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.
My Top Electric Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA
The EICMA bike show is in full swing, and so far, fans of the burgeoning EV sector have a lot to be excited about. Besides its limited range, one of the biggest challenges for the EV bike builders is the lack of diversity, but this year at the Milan show, it’s clear that issue has been addressed. I’ve picked out six interesting models that cover three genres, so let’s get to it.
Continue reading for my picks among the electric bikes at 2018 EICMA.
Production ready Harley Davidson LiveWire in the flesh
The Milwaukee brand will enter a new phase in 2019 with its brand new “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022. Harley Davidson has showcased multiple concepts under the LiveWire bandwagon including the 2019 production ready LiveWire motorcycle.
The production-ready model is out and we have the flesh sleaze of images in a bright orange getup. And honestly, this is arguably the most forward-thinking machine to have ever come out of the gates by Harley. A huge leap into the unknown for a brand with 115 years of vintage heritage.
Harley Davidson break up with Alta Motors in just six months
We brought you this news almost half a year ago where Harley-Davidson ties the knot with Alta Motors to develop next-gen EVs’. It was an equity investment sharing ideologies and infrastructure to set up new technology and R&D to come up with innovative solutions to develop electric motorcycles.
But fresh new information tells us that the Bar & Shield brand had done a complete flip and have exited from its joint motorcycle project with Alta. They have culminated all involvements and investments in the San Francisco startup.
Vespa finally getting the Electtrica to production next month
Showcased at the 2017 EICMA show in Milan, the Vespa Elettrica is Piaggio’s first bite into the electric bandwagon. Although Piaggio took its own time to offer an electric vehicle, it is late by no means, and fresh information tells us that the Piaggio Group plans to begin the production of the Vespa Elettrica electric scooter from September.
The Electtrica is the electric version of Vespa’s Primavera scooter with a lithium-ion battery and a 4kW motor that is guaranteed to get you 62 miles on a single charge. The first vehicles can be booked only online starting from the beginning of October.
Curtiss to introduced a V8 electric powered motorcycle later on
Curtiss Motorcycles showcased its first ever electric concept, the "Zeus" earlier this year in May. Yes, it is still in its concept stages and is sure shares all the designs of a post-apocalyptic machine, but the chaps at Curtiss have thought much more ahead and have given a fitting setup to their past by showcasing a render to a new concept model.
Calling it the world’s first V-8 Battery powered electric motorcycle, Curtiss released the image of the oblong “Hera” electric motorcycle at the Pebble Beach with the company claiming the bike will be available in 2020.
Shanghai Customs have come up with this electric powered eCub 2 bike and kit
Serving 100 million happy customers, the Honda Cub is the first two-wheeler to cross such a mark. Now, the moped is being made at 16 plants spread across 15 countries around the world that serves customers in more than 160 countries. That is some mind-boggling numbers considering the popularity and logistics involved with the Super Cub.
Looking at the future, a Chinese custom house that goes by the name Shanghai Customs is offering their answer to the depleting dinosaur fuel and the increasing environment concerns - the eCub 2. It is a 1000 watt electric scooter that can make a swift 28-mile distance in one full charge. It also comes in a DIY kit to convert an existing Honda Cub to the eCub 2.
This Finnish company is making the ’Tron’ hubless electric motorcycle
Joining the new electric trend, a new Finnish company called RMK Vehicle Corporation will launch its first futuristic electric motorcycle – the E2 – at the MP 19 Motorcycle Show in Helsinki, Finland. Why futuristic? Have you had a look at its rear wheel? Yes, that’s a hubless unit with the electric motor in it.
Designing out of the traditional book norms, the Tron-style rear wheel happens to be lighter than a standard wheel and houses a 67 hp motor. It can source power from a choice of two battery options offering either 120 miles or 180 miles of range, with a top speed of around 100 mph.
Harley Davidson sets the ball rolling for a bright electric future
Harley-Davidson promised to give us 100 new models in the coming decade and has already showcased 12 new ones this year. Nine new Softails, the Street Rod, and two from the Sportster series – Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special. With 88 more to come, Harley has gone ahead and registered three new names for their new motorcycle models: ‘Bronx’ ’48X’ and ’Pan America’.
