The world is raving about electric means of transportation. By 2030, Europe aspires towards retiring the heavy polluting exhaust engine vehicles and replacing them with electric alternatives. Little do people realize that the switch also includes motorcycles that will soon take on a whole new form.
But are they truly bound to become the future of transportation as we know it or are they little more than fancy-looking sci-fi toys fit for a toddler? Let’s examine what they bring to the table and check the recent industry developments.
The answer to big cities’ congested traffic
Even in cities with highly developed infrastructure, traffic congestion is still a major issue. During rush hours, the situation can get so extreme that the flow of traffic virtually comes to a standstill. All the while, idle vehicles are polluting the air with exhaust emissions despite not moving an inch.
Now imagine a scenario where a sizable percentage of its inhabitants would switch to an electric scooter. Immediately, they would be able to meander their way around a potential traffic clog, all while saving precious time in the process.
It’s not as if scooters haven’t been around for quite a while, but their traditional variants could only address the mobility part of the equation and little in terms of pollution. Given their exhaust-free design, they are a game-changer.
With increased mobility and government-backed initiatives to switch over to electric vehicles and public transport, we could be staring at a potential solution to traffic congestion problems.
Electric scooters are built for urban efficiency
Unlike gas vehicles, electric motorcycles aren’t as wasteful energy-wise when put in an urban setting. Think about it for a second – traditional gas vehicles tend to reach peak gas consumption efficiency at around 50mph or so, which makes them a terrible choice for urban environments where you have to stop every few blocks due to a red light.
Ask any electric motorcycle manufacturer and you’ll quickly learn that these modern steel horses don’t suffer from the same problem. Whether you’re steering, braking, speeding, idling, or turning, you’ll be at optimal energy consumption levels all the time. In fact, you may even recharge the battery a bit when the engine is running idly in traffic.
More accessible than traditional motorcycles
In the US, most people are accustomed to driving vehicles with automatic transmissions. While it’s incredibly easy to find in cars, for whatever reason, with gas motorcycles, the reverse applies. The good news is, electric motorcycles give you easy access to a 2-wheeler with automatic transmission, which makes it increasingly likely that they will be picked up en masse in the US.
By far and large, e-motorcycle manufacturers make them in a way they only come with one gear, meaning there’s nothing to shift. All you need to learn is how to accelerate and how to break.
Electric motorcycles are cheap to maintain
With rising gas prices, people tend to be reluctant to drive around as much and this only adds on top of the regular maintenance costs of owning any kind of vehicle. Electric motorcycles, on the other hand, could completely turn things around given how inexpensive they are to drive and maintain.
Not only do they require zero oil changes whatsoever, but you can also recharge them far more affordably compared to what it would cost if you were to refuel a traditional motorcycle. In concrete numbers, it’s roughly $20 per tank of gas compared to $2 per recharge, which is roughly 10 times the difference.
Chinese electric motorcycle manufacturers will keep the prices accessible
When it comes to affordable manufacturing (especially with anything electronics-related), China takes the cake. Already, we are seeing huge amounts of electric motorcycles in China being imported to the western parts of the world, meaning that it’s now easier than ever to get your hands on one of these.
But it’s not the prices alone that make the difference; it’s also how they’re built. For the most part, western e motorcycles are built for speed, whereas e motorcycles in China use less power and can reach lower speeds, which makes them perfect for any kind of urban setting.
For less than $3000, you can get an electric motorcycle from China that can rack up to 70 kmh (45 mph), which is head-spinning. Sure, you won’t be able to take one of these to the highway, but when it comes to urban transport, it’s unlikely you’d be allowed to drive faster anyway and the low recharging costs are unparalleled by any other alternative.
Higher-power electric motorcycles China are only about $1000 more expensive, so it’s not like an average consumer would consider them to be out of reach. At $8000, you’re already looking at highway-capable motorcycles, so overall, the technology is likely to be adopted by consumers.
Everything considered, electric motorcycles are bound to revolutionize urban transport in the years ahead. As time passes by, they will get even more affordable and tweaked for optimal performance and power consumption, not to mention an increased number of publicly available charging stations we can expect for added convenience. If you were to wager on 2030’s urban transport looking completely unlike its 2020’s counterpart, you wouldn’t be in the wrong.