2020 Vespa Elettrica 70 KM/H
Piaggio is committed to the progression of EV scooters, and the Group proved it yet again at 2019 EICMA with its Vespa Elettrica 70 KM/H model. As the devilishly clever name suggests, the top speed has been raised to a more useful max for increased utility as an around-town commuter/grocery-getter. The range increase pairs well with the beefed-up output and higher speed to complete the improved drive package, and of course, it comes clad in that timeless Vespa body style that evokes images of the machines that once mobilized a post-war Italy.
First Look: Kawasaki Electric Concept
Kawasaki hit 2019 EICMA with a number of interesting items, but I think the most notable entry may be the sleeper-hit of the year; the EV Project. That’s right sports fans, Kawasaki Heavy Industries is showing us that they are looking at displaced-carbon/electric motorcycles, and the “Electric Concept” gives us our first glimpse of what the concept is like moving forward.
2020 Energica Eva Ribelle
Italian EV bike builder Energica rolls into the 2020 model year with something a little different; the new Eva Ribelle. This newest offering rocks a naked-sportbike look in a bid to expand its footprint while it acts as an ambassador for the electric sector in general – a genre that’s still scrabbling for mainstream acceptance. The Eva Ribelle relies on a new 21.5 kWh powerpack to deliver an impressive range, and it comes complete with a full ride-quality electronics suite and surprisingly fast recharge capacity along with safety equipment that should make it competitive against the current smoker bikes.
2020 Zero DSR Black Forest
Zero Motorcycles has been at the cutting edge of EV bike development ever since it hit the scene in 2006, and the marque expands its footprint into adventure-bike territory with its new DSR “Black Forest” model. The Black Forest builds on the Zero DS “Dual Sport” adding long-distance comfort items and ample dry storage to lend it a level of utility that could only be had from the accessory catalog before now. Long-distance power capacity and the usual snappy torque delivery round out the package to make this EV at home almost anywhere.
2020 Arc Vector
Arc falls under the Jaguar-Land Rover umbrella via the “InMotion Ventures” fund, and its first limited-production model, the Vector, hits the streets next year. The Vector is an all-electric ride with some serious performance on tap – I’m talking about a potential range of 270 miles from a single charge and top speeds over the 100-mph mark – and it may be just the push the EV-bike industry needs to be accepted into the mainstream as a viable commuter model.
2019 Energica Eva 107
Energica expands into naked-streetfighter territory with its all-electric Eva 107 that strikes a balance between the stripped-down Eva EsseEsse9 and the full-bodied Ego. The Eva 107 has the same power and drive system as the Ego, and as usual for this Italian marque, the Eva 107’s looks would fit right in with a crowd of comparable smoker-bikes. In addition to its performance, it also has an array of ride-quality and regenerative modes that let you dial in to suit the conditions and your personal taste.
Tempus Electric Bikes Titan C & Titan R
Tempus Electric Bikes burst onto the green scene back in ’17 with its freshman entry, the CR-T1, and the Ontario-based builder reprises its effort with the Titan family. The new model comes with much of the same café-tastic look that made the first a hit, but with more in the way of performance at the top end. Like the original, it rocks a pedal-assist drive system offered in a 500 Watt hub-type motor on the “C” model or 1,000W on the “R” variant. Top speeds and range vary according to motor size/model to give the platform an outsized footprint in an ever-expanding market.
2020 Zero Motorcycles SR/F
Zero Motorcycles ramps up its streetbike game yet again with the all new SR/F model slated for 2020 that brings even more of the yummy-goodness to the table that made them the world’s top EV bike builder. Top-shelf tech rides on a new chassis with — you guessed it — a new electric drive motor and power-storage unit deliver more performance and range than its previous top-line naked streetbike, the SR. Best of all, the SR/F’s looks are comparable to the smokerbikes in the naked genre, so it’s even more palatable to the masses in general who have yet to embrace the EV bike technology.
2019 Arcimoto FUV Evergreen
Arcimoto expands its Fun Utility Vehicle (FUV) footprint in 2019 with its new Evergreen Edition. The “EE” serves as the flagship for the Oregon-based builder as it seeks to drive a new type of commuter market; the plug-n-play urban rider. Yeah, I say “rider” because the two-up seating is arranged in tandem and the main control is a handlebar, not a wheel, but the thing doesn’t lean so it’s similar to Can-Am’s Spyder in that regard. A 100-mile range and interstate-capable top speed makes it suitable for most commutes, and since the charging system’s power requirements are so user-friendly, you can easily plug up away from the house without benefit of charging station.
2018 - 2019 Energica Eva EsseEsse9
EV superbike-builder Energica hit the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori in Milan in 2017 with its newest effort, the Eva EsseEsse9. Astute readers who are familiar with the brand will recognize the “Eva” moniker as belonging to one of the previously existing models, but this new variant goes in a slightly different temporal direction with its design. It brings 133 pound-feet of torque to the table as soon as you crack the “throttle” — or whatever we’re supposed to call the motor control — and 109 horsepower to move the all-electric ride.
2019 Zero FXS
Zero Motorcycles brushed up its supermoto-tastic FXS model ahead of MY2019 with a new look and improved electronics. That’s right, Zero’s trickster bike reprises its role in the lineup with a youthful exuberance that is impossible to ignore along with more power storage and performance, but don’t look to this machine to be your next commuter, not unless you have a very short commute. That’s OK, ’cause it is good for what it’s good for, so let’s get about the business of dissecting this fun little ride.
