Change mindset on electric motorcycles

Emflux ONE electric motorcycle electric motorbike

If riders want to adopt the coming era of electric motorcycles they will have to develop a totally different mindset to how they ride and refuel.

Recent developments show electric motorcycles are coming … and coming fast! In fact, there is even an electric MotoGP series coming next year.

Harley-Davidson recently announced it will have an electric vehicle next year, possibly called the H-D RevelationIndian-made Emflux ONE (pictured above) will be coming to Australia soon from about $12,000 and Zero claims almost 360km range.

Harley-Davidson Livewire The Biggest brands to launch the latest Bikes at Moto Expo 2016 50 benefits smaller mindset
Harley-Davidson electric Livewire

But while more electric motorcycles are coming to market, prices are dropping and range is increasing, recharging times and battery life remain a mental hurdle for riders.

New mindset

However, electric cars have been around for a while now and researchers have found that drivers are changing their mindset to accommodate the slow recharge times.

They have found that EV owners don’t drive until the gauge shows empty, then head for a recharge station.

Instead, they get used to plugging in their vehicles when at home or work so they are always topped up whenever they head out.Oliver van Bilsen living with an electric BMW C evolution scooter mindset

Longer life

EV drivers are also finding that their lithium batteries are lasting longer than their stated “life” because of this constant top-up ritual.

Lithium batteries should last up to 1000 complete cycles, which means charging from totally flat to 100%.

However, because drivers are trickle charging and topping up whenever they have their car at home, the batteries are lasting much longer.

In fact, battery life can be increased to as much as 20,000 cycles if charged to only 80-90% and recharged only 10-20% at a time.

That might not seem like a lot, but it is enough for about 80-90km of driving, which is far more than the average daily commute.

Other factors that can prolong the life of a lithium battery is cool storage and operating temperatures.

Charge togethere-raw electric motorcycle mindset

Meanwhile, EVenergi’s Charge Together public participation program has received $172,215 of Australian Government funding to encourage more EV buyers.

Charge Together will involve a social media and marketing campaign to identify prospective EV buyers, and undertake consumer research to help understand the barriers for uptake. 

Participants will receive a home and EV monitoring system which will emulate the cost and logistics of owning, as well as charging and maintaining an electric vehicle. 

With the data collected, Evenergi will build an online tool for consumers to model the influence of rooftop solar, home batteries and electricity tariffs on a decision to buy EVs. 

Evenergi’s consumer research will inform a report for government and industry that will identify barriers, potential infrastructure hotspots and lay the groundwork for EV charging stations as uptake increases. 

After the program was successfully trialled in the UK, the $349,573 program will be rolled out initially in South Australia. If successful, it could be expanded in other states. 

The program will also show how EVs can work together with rooftop solar and battery storage to reduce the load on the grid, and will provide energy networks with insights into the impact of electric cars on the grid. 

Evenergi founder and CEO Daniel Hilson says Evenergi will help accelerate electric vehicle adoption in Australia. 

7 Comments

  1. The Zero S has the longest range of the Zero models. If you buy it with the larger of the two batteries it has a range of 130 km at 113km/h (70mph) or 166km if you buy the expensive optional Power Tank, and not 180 km as mentioned by Roger63. However, if you choose the Power Tank you can’t have the Charge Tank, which greatly reduces charging time. So if you choose to have a range of 166km @ 113km/h you will then be burdened with a charge time of 11.3 hours. That is an awfully long coffee break.

    If you choose to have the Charge Tank and accept having the range reduced to 130 km, the charge time is reduced to 2.3 hours. That is still far too long for a coffee or lunch break.

    The following is from the Zero warranty page –

    “Due to the battery chemistry, there is a normal, expected reduction in range/capacity that Power Packs can yield over time and usage. Depending on use and storage conditions, Power Packs will degrade during the duration of this Limited Warranty period. Zero will only repair or replace pursuant to this Limited Warranty a Power Pack that exhibits a nominal storage capacity reduction of greater than 20% of the published nominal capacity, as measured by an authorized Zero dealer.”

