As we enter the third fiscal quarter of 2019, we’re seeing an even greater influx of activity in the EV realm as the emerging sector continues to pick up steam. This week we were treated to a number of noteworthy happenings including yet another stunning ebike from Curtiss, a sleek new electric enduro from university students in Spain, more involvement from auto-makers, and a host of new prototype and future production models from France, Germany, Russia, and China.

Spanish Students Build Off-Road E-Racer

Students of Elisava University in Barcelona with their Eray off-road prototype. [Eray]
Created by a dozen design and engineering student’s from Barcelona’s Elisava University, the Eray is a fully electric off-road motorcycle built to compete in the 2019 Barcelona Smart Moto Challenge in Catalonia. The Spanish students designed the cutting edge machine from the ground up before 3D printing and custom producing all the necessary parts. The Eray also sports a 7-inch screen and a smart-phone connected app. A lot of attention also went into the MX-style machine’s ergonomics, which were fine-tuned in a long-term study.

The subject of deep research, the Eray project is a practical proposition. [Eray]
Overall the Eray sports a remarkably finished aesthetic. Everything from the bodywork, to the seat, to the frame, to the headlight all possess a factory-level finish. And not only is the Eray a looker, but the thing also boasts high-end running gear and solid performance chops — both of which it will need when it goes head-to-head with the other electric two-wheeled student-made creations at the 2019 BSMC.

Universities have been at the forefront of ebike technology for decades, building land speed racers and now off-roaders: surely a sign that the technology is growing in interest to researchers. [Eray]
Of course, it’s not just the existing manufacturers and startups that are spearheading the evolution of the electric motorcycle. The work being done at Elisava University is just the latest example of college students continuously pushing the EV technology envelope. In the last decade, we’ve seen numerous universities like MIT, Ohio State, the University of Nottingham, and  Kingston University, all design and build their own electric race bikes to compete in high-profile events like Pikes Peak and the Isle of Man (Zero) TT.

Curtiss Takes Aim At H-D With New eBike

The Curtiss Psyche has hallmark design cues from the hand of former Confederate designer JT Nesbitt. [Curtiss]
For the third week in a row, Curtiss has pulled the cover off yet another new motorcycle. Dubbed, the “Psyche”, the bold new machine has a design just as unique as the Zeus and Hades, however, the Alabama-based brand says its latest bike will be markedly more affordable at “only” $30,000.

With dramatic shapes and an architectural silhouette, the Psyche looks like no other ebike. [Curtiss]
The fact the Psyche is priced in the same ballpark as Harley’s new Livewire is no coincidence, and Curtiss is squarely taking aim at the MoCo. The Psyche affords a 160-mile range, an “approximate weight” of 375lbs, and will reportedly be sold with either a 36kW (48hp) or 72kW (96hp) motor.

The Psyche, if built, would be a striking addition to the street bike universe. [Curtiss]
Like the rest of the new models in the Curtiss lineup, the Pysche is constructed around a skeletal, tubular frame and swing-arm with a suspended powertrain, bobber-style saddle, girder-inspired front-end, and heavy use of carbon fiber. Curtiss has yet to release specs on the drum-shaped batteries or charge times, though it did announce the Psyche is slated to go on sale sometime in the Fall of 2021.

Malle Mile Festival Goes Electric

Over the weekend at the Malle Mile Festival in London, a fun new event was added to the lineup called the “Midnight Mile”. One of just eight events, the nighttime event consists of sprint races in the dark across a dirt course only lit via colored glowing orbs. The riders are also covered in glowing neon kit, giving the races a video-gamey feel, only furthered by the exclusive use of electric bikes. As electric motorcycles continue to become more prevalent, we’ll surely start seeing more and more grassroots electric race events and classes popping up, which is definitely a good thing.

Audi Enters The eScooter Game

Audi enters the EV market with the ‘e-tron’ four-wheeled scooter. [Audi]
This week high-end automaker, Audi, revealed its own take on personal, battery-powered, urban mobility with what it calls the “e-tron” scooter. The four-wheeled device is operated via a single handle with a twist-grip accelerator and also features a fear foot-operated brake, and a quad-micro LED headlight and tail/brake-light situation. The 26lb machine has a joint at the base enabling it to fold up for easy storage or carrying. The range on the last-mile machine is 12.5-miles, as is top-speed. The battery and electronics are neatly tucked inside the neck of the steering handle, which also shows battery-level via a glowing circular display.

