General The Future of Motorcycling is Electric, and I think it's gonna happen FAST.

Moto Mengy

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Mar 23, 2020
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In this motovlog I go over the reasons why I feel the future of the motorcycle industry will be electric, and why it might be happening faster than most of us think it will.

Electric Vehicles are a hugely disruptive technology which is taking over the auto industry and it will likely take all other forms of transportation along with it, including motorcycles. Given recent advances in electric vehicle tech like batteries and manufacturing (take Tesla for example) I feel it's just a matter of time now.

 

Dewey316

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I agree with a lot of what you said, I think your timeline for it happening is a little aggressive. The one point I think you missed and that is going to be a big driver on when the tipping point happens, is re-charging time and method and infastructure. Right now, it takes 2 minutes to refill a motorcycle...and back on the road. The idea of having to stay overnight somewhere with charging infrastructure. I think the thing that will really hold them back is that. There are good deal of motorcycles whos gas range per tank is 120-150 miles, but you can solve that in 2 minutes almost anywhere you go. The idea of having to wait hours when you need to recharge an EV is the thing that makes it a deal breaker. Want to go camping, well, then you don't have a place to recharge it, and you can't just pop into a fuel station in the morning and be on the road again. I really think the energy density is enough now for people to be ok with the weight/range. They need to solve the recharge issue, and that is no easy task.
 

Moto Mengy

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The energy density increasing will solve the charge time issue as well. When EV's can drive all day on a single charge then charging times at public superchargers become much less of a problem. Plus charging times don't take hours anymore, a Tesla can fully charge in a bit over an hour but you can 80% charge in like half an hour.

Driving an EV will be much more appealing when you only need to stop once per day to charge and it only takes a bit more than half an hour to do so. This will be the case just a few years from now, honestly the Tesla Model S with it's 400+ miles of range is already there and the new Model Y's out of Texas and Berlin next year will have even greater ranges.

Inexpensive long range electric motorcycles will be here before we know it.
 

HippoDrone

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Soz, only just been able to watch this vid. I love the concept of EV... but I think it will be the death of motorcycling choice, there will only be a couple of manufacturers by the time the tech is fully suitable and all the consumer will be able to do is choose the bikes skin, as effectively they will all be the same bike underneath with just a different mode button depending on if you got a tourer or sports
 
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Meifesto

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I think it will be quite some years before the electric motorcycles are the only new models.
With cars, they have targetted 2030 for most European countries as the year from which on only electric cars are allowed to be sold new.
Motorcycles often lag 5 to 10 years behind (in some laws even more).

So we are still talking about 2035 before gasoline motorcycles will not be sold new anymore.
But there is a huge second-hand market for bikes. The average lifespan of a bike seems to be allot longer than for cars, partly due to the fact that a lot of people are good weather riders. ;)

More and more companies are evolving into electric.
And more and more new companies are rising who are just building electric bikes.

But the price is often to high (Livewire and Energica for example), will range is limited.
Topspeed is often limited to improve range. And charging on a bike needs to be improved.


For me, for at least the upcoming 20 years or so i think electrical bikes will be a secondary bike for most people.
Have an old-fashion gasoline bike as your long-distance or groupride bike. And an electrical for either commuting or funz.
Personally i would love to own an electric bike. Just can't afford it ;)
 

Moto Mengy

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For me, for at least the upcoming 20 years or so i think electrical bikes will be a secondary bike for most people. Have an old-fashion gasoline bike as your long-distance or groupride bike. And an electrical for either commuting or funz.

Personally i would love to own an electric bike. Just can't afford it ;)

Both range and price are what's holding EV bikes back today, but that is exactly what will be changing over the next few years. Once the EV bikes are much more appealing, THEN we'll start seeing mass production models, and once that happens they will be hard to resist.

But yes, the bike market will lag behind the auto market by quite a few years, so gas bikes aren't going away anytime soon. By the end of this decade however I think the shift will be in full swing. Just my hunch based on what I'm seeing.
 
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Tomr2992

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Really enjoyed this. Having recently taken the Zero DS out.. I'm afraid I can't say the same. That is someway off of where the HD is at the moment. Technology is moving so fast though that I don't think that these electric bikes will be recognisable in the next 5 years.
 
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Meifesto

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Both range and price are what's holding EV bikes back today, but that is exactly what will be changing over the next few years. Once the EV bikes are much more appealing, THEN we'll start seeing mass production models, and once that happens they will be hard to resist.