Harley-Davidson Brings Two Electric Concepts To 2019 X-Games
No doubt about it, electric bikes are becoming more viable all the time, and even the Harley-Davidson Motor Company is getting in on the action. Milwaukee has teased us, literally for years, with tantalizing tidbits from its Project: LiveWire initiative. It finally announced a 2020 release for its streetwise spark-o-matic not long ago, and immediately went about the business of teasing us with two more EV bikes. Well, now we have the skinny on them. The MoCo was at the 2019 X-Games in Aspen, Colorado, and it brought the two new rides for the crowd’s consumption. They’re still in the concept phase, and as such are not necessarily what the production models will look like, but ya’ gotta’ start somewhere.
2018 KTM Freeride E-XC
Power capacity is one of the major hurdles EV bikes have to overcome, and KTM seeks to address that issue with its newest electro-tastic Freeride E-XC. This is a second-generation machine that packs half-again more power than the previous gen along with revised graphics and bodywork for a new look as well. KTM’s off-road experience is evident in the lightweight, agile frame and long-stroke suspension components that make this a truly capable machine that definitely furthers the cause of EV bikes in general.
2019 Zero Motorcycles FX
Range and performance are hot-button topics in the electric bike sector, to be sure, but so is variety, and Zero Motorcycles looks to address that last point with its newly improved, enduro-tastic FX model. Zero combines its powerful drive system with a terrain-loving chassis that lets you take your EV adventures just about anywhere you want. This is no soccer-mom’s SUV either. It brings genuine capability to the table with enough torque to gobble up hills for breakfast, be they paved or not. If that sounds like a lot, I assure you the FX can back up all my talk, so let’s dig into the details on this exciting genre-expanding ride to see what the future looks like, because this is it.
2020 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
Electric-powered bikes are at the cutting edge of technology as the world grapples with its fossil-fuel dependency and seeks viable alternatives, and the LiveWire represents the MoCo’s contribution to that effort. Harley-Davidson teased us back in ’14 with the Project Livewire prototype, but at the 2018 EICMA “Milan Show” the production version finally saw the light of day. This machine brings a slew of features to the table that shows that Milwaukee is not as mired in the past as its detractors would like to have you believe with safety and comfort amenities that qualify as top-shelf by anyone’s standards. This is a thoroughly modern ride with up-to-date equipment, and even though it’s operating within a still-niche genre, there’s no problem at all in finding a suitable competitor, so let’s get to it.
2019 Energica Ego
Italian EV-bike builder Energica buffed up its Ego superbike for MY2019 with a number of comfort- and control-centric features intended to increase its appeal and viability as an alternative to internal combustion bikes. Not only does the factory show due concern for performance, but it goes farther than most to retain the smoker-bike look that lets the Ego blend right in with a crowd of the usual super/street suspects. Electric bikes are still fighting to expand the toehold it has in the market, and it’s bikes like this that the still-burgeoning genre needs to continue to grow. Think I’m overselling it? Just wait till you see what all the Ego has going on under the hood before you make that call.
2019 Zero Motorcycles DS / DSR
For years now, Zero Motorcycles has pushed the EV-bike envelope in an attempt to show how viable/flexible battery-bikes can actually be, and the factory just took another important developmental step with a fresh set of updates for its DS and DSR. These dual-sport rides toe the genre line with their overall design, but of course, the real magic is under the hood with an all-electric drivetrain the factory graced with both a power boost and a range increase in an effort to expand the factory’s footprint within this rapidly burgeoning market segment. Street-electrics generally stay in relatively civilized areas, but dual-sport rides are just as happy off the beaten path and that brings its own set of variables and issues to be resolved, so today I want to take a look at this pair to see what all the factory has done to address those concerns.
2019 KYMCO SuperNEX
The electric vehicle arms race has expanded into the two-wheel sector with some predictable big-name players clamoring for their share, but KYMCO — better known for scooters and small-displacement internal-combustion-engine (ICE) bikes — enters the fray with its SuperNEX. This thing seems aptly named with superbike-like body panels and performance to back up the claims implied by such a name. Safe to say that this is new territory on two fronts for the Taiwanese manufacturer; it’s the first truly full-size bike and the first serious foray into the world of electric bikes. Gotta’ say, this thing wasn’t even on my radar until it popped up at the Milan show, so join me and we’ll discover this stunning ride together.
2019 Vespa Elettrica
As far as I’m concerned, the only thing better than new technology like all-electric drivetrains is when such fandanglery makes a classic presentation, and Vespa’s Elettrica hits both of those high notes. The timeless Italian design looks much like the rest of its current lineup, but under the skin, the battery and electric motor deliver the goods and push EV scooters into the realm of viability. Think I’m overstating things? Just read on and let me make my case.
2019 Zero Motorcycles S / SR
The electric-bike market becomes more viable almost daily it seems, and Zero is at the cutting edge with a number of improvements for its naked-sportbike series — the “S” and “SR” models – going into 2019. We’re talking about more power with a higher top-end kind of improvements, and that’s on top of faster recharge times and a lighter curb weight; in other words, just about every important metric was buffed for MY19. Even the electronics are smarter this year to complete the package. This might be the hottest thing going in the EV bike sector at this point, so today I want to see what’s under the hood and how it stacks up against some of the likely competition.
2017 - 2019 BMW C Evolution
The Bayerische Motoren Werke introduced its original C Evolution electric scooter to the great proving ground that is the European scooter market all the way back in 2012 and it’s finally in the U.S. market. A boosted battery ampacity gives it the increased range needed to handle a long-distance commute, but it’s the electronics suite that really puts the C Evolution in a class of its own. Traction control, torque control and ABS all make an appearance along with the 35-horsepower motor that, according to the factory, has no problem running right up to the 80 mph governor. I had to remind myself more than once that this is still considered just a scooter, though it could certainly embarrass many a low- to mid-range ride. Not just other scooters either, but proper motorcycles. Don’t believe it? Read on and I’ll make my case.
Continue reading to see my review of the BMW C Evolution.