The minimal information feedback on the ‘e-tron’. [Audi]
The e-tron isn’t expected to go on sale until 2020, and when it does it will reportedly carry an MSRP of €2,000 (or $2,240). Two-grand gets you a lot in 2019, and will almost certainly only yield even more in 2020. A brand new Grom-style electric from the California Scooter Company called the City Slicker retails for $2,495 — only $250 or so more than the e-tron, granted the latter sports Audi logos, and that’s worth a lot to some people.

Bio-Hybrid Introduces New Micro-Vehicles

The new Bio-Hybrid micro EV. [Bio-Hybrid]
A German company, Bio-Hybrid revealed its new zero-emission urban mobility platform this week, showing off two versions of its pint-sized electric car-bicycle hybrid. The modular vehicle platform features pedals assisted by a 250-750watt motor that goes up to 15.5mph before cutting off. Because of the minuscule powertrain, the Bio-Hybrids can be operated in most regions without any license, registration, or insurance. Plus, they only take up a fraction of a regular parking space and aren’t much wider than your average bicycle.

Two Bio-Hybrid models, for passengers and cargo. [Bio-Hybrid]
The two variants produced thus far are a passenger model, which has tandem, two-person seating, and a cargo version, which is a single-passenger model with a large pickup-style cargo area in back. Thanks to a large roof and windshield, these stable, four-wheeled “bicyicars” can be piloted in any weather. The German outfit definitely has a unique concept on its hands, which blends a variety of benefits borrowed from other contemporary city-focused electric transports. It should be interesting to see how the public reacts to the novel machine, and whether or not it’s widely embraced.

IndieGogo’s Ultra-Trick Pedal-Assist “Ultrabike”

The Ultrabike is a sleek, well-designed ebike. [Ultrabike]
While electric pedal-assist bicycles are nothing new, they are becoming increasingly sophisticated, as evidenced by this week’s reveal of the new Calamus One “Ultrabike”. The sleek custom-cast unibody frame is coated in a premium automotive-grade paint job and hides all the internal cable and wiring, as well as an array of high-tech features. The Ultrabike comes with blindspot detection, which alerts the rider via haptic feedback in the handlebars. Bar-end turn signals and a color touchscreen are also standard fare, and the bike is Android-enabled, meaning its weatherproof screen can run Android programs like Google Maps. Plus the system supports multiple rider profiles and real-time diagnostics, though the latter won’t get much use considering how little maintenance the Ultrabike requires.

Simple and clean design, with minimal maintenance expected. [Ultrabike]
Another trick feature is the pedal-assister’s biometric fingerprint scanner which unlocks the ebike and turns off its alarm. And with built-in alarm and GPS, Calamus’ ebike has a 4G anti-theft tracker and geofencing capabilities. Making the two-wheeler even more impervious to thieves is its special patent-pending “security fastener” system used in the Ultrabike’s construction, making it exceedingly difficult (if not impossible) for individual components to be removed with conventional, non-specialized tools. The Ultrabike is sold with one of three Bafang mid-drive “Ultramotors”; a 250W; 500W, or 750W unit. The smallest of the trio offers a top speed of 20mph, while the 750W motor tops out at just under 30mph. Buyers can also choose from either a 504Wh or 674Wh battery — both of which are housed in the down-tube and easily removable — that affords a range of up to 60-miles. The hardtail frame is paired with a front mono-shock and a sprung saddle, and braking duties are handled by hydraulic discs front and back.

Triple disc brakes, 30mph top speed, $2300 price tag – what’s not to love? [Ultrabike]
At the moment, the Ultrabike is still in the crowdfunding phase on IndieGogo, however, the company is offering pretty significant discounts to early buyers/investors. Right now Ultrabikes can be purchased for between approximately $2,000-$2,300 depending on the battery and motor, which is supposedly 35-40% cheaper than the eventual retail price. As of the time of writing, the Berlin-based outfit has raised just north of $113K, 452% of its original goal, so there’s a very decent likelihood the Ultrabike will see production.

Rizoma Design Challenges Award Mini Ebike First Place

The Tryal ebike is a good design winner. [Tryal]
Back in April, premium Italian parts and accessories purveyor, Rizoma, launched a design challenge, inviting designers, students, and engineers to digitally submit their concepts for “the future of motorcycling” in one of two categories; aftermarket product design; and motorcycle design. Some of the submissions were pretty stunning, but ultimately the moto design class went to one Erik Askin for his bike, dubbed the “Tryal”. As mentioned, the basis for the design is centered around the future of motorcycling and Askin believes the industry’s survival is hugely dependent on bringing new riders into the fold. So instead of focusing on uber-high performance, or wildly aggressive aesthetics, the RISD alum and associate design director by day set out to pen a fun, super approachable offering with a “friendly” and inviting appearance.

