This year, electric motorcycle momentum has been hot! Electric motorcycle companies have been reporting an increase in sales. For example, Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer Energica shared that in the first two months of 2020, they sold more electric motorcycles than in the year prior.
There is also a new streaming series focused on electric motorcycles. Actor Ewan McGregor and his friend, Charley Boorman, premiered “Long Way Up,” which follows them riding from Argentina to Los Angeles on electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycles. Yes, you heard correctly: Harley-Davidson has gone electric!
Why should I consider an electric motorcycle?
Like electric cars, electric motorcycles are extremely fun to ride! Plug In America Co-Founder Paul Scott’s current ride is the Zero SR/S.
“I have a lot of fun at 68 besting the young guys on their loud Ducatis and such,” says Scott. “I’ll just say no one has ever beaten me off the line and I’ve given them many opportunities.”
Not to mention electric motorcycles are comfortable and quiet. They don’t vibrate or make a loud noise when you ride. There is no need to sacrifice power and performance. Scott says he has 110 horsepower and 140 foot-pounds of torque. “This is more power than my Nissan Leaf had!”
With their smaller size, electric motorcycles are even more efficient and convenient than an electric car. For example, when zipping across town, you can travel with less machinery and find parking more easily. “Riding a cool looking bike that is literally the quickest vehicle around (with the exception of the Premium Tesla Model S) makes me very happy.”
With fewer moving parts, electric motorcycles also have very low fuel and maintenance costs. The economic savings associated with individual ownership of a Zero electric motorcycle can be $360 per year.
“Just as Tesla did in the car world, Zero, Energica, and even Harley-Davidson have extremely powerful electric motorcycles all the hard-core riders have learned to respect as we readily beat their bikes,” said Scott. “I allow some riders to take my bike out just so they understand what it’s like. They always come back with a huge grin. For many, their next bike will be electric. Once the big moto manufacturers get involved, the ICE bikes will quickly become a thing of the past.
What incentives are available?
Federal tax credit: Tax credit for the purchase of a new two-wheeled plug-in electric drive motor vehicle. Credit amount: up to $2,500
(This credit is expiring on December 31, 2020, but a coalition of electric motorcycle companies are working to extend the federal tax credit.)
Many states offer incentives for the purchase or lease of an electric motorcycle, including California, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Last week, the California Clean Fuel Reward (CCFR) incentive was announced, electric motorcycle customers can recevie a point-of-sale price reduction of up to $1,500. Also, local governments and utility companies offer rebates. Visit PlugStar.com to search for incentives in your area.
The push for electrification adoption in all aspects of transportation
The growth of electric motorcycles is also leading to advancements in other forms of electric transportation. Zero Motorcycles, the inventors of the modern electric motorcycle, has partnered with Polaris to provide powertrains for electric versions of their off-road platforms, like all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.
E-bikes have also seen an increase in sales this year! Next month, we’ll explore e-bikes in more detail. Subscribe to our newsletter for this and other updates!
7 comments on “Electric motorcycles are gaining momentum”
Arcimoto make a tadpole two wheel front, one in back, front wheel drive duel motor. So fun. Not sure about rating of roll cage, but it would help alot.
As long as I see three or more empty seats on almost every car I see on I-95, I’m going to have to disagree with you. If only 25% of the solo drivers switched to bikes, highway congestion will be reduced. And that will also have the side benefit of having ICE vehicles idling less frequently in a traffic jam.
It would really help if the manufacturers realized that some riders don’t like the Sports Bike style, some of us like Cruisers, and some of us ride two-up. If they continue to build only one style of bike, they’re going to limit themselves to only one type of rider, and that is definitely going to cut the market to a fraction of it’s potential.
(Notice, no comments about range or charging time)
Mr. Stack, different companies are making electric motorcycles and scooters than those making electric cars. We need an all of the above strategy to get wider adoption of electric vehicles. Diversity is good.
I love my electric motorcycles! Share and show them at Ride and Drive events in Wisconsin.
2013 Zero S with over 30,000 miles of daily commutes.
2020 Harley Davidson Livewire with under 2,000 miles looking forward to an unfettered riding season.
Low maintenance, charges for pennies and easy to operate and electric motorcycle is a great transition vehicle into the EV experience.
I’ve been riding motorcycles for 49 years and loved every minute of it. I’ll be 70 next year and may call it quits unless I call the bikes I have (can’t have just one) of which my newest one is a 2001, but if I could get a good trade in and a good price I’d consider a Zero for sure.
motorcycles of any type are very dangerous. They don’t do well in the wet, cold ,snow or any inclement weather. I would rather the energy and material go into safer 4 seat small cars that can be used in any weather and give rides to others and the elderly.