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Electric Motorcycles

Last updated 2011.03.18

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We do not sell electric motorcycles. We think they are a great form of environmentally-friendly transportation and endeavour to provide an unbiased source of information about them. With recent advances in battery technology, we think electric motorbikes are poised to explode onto the market as small, nimble commute machines that will be easy to find space for parking. We do sell Soneil battery chargers, which are ideal as on-board chargers for electric motorcycles as they are compact, lightweight, intelligent and affordable.

Electric motorcycle producers seem to appear and disappear more frequently than the producers of larger vehicles, probably because start-up costs are relatively low, but market penetration is difficult, especially in North America for such vehicles. Therefore, this page will probably be continuously out of date, no matter how often I update it. Any additions, corrections and contributions are always welcome.

Electric Motorcycles

While many jurisdictions regard any 3-wheeler as a motorcycle, I do not. If a vehicle is mostly enclosed, I consider it to be a car, even if it does only carry one person and has 3 wheels instead of 4.

I have converted a Honda MT125 Enduro motorcycle to electric power. It used a 200 amp surplus aircraft starter/generator as a motor, 5 golf-cart batteries in series to provide 30 volts to the armature with an 18-volt tap to the shunt field, and the other 12 volts to power accessories (headlight, signal lights, horn). It cruised at 45 mph, with a range of about 25 miles on a charge. Range was probably hurt by a number of factors: the controller used resistors for speed control below 30 mph, with toggling power to control speed between 30 mph and 45 mph; there was a single speed from the motor to the drive wheel; and, the aerodynamics of the bike and rider were terrible.
Photo - B&W (13 k)

I also had an Auranthetic electric motorcyle for many years (until it was stolen at Thanksgiving 2008).

Hirsch Designs Introduces Comoto 2010.01.15

Slated to start production in the first quarter of 2010, the Comoto is an all-electric motorcycle that weighs in at 118 pounds, has a top speed of 40 mph, and a range of 30 miles per charge.

Roehr Introduces Electric Motorcycles 2010.01.13

Known for their line of performance motorcycles, U.S.-based Roehr announced last week they will introduce electric sport and racing motorcycles in the spring of 2010.

ERockIT Ped-elec Motorcycle 2010.01.06

E-bike or E-motorbike - you decide.

Dan Anderson's Voltra Concept Electric Motorcycle 2010.01.03

Design from an Industrial Design student down under.

Malaguti presents their hybrid scooter prototype 2009.12.04

Production of this Italian step-through electric scooter with hybrid range extension capability is on display at a trade show, with production slated for 2010.

[Site no longer exists: http://www.twowheelsblog.com/post/3490/malaguti-hybrid-20-scooter] Twowheelsblog article
[Djead link: http://www.malaguti.com/news/view.php?cms_pk=96] Malaguti Web page on the scooter

Unlike the major automakers, it's good to see that other vehicle makers see the right way to build a hybrid: an all-electric drive train with a small heat engine used only to extend range on those trips where the battery capacity is not sufficient.

Peugeot e-Vivacity Scooter Powered by Saft 2011.03.29

The E-Vivacity will have a maximum speed of 45 km/h (per regulations for the class), and range up to 60 km. Autoevolution article>/P>

Ecolve Announces Bolt Fast Electric Motorcycle 2009.11.26

Slated for introduction to the market in 2010, [dead site: http://www.ecolve.co.uk/] Ecolve announces their Bolt prototype, which will join their existing line of electric motorcycles (Electro, Spark and Force). Likely only for the U.K. Pity.

Greasy Rider 2009.11.25

This guy's blog is titled [link won't load: http://www.wednesdaynightdrinkingclub.com/blogs/greasyrider/] One idiot, 3800 miles & and electric motorcycle with a 42 mile range. What could possibly go wrong?
What could I possibly add to that?

Update! (2009.11.29)

There is a report on his blog that Nathan has been involved in a collision, and taken to hospital with serious injuries. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nathan.

This is not unique to electric motorbikes. On Friday, a motorcyclist (conventional gas bike) was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist here in Ottawa.

E-bike or E-motorbike? Grace has identity crisis 2009.11.17

It comes with pedals, but with a top speed of 40 mph (60 km/h), in most jurisdictions the [dead link: http://dvice.com/archives/2009/11/grace-is-called.php] Grace will have to be licensed as a motorcycle.

Mavizen's electric bike hits 130 MPH, ships with Linux and WiFi 2009.11.05

Well, that should settle the question of whether or not an electric motorcycle can go fast enough to hang out on the highway.
Engadget article on the Mavizen TTX02
A little spendy, but hard to beat for geek chic.

Carl Vogel on Electric Motorcycles 2009.10.03

Carl Vogel is the author of the recently published book, Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle. Here is his guest article on [dead site: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/electric-motorcycles-460909] The Daily Green.

