Richard is a Justmeans staff writer for the Energy and Emissions category. He is a recent graduate of Western Carolina University in North Carolina where he studied History and Professional Writing. With an interest in the development and application of the latest computer, energy, and fuel technologies, he believes that the world must strive, with the help of these services, to better our societi...
Move Over Cars: Electric Motorcycle Designs that Bring Some Speed to Green Transportation
Although electric cars remain very much at the forefront of green transportation, there is another movement in the electric vehicle world that is just as big as cars and a little more obvious than some think. Electric motorcycles have been in development in various parts of the world for most of the last several years. Though electric bicycles are hardly something new, many are trying to take the bigger motorcycle designs and spruce them up to adopt a more 'green' attitude. Some of the designs being released are familiar to motorcycle enthusiasts while others look wild and futuristic in overall design.
One of the more familiar designs coming out of the motorcycle's green transportation movement comes in the form of the Lightning Lithium Superbike. Developed back in 2007, the Lightning uses the body and overall design of a Yamaha R1 motorcycle and makes it green. Running off a system that is comprised of 28 lithium ion batteries, the system is designed to offer speed while giving off zero carbon emissions. In its first prototype, the Lightning could achieve zero to sixty miles per hour in three seconds and has a top speed of 100 miles per hour. Its speed is likely helped by the fact that the parts removed from the vehicle when converting it to electric weighed far more than any of the parts that were put back onto the bike. Recently, Lightning Motorcycles managed to set a land speed record with their newest Lightning motorcycle by achieving speeds of 176 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Though there is not date set on when the model will be released in a street legal design, one certainly is on the way.
One of the more futuristic designs gracing green transportation in the motorcycle department has come in the form of the E-Tracer. Developed by the team called X-Tracer from the Swiss company Peraves AG, the E-Tracer is called an electric tandem monotracer, though its underlying technical set up isn't far from that of a motorcycle. The E-Tracer features two wheels, an enclosed cockpit, and has been designed as a high performance electric vehicle that has little drag resistance. The models currently have different battery backs designed for differing trip distances, but the overall data gathered so far gives the E-Tracer a respectable range with the ability to go from 0 to 100 in under twenty seconds with a top speed of nearly 120 miles per hour. Though the team behind the E-Tracer is still unsure exactly of what the future will be for the design, it has potential as an electric racing vehicle.
Overall, green transportation has a wide variety of motorcycle like vehicles gracing it. Despite having three wheels and being called a car by some, the Arcimoto Pulse, for example, will officially be designated a motorcycle when it is finally put on the road. Though we may be far from anything that could resemble one of the bikes in Tron, it might not be long before we see any major advances into fully electric motorcycles that will give a fair balance to how many bikes and cars of the electric variety you could see on the road.
Photo Credit: bikeweb