Electric motorcycles and scooters

Electric motorcycles and scooters

Electric motorcycles and scooters are vehicles with two or three wheels that use electric motors to attain locomotion.

Power source

Generally, the source of power for the electric motor has been batteries, but development in fuel cell technology has created several prototypes. Some examples are: the ENV from Intelligent Energy, Honda's scooter using the Honda FC Stack, and the Yamaha FC-AQEL. Also, petroleum hybrid-electric motorcycles are under development. Some examples are the Ecycle, and Yamaha's Gen-RYU.

Advantages and disadvantages

Electric motorcycles and scooters are rising in popularity because of higher gasoline prices. Battery technology is gradually improving making this form of transportation more practical. [ [http://www.technologyreview.com/NanoTech/17837/ Technology Review: Making Electric Vehicles Practical ] ]

Advantages of electric over gasoline power:
# The fuel costs for electric power are approximately 25% the cost of gasoline power (US, mid-2008; see Electric car, "Running costs" for the calculation)cite paper
author = U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
title = Federal Register Vol. 64 No. 113
version =
publisher = U.S. GPO
date=2000-07-12
url = http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=00-14446-filed.pdf
format = PDF
accessdate = 2006-09-22
]
# Nearly silent.
# Environmental friendly (no exhausted gases at point of use)
# Using grid power to charge batteries causes less pollution than gasoline scooters; the amount of emissions caused depends on the sources of the electricity used.
# No trips needed to a gas station-- can be recharged at home.
# Lower maintenance costs and fewer maintenance activities; for example, there is no need to change the oil.
# Can be ridden indoors.

Disadvantages:
# Up front costs are higher than for a comparable gasoline powered motorcycle or scooter.
# Shorter range before recharging.
# Longer "fill up" or recharge time.
# Lower maximum speed at similar price points.
# Electric power outlets are often not conveniently located near streets or driveways. It is often difficult or impossible to bring the battery into an apartment, for example, for recharging.
# Battery capacity can be as low as 20% on a cold winter day with -20 °C (lead battery)
# As it is already difficult to be "noticed" by cars/trucks on a motorcycle, the loss of characteristic engine noise might make riding these even more dangerous than their combustion engine powered counterparts.

Promotion

Premier of the Republic of China Liu Chao-shiuan said that the government-financed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) will help domestic manufacturers churn out some 100,000 electric motorcycles in four years [http://www6.lexisnexis.com/publisher/EndUser?Action=UserDisplayFullDocument&orgId=101846&topicId=104970025&docId=l:837646769] .

History

* Late 1860s: Earliest references to electric motorcycles can be found in patents.
* 1911: Electric motorcycle available according to early Popular Mechanics article. [ [http://electricmotorcycles.net/modules/wordpress/?p=48 ElectricMotorcycles.net-EM Headline News » EM History: 1911 Popular Mechanics ] ]
* 2007:
**A123 Li-Ion cell-powered Killacycle makes new quarter mile (400-metre) record of 7.824 seconds and 168 mph (270 km/h) in Phoenix, AZ at AHDRA 2007. [ [http://www.killacycle.com/2007/11/11/7824-168-mph-at-pomona-ahdra-nov-10th/ KillaCycle - World’s Quickest Electric Motorcycle » Blog Archive » 7.824 @168 MPH !!!!!! at Pomona AHDRA Nov 10th ] ]

Types

A scooter is a type of motorcycle with a step-through frame and usually with smaller wheels designed for urban transportation.

Various types of scooters

Scooters are divided into categories as per the particular niche that they are designed to operate in and speed requirements:
* Two-wheeled Vespa-styled scooters 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h)
* Two-wheeled Stand-up scooters (like a kick scooter) 0-25 mph (0-40 km/h)
* Two-wheeled, side-by-side stand-up scooters like manufactured by Segway PT 0-12 mph (0-20 km/h)
* Two-wheeled Seated scooters 0-25 mph (0-40 km/h)
* Three-wheeled standup scooters like manufactured by Zap 0-15 mph (0-25 km/h)
* Three- and four-wheeled Mobility scooter (disability riders) 0-10 mph (0-15 km/h)
* Three- and four-wheeled Seated scooters/golf carts 0-25 mph (0-40 km/h)

Electric motorcycle or electric bicycle

Two-wheeled motorcycles are generally differentiated from motorized bicycles and mopeds (motorized pedal cycles) by speed, with motorcycles having greater speeds—usually greater than 30 mph (about 50 km/h). Although, this line for what constitutes a 2 wheeled motorcycle has blurred due to marketing, styling, and public opinion.

Main categories of 3-wheeled motorcycles

Due to vagueness in motor vehicle laws, any 3-wheeled vehicle that can travel over 31 mph (50 km/h) may be classified as a motorcycle. This classification does not depend whether the operator is fully enclosed by a "cage" or exposed to the elements. But for design purposes, three wheeled vehicles are divided into 2 categories:

* 1 wheel in front and 2 in back, known as a delta design or the traditional trike (tricycle) design
* 2 wheels in front and 1 in back, known as a tadpole design.

Some three wheeled motorcycles enclose the rider in a "cabin" or cockpit. These include the Gizmo, Twike, NmG.

Some three wheeled motorcycles have independent suspension allowing the vehicle to tilt or lean.

Comparison of select production vehicles

Comparison of select upcoming vehicles

List of electric motorcycles and scooters

*Zero X from Zero Motorcycles [http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/] .

References

ee also

* Electric bicycle
* Battery electric vehicle
* Electric dragbike
* Electric vehicle
* Killacycle - an electric drag-racer motorcycle
* Plug-in hybrid
* Scooter (motorcycle)
* Zero Motorcycles

External links

* Details on how to build an electric motorcycle including a parts list and links where the parts can be purchased: [http://www.electricmotion.org www.electricmotion.org]
* [http://elitepowersolutions.com/products/product_info.php?cPath=2_19&products_id=22 V-EM-60-21 from Elite Power Solutions]

News

* [http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssConsumerGoodsAndRetailNews/idUST33472320080911 Yamaha aims to launch electric motorcycles by 2010] - Sep 2008
* [http://www.projectblackswan.com/veking.htm Blackswan to launch electric cruiser,using giant V twin Solenoids ]


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