Amongst the new names was also Harley’s newfound love for the LiveWire electric motorcycle that will run on the "Revelation" powertrain. And now, as part of its brand new “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022, HD has showcased multiple concepts under the LiveWire bandwagon including the 2019 production ready LiveWire motorcycle.
Honda introduces the world’s first hybrid scooter
Prior to 2013, the PCX came with a 125 cc engine and a 1.6-gallon fuel tank in the US. With a make-over in 2013, the PCX125 gave way to the PCX150 and a new chapter in the globally produced Honda scooter was launched. Since then, the scooter has received periodical updates to keep things fresh in the segment.
Now, Honda Japan is launching a new PCX carrying the same old 125cc mill but this time, they have a new trick up its sleeve. Launching a couple of months from now, the new PCX 125 will carry a hybrid powertrain. Doing so, Honda Motor will become the first manufacturer to launch a production hybrid scooter and it was first showcased at the previous Tokyo Auto Show.
2018 Tork T6X
A greater deal of thought is gone into using alternative sources to power our vehicles, and one such attempt is made by the Indian start-ups that are striving for a greater cause. There has never been a better time to introduce zero-emission vehicles that cater to a larger mass of bikers and commuters alike. There hasn’t been a lot of success stories on this front, but things have now started to change for good.
India’s first avatar of an indigenously designed and developed electric motorcycle by a Pune based start-up is the first commercial zero-emission motorcycle of the country. Being the biggest two-wheeler market in the world, this was a no-brainer. Specked out with a decent battery-motor combo, the T6X is best suitable for short runs within the urban jungle.
2018 Ather S 340
India is hot on heels to become the leader in electric alternatives for personal transportation with a new one coming up every day. Why not? It is the biggest market of two-wheelers in the world.
A Bangalore-based startup, Ather Energy, has been in this pursuit since their inception in 2013 and are on an epic journey to give the country’s first premium smart electric scooter christened as Ather S340. The company was founded by two IIT-ians who are committed to building smart, connected, uncompromising vehicles and seeks to reimagine urban commute with the help of technology.
Their first offering is the Ather S340, which they are building it from the ground up and promise to change the way we perceive the electric transport till now. The company has received fundings to the tune of $1 million from Flipkart, $11 million from Tiger Global and the very recently $ 30 million from the world’s biggest manufacturer of two-wheelers, Hero MotoCorp. This has allowed Ather to sustain momentum in its journey of building a future-ready product platform and to accelerate the infrastructure and ecosystem development around electric vehicles in the world.
Curtiss Motorcycles finally showcase the "Zeus" concept
When Curtiss Motorcycles launched the “Warhawk”, they were yet to depart from their vision of making full-blown exquisite electric-powered motorcycles. This was their final chapter in America’s darling configuration, the V-Twin that was used during the days when the company was called “Confederate Motors”.
Last year they were re-branded as “Curtiss Motorcycle Co.” and will be switching to electric powertrain supplied by Zero Motorcycles. And the fruit of this partnership has just been showcased at the 2018 Quail Motorcycle Gathering – the 2020 Curtiss Motorcycles’ “Zeus”. Yes, it is still in its concept stages and is sure shares all the designs of a post-apocalyptic machine.
2018 Cake Kalk
The brainchild of a Swedish Stefan Ytterborn, “Cake” is a new player in the electric transportation business that intends “to speed up the journey towards a zero-emission society, while enhancing excitement and fun.” And their very first step is this limited edition Kalk electric off-roader that blurs the line between mountain bikes and motorcycles.
Jumping into the category of light electric off-road motorbikes, the Kalk is the first one of a number of models to come and is walking the path that will change the future of riding. The focus here has been off-road performance and innovation in terms of weight and simplicity of riding on the Cake.
Hero Electric has tied up with Bosch for powertrain partnership
Hero Electric entered the electric world after 12 years of extensive research in the EV segment and currently provides eco-friendly and cost-effective mode of personalized transportation to the masses. The company is a multi-product and a multi-location enterprise with interests in Electric Vehicles, Bicycles and Healthcare. With the newfound interest in electric powertrains, Hero Electric has made strides in this direction and are betting big on the technology.
