Another EV: Zero Motorcycles

Chances are, when you think "electric vehicles," you proabably think about something with four wheels.  Which, for some people, is two too many.

Chances are, when you think "electric vehicles," you proabably think about something with four wheels.  Which, for some people, is two too many.

Like the motorcycle enthusiasts of Santa Cruz-based Zero Motorcycles, which offers a full range of EV motorcycles for both road and off-road use. The company has just launched its 2011 lineup, which will become available for delivery in March, which now includes new styling, 12.5% increase in power pack capacity for longer riding range, and a maintenance-free belt drive system.

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The bikes use air-cooled lithium-ion battery packs and permanent-magnet electric motors. The bikes can be charged from 110- or 220-V outlets. There is a quick-charge optional upgrade that allows 100% charging in just 2.3 hours. Another option permits the bikes to be charged at J1772 public charging stations. The Zero S has a range, based on the newly adopted Motorcycle Industry Council’s prescribed “Driving Range Test Procedure for Electric Motorcycles,” based on the EPA’s Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule, of 43 miles on a charge.

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All the bikes are based on aircraft-grade aluminum welded frames so they are extremely light—the Zero X trail-riding bike’s frame weighs just 14.8 lb; the Zero S street bike’s frame weighs 19.3 lb.

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The Zero S has a top homologated speed of 67 mph. The bike is priced at $9,995, and as it is eligible for a 10% Federal tax credit, and who knows what else, selecting a two-wheel EV may be a way to go, especially as the Zero folks estimate a full change for the bike will set you back just 48 cents.