With the massive investment in the development green technology and zero-emissions vehicles over recent years, electric motorcycles are becoming a reality. While they aren’t yet ready to replace all conventionally fuelled bikes, electric motorbikes are practical enough for short journeys, which makes them ideal for commuting or recreational rides.
Zero Motorcycles manufactures a range of electrically powered motocross style bikes designed for highway and off-road riding. The company produces the X and MX models for off-road riding, while the Zero S is designed as a road legal street-bike and the DS (Dual Sport) is intended to be ridden on and off-road.
The Zero S (pictured) has a top speed of 55mph, with a range of 50 miles, which makes it perfectly usable around town, or for having a little off-road fun at the weekend. The bike takes less than four hours to recharge, and while this might sound inconvenient compared to the 30 seconds it takes to fill up a gas tank, the running costs of $0.01 per mile should take your mind off that.
The Zero S costs $9,950 (and is eligible for a 10% Federal tax credit, like all electric vehicles)
You’ll either love or hate the oddball styling of the Brammo Enertia, but we think it looks pretty funky and the design certainly matches its purpose of being an urban run-around, rather than king of the open-road. This electric motorcycle is capable of over 60mph, according to the manufacturer, with a range of 42 miles and a recharge time of approximately 4 hours.
The Enertia costs $11,195 and is available through Best Buy, the website will help you to locate a dealer.
We think the EMS GPR-R is one of the better looking electric motorcycles, with its slightly more aggressive street-fighter styling. The bike has adjustable gearing, so top speed can be anywhere between 60-70mph depending on how you set it up, and likewise the range can vary between 30 and 60 miles according to how aggressively you ride.
Like most of the motorcycles in this class, recharge time is approximately 4 hours, but an optional speed-charger can bring that down to 1.5 hours.
The GPR-S costs $8,500 and can be ordered through the website.
Unlike the other manufacturers here, Mission Motors didn’t just set out to build a practical electric motorcycle – the company went balls out to create a zero emissions motorbike that could compete with conventional gas powered superbikes. The Mission One is the result of that admirable goal. It has a top speed of 150mph, with a range of 150 miles and a recharge time of just two hours. Plus, it looks mental.
Sadly, you can’t buy one just yet, although for $5,000 you can reserve one of the first batch of 50, which will cost $69,995. You could buy an Aprilia RSV4 for a third of the price, but that’s not really the point – while the Mission One might be wildly expensive, the world needs rich loons to snap up these early models so that more money will be invested in developing the technology and, hopefully, electric motorcycles will become better and more affordable, which has got to be a god thing.