Electric Motorcycles: Options, Advantages and What’s Available on Today’s Market

Electric motorcycles offer clean, efficient and cost-effective transportation, and thanks to growing technology, there are a lot of fun options available today.


| May 25, 2010



Electrocat

The Electrocat electric motorcyle


PHOTO: WWW.EVAHAKANSSON.SE

The following is an excerpt from the book Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by alternative fuel expert Carl Vogel (McGraw-Hill, 2009). This hands-on guide provides the latest technical information and easy-to-follow instructions for designing, converting, purchasing or building electric motorcycles. 

There are some incredibly cool electric motorcycles on the market today. Electric vehicles (EVs) are fun to own and ride, and lots of people are getting revved up about EVs. There’s nothing wrong with cool, and I have to admit that few vehicles are cooler than motorcycles (at least in theory, although not all of us would ride one). You’re basically sitting on an engine with wheels. It can’t get much simpler than that. Motorcycles are not always practical, but the people who love their bikes really love them.

The vast majority of motorcycles are still running on fossil fuels, and that’s a problem. As battery technology improves, we’re starting to see more electric motorcycles. Some are available commercially; many are do-it-yourself (DIY) custom jobs. Let’s look at some of the coolest options.

The Electrocat Electric Motorcycle

Check out Eva Håkansson astride her Electrocat motorcycle. I’m starting with her because she is a true pioneer in the world of electric motorcycles (she describes herself as a “hardcore EV geek with a green heart and passion for power and speed”).

Eva built the Electrocat with her father, Sven Håkansson, and it is probably the first street-legal electric motorcycle in Sweden. It is based on a Cagiva Freccia C12R, model year 1990, but the insides are pure electric goodness.

The Electrocat has Thunder Sky litihum-iron-phosphate cells and the original Briggs & Stratton Etek motor. It also has an Alltrax AXE7245 controller. Charging takes half an hour on a powerful garage charger (longer with the smaller onboard charger — about 7 hours), and the range is 80 km (50 miles) per charge at 70 km/h (44 mph).

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michael_82
5/31/2010 11:05:55 AM

I am so ready for the EV Revolution! Now all I need is a job that pays enough to buy one!






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