Siemens Electric Motorcycle 2009.09.29

This story hit the mainstream last month, but I was otherwise occupied. Just as well, as it gives me a chance to play remedial media.
[dead link: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/08/occ-electric-chopper/] Here's the Wired Magazine article, that positively gushes about this one-off electric superbike that will never see production. In particular, note the comment that "Along with the lighting supplies, Siemens has also provided the electric motor, charging system, power management system ..." In fact, the drive motor was made by Advanced DC, and the controller and batteries are not by Siemens either (although they make those things).

Nice bit of PR work, as at least a dozen media outlets have reproduced the press release pretty much verbatim, along with the stock publicity photo and the YouTube video link that is no longer viewable.

As for a smart, on-board charger, well, I have been doing that with a small Soneil intelligent charger and an appliance timer for years.

TTX GP features multiple racing electric motorcycles 2009.06.25

[dead link: http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/motorsports/4321786.html] Popular Mechanics covers the top 7 electric motorcycles at the TTX GP.

There is a serious collection of electric motorcycle conversions in the EV Photo Album.

For more on electric motorcycles, definitely check out [dead site: http://neobike.net/bikes/electric] The NeoBike Site.

Area Azzurra Elettrica has a range of [dead link: http://www.aae.it/scooter.htm] motor-scooter type electric motorcycles.

[Dead linke: http://www.aae.it/scooter.htm]

The Auranthetic was produced in California in the 1970's. It is more in the style of a miniature motorcycle than a scooter, but size and performance are more in the motor-scooter range than the motorcycle class. Not quite as small as the more recent electric pocket motorbikes. Some are still in use.
Auranthetic Web Page
Photo of Auranthetic motorcycle (colour - 151k)

Electricmoto's [site has been repurposed: http://www.electricmoto.com/electricmoto.php?id=product_blade] Blade is a small BMX motorcycle. The sweet part is that it is quiet and all-electric. Urban motocrossing, anyone?

Jerry Bowden's electric motorcycle conversion

The Berix EVR-203 was designed as a track bike, rather than a street machine. This electric motorbike is reported to have a top speed of 75 mph and a range of 25 miles. It weighs in at 339 pounds, which includes 132 pounds of lead-acid batteries. Berix is located in Sweden.

[Site no longer exists: http://www.globaldiscoveries.net/new.htm] Eco-Glide Scooters come in two electric models, both in motor-scooter styling.

The Lectra electric motorbike was produced by EMB until 1999. There is a website dedicated to the machine and its fans (owners). Later picked up for production by Zap, the product did not survive the transition.

Esarati produced an electric motorcycle prototype and a lot of favourable press (circa 2002), including apparent production deals in China and elsewhere. However, it appears commercial production never actually occurred anywhere. However, it appears that Esarati, after its disappearance has re-appeared in the guise of Evader electric motorcycles.

[dead link: http://www.evader.us/] Evader made a splash in the press in 2005 with some electric motor-scooter prototypes, but as yet they do not appear to be in production with any of the models they have displayed.

EVT has a motor-scooter style electric motorcycle.

John Fairstein's 1979 Suzuki GL1000 electric motorcycle conversion, plus additional information on electric motorbikes.

[Dead link: http://www.generalist.org/generalist/madmike/ElectricGoldWingApril2002.html] Mike Shipway's Honda Goldwing Conversion Project

In August 2004, Honda announced its [dead link: http://world.honda.com/news/2004/2040824_01.html] Moped EV. However, as this prototype has no pedals for propulsion, it is not actually a moped. It is an electric motor-scooter. Of interest though was the mention of nickel hydrogen batteries, as opposed to NiMH.

The KillaCycle is an electric drag-racing motorcyle which is a NEDRA record-holder.

[Site no longer exists: http://www.cloudevscooters.com/item.html?PRID=1523122] The Sol Gato II from Sun Cat Motor Company is a motor-scooter styled electric motorbike, with top speed over 30 mph and range of 25 miles per charge.

Vectrix, based in New Bedford, Rhode Island, introduced an electric motor-scooter type motorbike at EVS-14 in December, 1997. Commercial production was originally expected in 1999, with Europe and Asia as the main target markets. As of 2005, it appears that production still remains a year or two away, although the company is taking reservation orders on-line through their European website.

AZO Cleantech video

Vogelbilt blog Carl Vogel wrote Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle and created the Electric Hog and Electra Cruiser prototypes, beginning in 2001. There is no indication of commercial production as of 2005. (The vogelbilt.com site appears to be defunct.)

Yamaha has introduced (April 2005) a small electric motorcycle to the Japanese market, the EC-02. No plans for introduction to other markets have been announced. [dead site: http://www.yamaha-motor.jp/pentagon/index.html]Yamaha's website for the EC-02[ is mostly in Japanese.

There is an Internet discussion group for the Zapworld Lectra and other electric motorcycles. [Dead link: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/zappy/] More information

The background paper on electric motorcycles I wrote for the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa (EVCO) to send to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario requesting that the ban on electric motorcycles using limited access highways in Ontario be lifted.

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