With all the talk about hybrid and electric cars – including the recent news that Tesla Motors has decided to make its patents available to the public – it’s almost easy to overlook the fact that electric motorcycles sales are starting to gain traction. In a recent USA Today article, it was predicted that e-motorcycle sales would increase by 30 percent between now and 2023 in North America alone. While this may not excited two-wheel enthusiasts who still prefer their Harleys, there are plenty of people out there who are champing at the bit to hop onto the back of the vehicle of the future.
Here are a few facts you may not know about electric motorcycles.
They’re not cheap. With an average sticker price between $10,000 and $17,000 some may have cause to pause when considering the actual affordability of owning an electric motorcycle. On the flip side, you’ll never have to spend a dime on a drop of gas – which could render it a long-term investment worth making.
They’re automatic. Currently, all e-motorcycles use single-speed transmissions. This means no clutch and no need to change gears. While hardcore motorcycle devotees might find the reality of a fully automatic bike to be less than desirable, the ability to “throttle and go” is one that could be quite appealing if you’re interested in a simpler way to get around.
They’re quiet as a whisper. Ever have the desire to ride a motorcycle but just aren’t down with the idea of riding such a noisy beast? Buying an electric motorcycle could bring you quite a few benefits – not the least of which includes being able to enjoy your surroundings a bit more when you’re zipping through the countryside, or being better capable of hearing other vehicles around you so that you can experience a much safer ride.
They have to be re-charged every two to three hours. If you’re the kind of easy rider who likes to spend an entire day on the road with pit stops few and far between, the present-day reality of having to re-charge your ride after just a few hours could be a joy killer. On the other hand, if you’re in the market for a motorcycle to get you back and forth from work on your daily commute and you don’t live far from home – or, better yet, if you have the ability to charge your bike at your destination – owning an e-motorcycle could score huge on the convenience scale.
If you’re still not sure if electric motorcycles have the gusto you’re looking for, check out this impressive video of legendary rider John McGuinness piloting his electric ride. It goes to show how far e-motorcycles have come.