If you’ve got a fascination with the futuristic, chances are, you’ve already been toying with the thought of an electric motorcycle. And with the next few years set to see the electric bike market go full throttle, here’s everything you need to know about investing in some e-wheels.
Countries around the world are looking to ban the internal combustion engine within the next couple of decades. Governments are introducing grants for people who choose electric bikes over petrol, and research predicts a 45% growth in the electric motorcycle industry by 2020.
Taking all of this on board, there’s plenty of evidence that points to the popularity of electric bikes soaring in the near future. So, what exactly is the deal with this new wave of bike tech? And why is it piquing so many people’s interest?
Saving for the future
The initial purchase price of electric motorbikes might still be on the spenny side, but they’re getting more affordable by the year. They’re also way cheaper to run than petrol bikes once you actually hit the road, so the long-term savings made on fuel can end up considerably offsetting the purchase price.
A clean and mean ride
Unlike petrol bikes, electric rides don’t produce any emissions, meaning every outing supports the journey towards zero-carbon targets. No wonder so many countries are encouraging rides to make the electric switch.
Going hell for leather
The electric bikes of today have undergone some serious improvements in terms of wattage and battery kWh. With power and range now far beyond what they were when electric bikes first debuted, riders are reporting increasingly impressive performances that’ll counteract any misgivings you’ve had about the ride itself.
A new source of adrenaline fuel
Jumping on an electric bike offers a totally different experience to what we’re used to as traditional gas engine riders. They’re super quiet for starters and their instant 100% torque means you get a smooth, rather than surging feeling, when you accelerate – for an uninterrupted, intense thrill.
No more getting your hands dirty
Remove a bike’s engine and, all of a sudden, you’ve got a lot less routine powertrain maintenance on your plate. Electric machines won’t ever need their valve clearance adjusting, their timing belt replacing or their engine oil changing (to name just a few), giving you more time to ride. This has opened the market up to a totally new kind of rider, too – someone who loves the idea of cruising the country on two wheels, but who doesn’t want the upkeep or engineering complexity that comes with gas-powered bikes.
You might currently be looking at a total recharging time of between two and 11 hours for a set of electric wheels, depending on battery size, but don’t let that put you off. Most of the major players are experimenting with new battery designs that are set to massively improve range and cut down charging times dramatically.
Next level rides
Zero is probably the name on everybody’s lips when it comes to the electric revolution, but Polaris and Vectrix are also successfully playing in the e-motorcycle space. And while Yamaha’s PES2 concept electric bike still remains a pipe dream, Harley-Davison has just jumped on board, announcing plans to launch a debut model in 2019.
If you’re thinking of shifting gear and making the move to electric, make sure every ride is backed up with an insurance policy from Swann Insurance. *Please note, not all models mentioned are currently available for cover.