As we move to a new era of electric, we’ve taken a look at the benefits of making the switch.
The UK Government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2035. While motorcycles and scooters are exempt from this ruling, the global shift towards protecting the planet and reducing emissions means electric motorcycles are set to be the bike of the future.
So, what does the bike of the future actually look like? Futuristic concepts usually included outlandish concepts and eccentric designs, just think of Tomorrow’s World. But, in reality, the bike of the future looks the same as our fuel filled past, with electric motorbikes sharing the same design principles as their petrol powered cousins. With that in mind, beyond the clear environmental benefits of going electric, we’ve taken a look at the advantages of making the switch.
Emerging smart technologies
The increase in electric motorcycles has given rise to an increase in smart tech for your ride. From switching up the ride of your bike to tracking your journey, bike rides have never been so technical... until now.
- Motorcycle apps
While there are already a great range of apps for motorcyclists, electric bikes have the capability to work on a whole new range of technology to offer you even more insight into your ride.
While it is possible to track your journey with the multitude of apps already available to download, including some apps meant for running, electric bike specific apps are on the rise. The Zero app, for example, allows you to customise your motorcycle's performance using your mobile device. From this app you are able to set your top speed, maximum torque, and deceleration and braking regenerative levels.
Not only are you able to set up your ride, you can also see statistics about your ride, including real-time estimates for recharge times of your battery as well as view battery voltage and total kilowatt-hours used. This is also translated into your trip statistics, including average watt-hours per mile, cost per mile, money saved v. gasoline and CO2 reduced vs gas.
- Ride modes
While many petrol powered models offer a range of ride modes, such as off-road and rain modes, electric vehicles allow for much more control. Whether it’s within the bikes app or configurable on the vehicle itself you can have much more control over the power, torque, max speed and brake regeneration, so you can create the perfect ride tailored to your specific needs.
- Modular design
Zero Motorcycles have incorporated ‘hot-swappable’ modules to their electric bikes. This system allows some of their bikes to be ridden using one or two power modules that can be added or removed in less than a minute. This is a handy extra that allows you to travel long distances without the need to charge your battery.
- Over-the-air updates
With new technology comes the pain staking, but necessary, job of upgrading your software. Thankfully, technology has moved on from since the days of switching on your laptop to an hour of updates before you can start using it, and the same can be said for electric bike updates. Over-the-air updates are becoming more and more popular, and with eclectic bikes this means your software will be able to auto update without the need to plug it in or wait for hours before you can ride.
What are the benefits of electric?
- Reduced maintenance requirements
Standard fuel-powered bikes require a lot of moving parts to get them going, which means each of these parts can go wrong at some point. Electric motorcycles are different, they do not have oil, spark plugs, air filters or timing belts and many won’t have a gearbox or clutch either. Your biggest maintenance requirements will be the tyres and the brakes. This is great news if you love to ride but don’t like the cost of repairs. If you enjoy getting your hands messy, on the other hand, electric might not be the route for you.
- A quieter ride
As you might have guessed, fewer moving parts and no noisy petrol engine means a much quieter ride. For some, this might seem like a negative, but there really is something magical about being able to hear the birds tweeting as you pass them on a long stretch of road.
Although the upfront cost of an electric motorcycle is higher than a petrol guzzler, you’re likely to save money overall by making the switch - not to mention, the price of electric motorcycles is reducing every day. No longer will you need to fill up your tank at the petrol station, and as we’ve previously mentioned, there are far fewer maintenance and repair costs associated with electric.
- Easy winter storage
If you’re an occasional rider, then you’ll understand the pain of settling your bike in for the winter, and ensuring your bike is ready to ride when the weather improves. With an electric bike you won’t have to worry about these things - just make sure to charge your battery and keep the bike in a secure, dry place, and you’re good to go when summer rolls around.
What are the disadvantages?
- Charging time
Charging an electric motorcycle or scooter is a painless experience. Unlike electric cars, where you will need to connect a charger to the vehicle directly, many electric motorcycles have removable batteries so you can charge them with ease. However, charging any vehicle will take longer than filling up your tank at a petrol station.
- Upfront costs
As previously mentioned, the cost of an electric motorcycle tends to be higher than a petrol-powered vehicle. However, it’s important to note that as they become more and more popular, the price of these is dropping.
Is it time to upgrade?
If you’re thinking about making the switch to electric, we’ve written a handy guide about upgrading to an electric motorcycle.
What electric bikes are available?
The range of electric motorcycles and scooters is evolving every day, and each bike is as unique as we are. If you need a hand with which bike is best for you, check out our top 10 electric scooter and moped guide and our best electric motorcycles for 2021 guide.