So I read in the news just yesterday that Boris Johnson has made a decision to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to 2035. Clearly motorbikes will be impacted by this too at some point. This decision also seems to include hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles - sold currently as green models with low carbon footprints. Lots of people have bought these models on the back of that fact and have invested heavily in them.
This is all about market transformation whilst trying to fulfil the nations long term bid to become carbon neutral by 2050. But lets face it the UK’s charging network is poor.
So is it time to start taking these electric motorcycles seriously. As a biker or petrol head as some like to call it then I just find something wrong about not having an engine. Engines are sexy and without that engine rumble then riding a motorcycle becomes far less exhilarating. Clearly the maintenance on an electric motorcycle is near on nothing when you think there is no combustion engine to service for one! Germany voted to ban the internal combustion engine by 2030, this is going to have a direct impact on the bike market too, but I am still baffled as to how this is going to work. Take something like below.
The Zero SR F 2019-On Model
Now this bike looks the part for an electric motorcycle we will give it that and at 110bhp and 140ftlb of torque it's not a slow motorcycle, in fact figures suggest a top speed of 120mph but as there’s no gearbox the direct-drive, twist-and-go set-up means it's got a Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) feel about it and DCT motorcycles have never really been overly popular amongst us bikers most preferring the feel and feedback of changing gear yourself. We are all for lowering the carbon footprint and this bike does do that but it suffers from the same problem that currently all of these electric motorcycles do. Price, range, recharge time. We are bikers we like to ride. We will ride 100miles for fish and chips for goodness sake! Yes we care about climate change but how big is the carbon footprint from a motorcycle is the question? The price of some of the electric vehicles currently on the market is astronomical, pricing the average customer out of buying a new one. The Zero pictured above is the ‘Standard’ version priced at £18,045 and also comes in a ‘Premium’ model (with a fly screen, heated grips and the powerful charger) at £20,045.
The Zero comes with all the latest gizmos using ero’s latest Cypher III operating system, Bosch cornering ABS, traction control, drag torque control from the motor. A specially-designed phone app allows the rider to customise their rider mode preferences, which consist of Sport, Eco, Street and Rain, as well as ten programmable options. So the running costs are low and ongoing maintenance like oil changes and valve clearances are never going to have to be done on an electric motorcycle but for all that money you may well need to charge it up after 50miles of use and if you happen to have bought the 18 grand version then a charge is going to take 4 hours. This is where the problems begin.
Anyone fancy a blast from Lands End to John O'Groats? Not on an electric motorcycle you won't. Yes there are some people that won't care about climate change as they sit back in their big house and enjoy the world burn with designer shades on. We are all for lowering the carbon footprint but surely this has to get better. Well it can't get any worse but waiting 4 hours for a bike to charge up is simply just not practical in the real world or feasible to many. Considering the initial outlay on a new electric motorcycle. I can never see personally being able to stop at a charging station quickly and holding up a petrol pump type device to the bike and zapping it to full charge in the time it takes to fill a motorcycle tank with fuel. With the amount of cars and motorbikes on the road and the amount of charging points it's hard to see how this is ever going to work. Maybe it's time to explore the potential in hydrogen.
Electric motorbikes have come a long way. But my honest opinion is they are falling way short still. Nobody wants to be in the situation of "I am just heading out for a ride. I might be back tomorrow as I can't go more than 100 miles without waiting 8 hours for a charge."
Charge time and range have to be better for these electric motorbikes to really get a foothold in the market.
Author Martin @anybikebought.com
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