    That means that you can expect the range to be reduced by up to 20% in 5 years, giving you 104 km with the quick charge option and 133 km with the Power Tank. And because we don’t like to risk running out of fuel/charge we always fill/charge up a little before being empty, so you are left with a useable range of only about 90 km (with the quick charge option) after 5 years. This dismal range will continue to decline as the battery ages. So, after all of these years they still have only developed electric motorcycles that are suitable for short distances or low speeds.

    I am aware that Zero motorcycles are no longer available in Australia, but I used their details because they were easily available and Zero is a leader in electric motorcycles. I didn’t find any details about the cost of a replacement battery. As with a petrol bike there are many variables which affect (most likely reduce) the range.

  2. Give me a break! The whole electric bike thing is a joke! The Japanese motor industry, including bikes , is now focusing on hydrogen fuel vehicles. They are working on the infrastructure for refueling stations like we do with petrol stations. The whole electric thing is a misplaced focus. The Indian company that just released their new electric motorcycle is only capable of 150 klm’s traveling at 80 kph! Battery technology is not likely to have a major leap forward anytime soon, let alone recharging time.

  3. Given some more development it won’t be long before the distance thing is conquered. I will miss the safety and magic of a nice loud pipe but the world of the silent bike is almost ‘hear’.
    I won’t miss the complexity and costly servicing and the breakdowns…electric motors are very reliable. I also won’t miss the petrol$$$…We will need to invest in some solar cells to keep the motoring almost free.
    It will be an interesting ride into the future………

  4. By the time electric bikes can go the distances AND re-charge quickly enough to satisfy me I will probably be driving a gopher and trying to run over people as I cruise the malls. I like the sound of a v-twin motorcycle and electric bikes just don’t do it for me. If I was still working I might be interested for commuting but I am retired & don’t want a bike restricted to a 100-150 km range.

  5. “electric motorcycles are coming … and coming fast!”

    They also go fast. But sadly, they aren’t capable of going fast and far at they same time, and are not even able to go far at normal touring speeds. There is no point in saying, “Zero claims almost 360km range” without telling us at what speed that range can be achieved. Nobody cares if the range is only 100km for city riding. But try touring the outback on an electric bike.

    There is also little point in telling us how many charge/discharge cycles a battery will last when what we really need to know is how many years it will last and how much it will cost to replace. And after, say, five years, what percentage of the battery’s capacity will remain.

    What you are really saying here, Mark, is that motorcycles of inferior capability are going to be forced upon us whether we want them or not, and we will have to limit our riding to the reduced capabilities of the bikes.

    1. MotoRain , if you actually went to the Zero Website , it would tell you . 5 yr warranty , 180km at 70MPH . Touring the “Outback” on a petrol bike, you would still have to carry extra fuel tanks. EV’s are all about Torque , and lots of it.

      1. Roger63, my point is that if a journalist writes an article on a subject like this they should give us the details instead of making things sound better than they are. Saying it has a 5yr warranty doesn’t tell us how long a battery will last, how much it will cost to replace, and what percentage of its capacity will remain at 5 years. I think most people would be shocked if they found out how much it costs to replace a battery if it expires or fails (possibly half the total purchase price of the bike).

        180 km is a very poor range and is a long way short of the 360 km stated in the article. And if you went off the bitumen onto gravel, dirt or sand the extra power required would reduce the range even further. My adventure tourer does 500 km (riding normally, not conservatively) on a tank, and I have already worked out how to carry enough fuel to double that range (but I doubt if I’ll ever have to) by spending less than $100 on fuel cans. If it was possible to double the (pathetic) range of an electric bike it would cost thousands of dollars for an extra battery and you would be burdened by the weight all of the way, whereas with petrol you only fill everything when you need to.

        After all of the hype over recent years about advancements in EV technology giving us good range and short charge times I am very disappointed. It just hasn’t happened. A range of 180 km means you can only ride 90 km away from home before turning back or taking a very long break before turning back, if you can find somewhere to recharge. Electric motorcycles haven’t got anywhere near what is acceptable for anything other than city riding and short trips, and it is starting to look like they never will. And as I pointed out, it seems that we will be expected to have less capability than we have now. We would like to live in world where technology improves motorcycling, not makes it worse.

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