclosed recumbent bicycle three wheeler:

While I believe he is still a Think car enthusiast, he did enjoy the assisted bike feel of the ELF. It even has room for a bag of groceries behind you. Neat but still somewhat limited to low speed roadways.

However the motorcycles are the real go anywhere highway legal machines. Combine a motorcycle with instant electric torque and you have a legal non polluting rocket.

For those motorcyclists a number of great street models exist including Brammo and Zero. The 2014 Zero in its high end is quite nice, although I think that stating your range as 173 miles for the fully tricked out $19K SR may backfire a bit. Folks are not going to ride these at 35 mph. Still having over a hundred miles range at decent highway speeds is a big accomplishment - impressive.

The latest models can be outfitted with optional CHAdeMO fast charging, J1772 charging, and come with regular wall socket charging. These bikers enjoyed the social. Still some may miss the engine roar and throb.

So - yet another category of electric transport to consider. With assisted bicycles at $2-4k, intermediate three wheelers like the Elf under $10K, and motorcycles at $13-20K there are some interesting alternatives out there. The addition of Harley Davidson is interesting for the look of the bike alone. Still they may need to up their performance game to take on Brammo and Zero. Nice to see another 'big player' get interested.

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