Late 1860s: Earliest references to electric motorcycles can
be found in patents.
1911: Electric motorcycle available according to early
Popular Mechanics article.
1920s: Ransomes, current makers of forklifts, explored the
use of an electric powered motorcycle. This and other developments
helped pave the way for the company to use electric mining cars and
Early 1940s: Fuel rationing in United States caused Earle
Williams to convert a motorcycle to electric power. This became the
basis for the formation of the ParCar from the Marketeer Company.
1941: Fuel rationing in Occupied Europe encouraged an
Austrian company by the name of Socovel to create a small electric
motorcycle. Approximately 400 were manufactured.
1967: First Fuel Cell powered electric motorcycle created
by Karl Kordesch at Union Carbide debuts. Demonstrated the feasibility
of fuel cells as a power source. This particular fuel cell was an
alkili fuel cell that operated with hydrazine, a rocket fuel
1967: "Papoose" moped sized electric motorcycle prototype
is created by Indian Motocycle Company under the direction of Floyd
Early 1970s: Aurenthetic Charger moped sized mini bike
(small motorcycle) sold.
1973: Mike Corbin sets first electric motorcycle land speed
record of 101 mph.
1974: Corbin-Gentry Inc. begins sale of street legal
Professor Charles E. MacArthur makes first electric vehicle ascent
on Mt. Washington, NH using a Corbin Electric motorcycle. The event
evolved into an annual rally called the "Mt Washington Alternative
1978: Electric Harley Davidson MK2 created by Transitron
manufactured in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1988: Eyeball Engineering creates KawaSHOCKi electric
dragbike and is featured in a major magazine.
Peugeot Scoot'Elec released, first mass production of an electric
Late 1990s: EMB Lectra VR24 electric motorbike created by
Scott Cronk and EMB. Pioneered the use of variable reluctance motors
(hence the VR) and marketed as street legal.
2000: Killacycle makes record run of 152 mph (245 km/h) at
9.4 s quarter mile (400-metre) time at Woodburn Drags 2000, OR.
2007: A123 Li-Ion cell-powered
Killacycle makes new quarter mile (400-metre) record of
7.824 seconds and 168 mph (270 km/h) in Phoenix, AZ at AHDRA 2007.
Here is a terrific video by Steve Ciciora at Bandimere
in Phoenix, AZ.
2008: Electra Green made by Orlando Tony Parker in
Omaha,Nebraska. The first electric motorcycle made in the state of
2009: History is made in San Jose, California, when
Zero Motorcycles hosts "The 24 Hours of Electricross", an all
electric dirtbike race.
The first TTXGP
(Time Trial Xtreme Grand Prix) all electric street motorcycle race
takes place on the Isle of Man.
The development of
lithium-ion batteries and powerful electric motors (originally for
military applications) made mainstream electric motorcycles more
feasible in the 2000s.
Generally, the source of power for the electric motor has been
batteries, but development in
cell technology has created several prototypes. Some examples are:
the ENV from
Intelligent Energy, Honda's
scooter using the Honda FC Stack, and the Yamaha FC-AQEL. Also,
petroleum hybrid-electric motorcycles are under development. Some
examples are the Ecycle, and
Electric motorcycles and scooters are rising in popularity because of
higher gasoline prices. Battery technology is gradually improving making
this form of transportation more practical.
The fuel costs for electric power are approximately 25% the cost
of gasoline power (US, mid-2008)
The Libert-E Xero has removable lithium ion batteries that can be
charged using any 120v outlet
Environmental friendly (no exhausted gases at point of use)
Carbon tax and
vehicle registration tax exemption in some countries
No parking/congestion charges in some countries
No road tax in some countries
grid power to charge batteries causes less pollution than gasoline
scooters; the amount of emissions and residues caused
depends on the sources of the electricity used.
No trips needed to a
gas station—can be recharged at home or in
charging stations. But charging or
battery swapping in service stations, when needed, are faster.
It can be used in a
Lower maintenance costs and fewer maintenance activities.
Can be ridden indoors.
affordable than electric cars.
Many models dispense with a transmission or the need to shift
gears, simplifying operation
Up front costs are higher than for a comparable gasoline powered
motorcycle or scooter.
Shorter range before recharging.
Longer "fill up" or recharge time.
Lower maximum speed at similar price points.
Electric power outlets are often not conveniently located near
streets or driveways. It is often difficult or impossible to bring the
battery into an apartment, for example, for recharging.
Battery capacity can be as low as 20% on a cold winter day with
-20 °C (lead battery)
As it is already difficult for motorcycles to be "noticed"
by drivers of cars and trucks, the loss of characteristic engine noise
might make riding these even more
dangerous than their
internal combustion engine powered counterparts.
scooter is a type of
motorcycle with a step-through frame and usually with smaller wheels
designed for urban transportation.
Scooters are divided into categories as per the particular niche that
they are designed to operate in and speed requirements:
Three- and four-wheeled Seated scooters/golf carts 0-25 mph
E-max electric scooter
Stylish Eped City, Epeds Uk Ltd
Electric motorcycle or electric bicycle
Two-wheeled motorcycles are generally differentiated from
electric bicycles and
mopeds (motorized pedal cycles) by speed, with motorcycles having
greater speeds—usually greater than 30 mph (about 50 km/h). Although,
this line for what constitutes a 2 wheeled motorcycle has blurred due to
marketing, styling, and public opinion.
Electric motorcycle "Electrocat"
Certain models of electric bicycle take the form of scooters or small
motorcycles, comprising of the standard features of common e-bikes, but
with plastic or metal cladding, lighting systems; such as indicators and
brake lights, and speedometers. They are however, classed as electric
bicycles in most areas.
Due to vagueness in motor vehicle laws, any
three-wheeled vehicle that can travel over 31 mph (50 km/h) may be
classified as a motorcycle. This classification does not depend on
whether the operator is fully enclosed by a "cage" or exposed to the
elements. Several automotive startup companies made their initial
designs three wheeled vehicles, because the motorcycle classification
does not require the same costly battery of crash safety testing as a
four wheeled vehicle.
For design purposes, three wheeled vehicles are divided into 2
1 wheel in front and 2 in back, known as a delta design or the
traditional trike (tricycle) design
2 wheels in front and 1 in back, known as a tadpole design.
Some three wheeled motorcycles enclose the rider in a "cabin" or
cockpit. These include the Twike,
Myers Motors NmG.
Some three wheeled motorcycles have independent suspension allowing
the vehicle to tilt or lean, such as the