But yes, the bike market will lag behind the auto market by quite a few years, so gas bikes aren't going away anytime soon. By the end of this decade however I think the shift will be in full swing. Just my hunch based on what I'm seeing.

Yeah, end of this decade sounds about right.
50% extra battery, and 25% off the price xD

Verge is also working really hard on their model, which should had a nice press release and demorides this year, but covid.
So they invested an extra year in tech, to get more out their battery. Awesome looking bike already.
Sur-ron was working on a 125cc equivalent, that actually will do 130 km/h. Most 125cc equivalents seem to be topped at the 90-100km/h max, which is just not enough xD
I'm somewhat hopeful that KTM will improve their Freeride into a street version that can fight with the FX from Zero.
 

HippoDrone

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Yeah, end of this decade sounds about right.
50% extra battery, and 25% off the price xD

Verge is also working really hard on their model, which should had a nice press release and demorides this year, but covid.
So they invested an extra year in tech, to get more out their battery. Awesome looking bike already.
Sur-ron was working on a 125cc equivalent, that actually will do 130 km/h. Most 125cc equivalents seem to be topped at the 90-100km/h max, which is just not enough xD
I'm somewhat hopeful that KTM will improve their Freeride into a street version that can fight with the FX from Zero.
KTM used to do an SM version of the Freeride E, sadly dropped it
 
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HRMV

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I agree with many points raised above and am not going to repeat much of the conversation already had.

That being said the major thing holding back the electric market is the charge time. If the range could be upped to 200 miles, genuine miles, before a recharge then a 40 min wait isn't too bad as most of us need a pee and coffee by then anyway.

However this 40 min delay brings its own problems in terms of physical space for charging. Right now 10 bikes can be refuelled at a single pump in what 15 minutes tops. Where do you out 10 bikes for the 6 hours plus to get charged at a single unit. If your talking about multiple units the space requirements becomes huge, as does the requirement for upped security.
 

LandyVlad

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Cool video mate, but....


Even if mega quick charging were possible., picture a scenario where there are ten (or more) people out on a group ride. Will there be 10 chargers? Unlikely. Only in a major urban area perhaps.

Economically for smaller countries (geographically) with large populations (reduces the per-capita cost) this sort of thing may be workable.

Even in the geographically large USA there is a very large population to take care of the economic side of things.


Consider now the case of Australia.

The USA is about 1.3 times bigger than Australia.
Meanwhile, the population of Australia is ~25.5 million people, whereas the US population is more 307.2 million
(so around 12x the population)

We have large areas to cover with very little quality infrastructure outside of urban areas.


Certainly despite what the local Greens here seem to think, a large network of high output charging stations is simply not feasible.

Sure, a commuter electric motorcycle for during the week would work as could home charged, but you'd need a proper internal combustion engine for weekend/longer rides.

Most of us can't afford two bikes, so that's not a realistic scenario either.
 

Meifesto

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I rode a electric scooter (Brekr) for a testride last weekend. And it works with 2 batteries, each battery giving the same range as the supersoco had.
But, you can ride around, empty battery 1,switch over, and start fresh again, so double your range.
Or do your daily commute, come home, switch batteries in the charger and the bike around, and it is ready for another day.

Most electric bikes and scooter will have their main audience in the commuters group.
Some have targeted the "play/fun-time" group, like KTM's freeride, which is used mainly by companies to use for a day out (same like karting).

And then you have the bigger bikes. ;)


Even if mega quick charging were possible., picture a scenario where there are ten (or more) people out on a group ride. Will there be 10 chargers? Unlikely. Only in a major urban area perhaps.

There are actually a few grouprides of only electric motorcycles here in NL. Can be as big as 25 bikes, and they don't seem to have to much problems.

Then again, some of those guys also join the yearly 1000km Dutch ride (roughly 620+ miles) within 24h on their electric bikes ;)
 
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Baldbiker

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I just watched FortNine's video about electric bikes the other day, now and I kind of agree with it. I don't think there is a market for Electric Motorcycles. At least not a very big one.
 
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Moto Mengy

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I just watched FortNine's video about electric bikes the other day, now and I kind of agree with it. I don't think there is a market for Electric Motorcycles. At least not a very big one.

