The origin of electric personal transportation
Electric cars have been present at the end of the 18 hundreds as a fixture of the European speed race. We have to remember the first car built by Ferdinand Porsche himself in 1898. In 1989 Porsche raced the P1 at an electric vehicle exposition in Berlin and took home first place, completing the nearly 25-mile course 18 minutes faster than the next competitor.
Porsche says that the vehicle was capable of traveling nearly 50 miles at a time and had a max speed of about 22 miles per hour. The vehicle's motor weighed 287 pounds and is said to have been able to deliver 3 horsepower during a usual performance with bursts of up to 5 horsepower to achieve its maximum speed. The full vehicle weighed nearly 3,000 pounds and relied on over 1,000 pounds of battery.
Our reference to the origin of electric personal transportation shows the prevalence of electrification based on renewables technologies.
Right now, electric cars are having a strong comeback. They represent the next generational trend; they are more socially engaged and more environmentally conscious. They are very suitable for the sharing economy.
Electric motorcycles have been left behind the electric cars because the battery packs used to be so heavy. They are getting much better now. Smaller batteries, an increasingly urban lifestyle and environmental pressures have changed the trend once again, making the electric bike a thought after transporter.
Electric bikes have come out of age with a very good power-to-weight ratio (PWR) making them safe to ride. Remember if you put a powerful engine on a lightweight bike you will get a death trap.
Electric bikes players on the North American market-Zero Motorcycles:
California based Zero Motorcycles, “is a manufacturer of 100% electric motorcycles for the street and dirt, designed to be powerful, efficient and thrilling to ride”. They are crafted in California.
Zero Motorcycles offers a lineup of 4 electric bikes: Zero S|SR, Zero DS|DSR, Zero FX, Zero FXS.
Best range is offered by Zero S bike, with up to 223 miles in the city and 112 miles on the highway. It can be charged either from the general power outlet or it can be charged using a Level 2 charger. With Level 2 charger, Charge Tank option offers 84 miles of a ride for each hour of charge. The Charge Tank option uses the popular J1772 EV standard. It is compatible with the rapidly expanding network of Level 2 (220 V) public and home charging stations. You can max out your charge speed. Plug in the standard outlet charger in parallel to Charge Tank option.
Zero Motorcycles come with a very sophisticated technological package: motor, battery pack, Z-Force® Power Tank, Bluetooth enabled Zero Motorcycles App.
The Z-Force® motor features an interior permanent magnet (IPM) design that significantly improves performance during hard riding and allows higher sustained top speeds. Even more impressive, the compact brushless motor requires no liquid or forced-air cooling and requires no routine maintenance. So the Zero SR 0-60mph time of 3.3s is more than respectable and it gives a top speed of 102mph.
Z-Force® battery technology has been revolutionizing the bike industry, offering a long range and maintenance free. Using state-of-the-art lithium-ion cell chemistry and advanced battery management systems, the Z-Force battery is offering 200,000 miles with the batteries retaining 80% of their original maximum capacity.
Power Tank is an optional feature and you will be able to install on models with no Charge Tank. With a Power Tank, you could upgrade your motorcycle to 18 kWh of battery capacity if an additional range is needed.
Zero Motorcycles App is a nifty tool using Bluetooth communication between a mobile and the firmware, allowing updates, adjust motorcycle performance, and customizable display reports. The App is available for iPhone and Android platforms.