It has been launching electric two-wheelers for some time now and has sold to over 100,000 customers. They, however, were not market spec vehicles like the Tork T6X or Ather S340 available in the country and were very underpowered. Now, they have tied up with the German Technology giant, Bosch, to get things around for them.
Campagna showcases its brand new Electric T-Rex prototype
Time and again it has been proved that electric/hybrid vehicles have an overwhelming advantage especially to ride within the town and this evolution has been a gradual process for some – and an exciting start for others like Campagna.
Canadian three-wheel ‘autocycle’ manufacturer, Campagna, has showcased its latest venture into a new breed of machine. Unveiled at the recently concluded Montreal Electric Vehicle Show, the Electric T-Rex prototype will be the world’s first three-wheeled production autocycle.
The brainchild of a Swedish Stefan Ytterborn, Cake intends “to speed up the journey towards a zero-emission society, while enhancing excitement and fun.” And their very first step is this Kalk electric off-roader that blurs the line between mountain bikes and motorcycles.
Further developing their product strategies, Cake entered into a partnership with Swedish all-green electricity provider Utellus to create solar charging environment specifically to charge their range of electric motorcycles.
Campagna joins hands with Zero Motorcycles to develop electric T-Rex
Jumped to fame way back in 1996, the Canadian Campagna T-Rex showcased bonkers three-wheeled trikes that ran on a 1.4-liter Kawasaki inline-four engine and two side-by-side seats. Later, a 1.6 liter BMW inline-six engine made a 160 horsepower in the T-Rex. 20 years later, Campagna has announced plans to build an electric version of its T-Rex three-wheeler.
To be showcased at the upcoming Montreal Electric Vehicle Show as a prototype, the Electric T-Rex will feature electric powertrain from Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in electric motorcycles and powertrains.
Honda developing the EV-Cub with swappable batteries
Serving 100 million happy customers is a well-achieved milestone for any business, and no other manufacturer but Honda could have made it seem this easy. Being the first two-wheeler to cross such a mark is the Japanese Red Wing’s Super Cub that began its life way back in 1958. As a matter of fact, 2018 bears a distinct significance for the Super Cub, marking its 60th anniversary.
Celebrating this feat, Honda has been planning an electric version of this mighty scooter with the “EV-Cub” showcased first during the 2009 Tokyo Show and the second iteration at the 2015 show. This little scooter is touted to become the first electric production model from Honda to hit the streets and the recent patent images re-stores the same faith.
Vanguard Motorcycles head towards being an e-mobility company with Erik Buell
Vanguard is a brand new name in the motorcycle world that has vowed to celebrate utilitarianism. The brand is touted to be an entirely new and distinct for premium motorcycles that are decisive on re-shaping the rule books.
Now, the American company has joined hands with 3 partners to attack the onset of electric motorcycles under a new banner: “VanguardSpark”. It will be an e-mobility company created to bring to market innovative, distinctive and great value-for-money urban electric two-wheelers.
Yamaha launches four new e-bikes
Setting sights on the 2018 FIM Trial-E Cup races in France and Belgium, the Yamaha Factory Racing chaps have worked out of Yamaha’s ‘Evolving R & D’ unit to get on with the rad looking TY-E concept. This is their entry into the electric motorcycle bandwagon. But their entry into electric two-wheelers happened way back in 1993 when Yamaha “launched the world’s first electrically power-assisted bicycle”.
Now, the Japanese Blue Team is launching a new breed of cycles powered by electric motors. With decent performance ratings, Yamaha has taken this foray into smaller powered “motorcycles” quite seriously. 500 Watt-hour batteries and 60 lb-ft of torque says a lot about these cycles.
KYMCO wants to create an electric eco-system
Founded in 1963 after splitting from Honda, KYMCO or Kwang Yang Motor Co, Ltd is a Taiwanese company that manufactures motor scooters, motorcycles, and ATVs for worldwide distribution. Known for its scooters majorly, KYMCO showcased a new breed of electric scooter platform at the recently concluded Tokyo International Motor Show.
Addressing the current issues faced by all electric two-wheelers, KYMCO has launched the Ionex Many EV that goes with their idea of modern support systems that include upgrading the infrastructure and battery management solutions. This eco-system will sustain the possibilities of having swappable battery management solutions that enhance the range and practicality of owning an electric scooter.