Honestly my feeling is it won't matter if there is a market for it or not, in my opinion the market will go electric anyway over time:

1. As battery / EV tech continues to get better EV bikes will become more and more capable.
2. Similarly they will also become more and more affordable to manufacture due to economies of scale.
3. The point will come where EV bikes are both cheaper AND more capable than gas bikes, just like what is happening now with cars. Once that happens manufacturing will shift solely due to economics alone.
4. In history, things which are both more capable and more affordable have ALWAYS won out in the free markets. Always.


I know many motorcyclists don't like nor want EV bikes, but they are coming nonetheless, and once they have truly arrived many people will be buying them simply because they will be priced better and perform their function better. And the market will follow the demand and shift to electric.

Sometimes people don't know what they want until it's available for them to actually buy. This is why Tesla is doing so phenomenally well.

In my opinion of course. Time will tell. :cool:
 
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LandyVlad

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On point 3 - since when are electric cars cheaper than 'gas' powered cars? Not here that's for sure.

We have no electric rebates etc. In fact one state has just put an additional tax on electric cars to make up for the revenue being lost in fuel excise.

Also range is a big issue. I've been on a number of 600km rides (in one day) and some longer ones too. No e-bike can manage that - even with improvements in battery technology occurring.

The main way in which cars have increased range is adding more batteries - as there is lots of room to do so.

There is simply a very limited space for batteries on a bike and weight is a very big factor too - heavier bikes are (aside from cruisers) less fun and more tiring to ride.
 

Moto Mengy

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On point 3 - since when are electric cars cheaper than 'gas' powered cars? Not here that's for sure.

EV prices haven't crossed that line yet but they will very soon due to economies of scale and falling battery prices, which are the largest costed part of an EV. Likely around 2024-2025.

5-26-2017-5-43-20-PM.jpg


EV's are much easier to manufacture than gas cars, with many less parts per assembly plus more electronics which benefit greatly from high volume production. After EV cars become more affordable than gas cars, other forms of transportation will follow along very rapidly due to economies of scale. And batteries are getting better every year, soon their energy densities will allow greater ranges per charge than gas cars range per tank, in some cases that has already happened today (Tesla next year with the 4680 battery).

It's a sure thing at this point, this is happening. Just like personal computers become affordable enough for everyone to afford, and as Henry Ford made the automobile cheap enough for the common man, and as smartphones become affordable enough to change the cel phone market forever.

Math doesn't lie. :cool:
 

chris 2WJ

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Was discussing this the other day on the potential effects of the uptake of EVs would have on motorcycle touring. When the ratio of EVs to gas vehicles reach a certain threshold it will start putting gas stations out of business, who operate on pretty small margins already. The first ones to go will be the rural types with low footfalls. These are the sort of places you would refuel if on a multiday trip off the beaten path. This will mean that initially some routes won't be practicle on bikes with circa 100mile of tank range.
 
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Meifesto

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Was discussing this the other day on the potential effects of the uptake of EVs would have on motorcycle touring. When the ratio of EVs to gas vehicles reach a certain threshold it will start putting gas stations out of business, who operate on pretty small margins already. The first ones to go will be the rural types with low footfalls. These are the sort of places you would refuel if on a multiday trip off the beaten path. This will mean that initially some routes won't be practicle on bikes with circa 100mile of tank range.

With the gasstations i think it will be the other way around.
The bigger ones will become full electric first, as they are often the ones with the biggest market and most price driven.
The small offtrack ones, in the middle of nowhere are dependent on their regular customers, who, for the most part, ride older and cheaper cars. So their regulars will ride on gas longer, and thus their main market will be gas for a whole lot longer as well.
 

Moto Mengy

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With the gasstations i think it will be the other way around.
The bigger ones will become full electric first, as they are often the ones with the biggest market and most price driven.
The small offtrack ones, in the middle of nowhere are dependent on their regular customers, who, for the most part, ride older and cheaper cars. So their regulars will ride on gas longer, and thus their main market will be gas for a whole lot longer as well.

Both Wawa and Sheetz are gas stations in my area and both are starting to install EV chargers at their gas stations. Wawa even has one new location which doesn't have any gas pumps at all, just the normal store with EV chargers all around it!

Gas stations will eventually turn into charging stations with amenities, food, and conveniences, which is where stations make most of their money today anyway. Plus it's far cheaper to install and operate chargers than gas pumps as well.

But yeah gas pumps will fade away slowly. Even as EV sales rise there are still hundreds of millions of gas cars on the road today, and it will take decades for them to phase out of circulation. We'll be seeing gas cars on the roads for a very long time yet, even as new gas car sales stop completely.
 
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