Make it fun and they will come. The Tryal embodies good design principles. [Tryal]
The result is the Tryal, and it’s as cute as it is easy to pilot. The fully-electric little runner travels on spoked 14-inch wheels and boasts a comfortable, upright riding position. Anyone, regardless of experience (or lack thereof it), can hop on and go with confidence. Askin’s modern mini features a triangular frame that houses the powertrain and links to fore and aft suspension (a mono-shock and inverted fork). It also has a pint-sized single-piston hydraulic Brembo disc brake out front. Other elements such as the flat seat, bobbed fender and swooping bracket, and customizable DOT matrix headlight set the Tryal apart from other existing micro ebikes and escooters. There’s no word on what Askin or Rizoma have in the works for the Tryal in the future (if anything), but at the very least the highly publicized mini ebike will hopefully inspire and influence future designs.

France’s New Woodclad eCruiser

Sci-fi shapes with organic materials: the Newron from France. [Newron]
Curtiss wasn’t the only one to pull the cover off a radical electric cruiser this week, as France’s Newron unveiled its own extreme battery-powered cruiser design. The star of the show is a large cylindrical battery unit that runs parallel to the frame. Rows of backlit, color-changing LED strips wrap around the barrel-shaped cell housing, giving the scoot a thoroughly futuristic vibe. The sci-fi-inspired battery is enclosed in a wooden chassis that’s paired with a metal single-sided swing-arm and a girder fork in the front.

While the battery enclosure is the LED-lit showboat, the sweeping wooden chassis is surprisingly strong. [Newron]
The sweeping shape of the timber frame on the French ebike provides a surprising amount of strength and structural integrity while mimicking the silhouette of an early 2000’s chopper. The lower wooden section caps off the bottom of the machine and matches the round shape of the wood on top. The use of wooden components on motorcycles is becoming more and more popular, with noteworthy custom builders like “George Woodman” heavily utilizing the material, as well as on electric motorcycles like the breathtaking Essence E-Raw. It’s definitely a unique design, and according to Newron, it’ll be partnering with the Advan Group and Dassault Systems to deliver one dozen examples to a few lucky customers in 2020.

Russia’s Bonkers “Electro Horse” Three-Wheeler

The Elektro Horse: a robust Russian trike. [Anton Filipenko]
While arguably more ebicycle than emotorcycle, another ebike reveal from this week was Anton Filipenko’s “Electro Horse”. The rather unusual machine is built around a stellar one-off tubular frame married to a conventional telescopic front-end off a mountain bike, while out back the Russian fabbed up a pair of swing-arms connected to a rear axle, each with their own wheel and suspension. The kooky three-wheeler has a maximum range of 105 to 125-miles, and can be fully recharged in 1.5-hours via a standard 220V home outlet.

100 mile range at 50mph: the Elektro Horse is a zippy prototype. [Anton Filipenko]
With full-size spoked rims and full suspension, the E-Horse is said to be surprisingly competent off-road, albeit the seating position seems less-than-conducive to off-roading. On the pavement, the thing can reach speeds of up to 50mph, too. At the moment, Filipenko is having the Electro Horse undergo the necessary testing prior to getting the green light for production, so this idiosyncratic ebike may actually see production.

NeuWai Unveils Futuristic Electric Sportbike and Cruiser

The big reveal: NeuWai shows off its new models. [NeuWai]
China has been a major player at the forefront of the two-wheeled EV industry, however, it’s much more invested in small-displacement-equivalent bikes and scooters than it is full-size electric motorcycles. That’s why this week’s news of an electric sportbike and cruiser from a Chinese firm raised eyebrows. Unveiled at the recent Seoul Motor Show, Chinese marque NeuWai introduced its MF 104 and MT 104 prototypes (plus two electric scooters; the CN 104; and CL 104).

E-zee rider? The MT104 is a bruiser of a cruiser. [NeuWai]
The MF 104 is a modern take on a sporty electric, with a Buell-style frame that runs diagonally across the entire bike from the swing-arm to the nose, which almost resembles a futuristic Suzuki Katana shape. Hanging from the chassis and enclosed in polished metal covers is the MF’s 19kWh battery and a motor with 25 continuous kW’s and 40 peak. The MF is reportedly good for a top speed of 124mph and a range of 93-miles.

On the sportier side: China’s laws restricting IC vehicles in cities leave the field wide open for larger electric bikes. [NeuWai]
The cruiser-style MT 104 gets the same 19kW battery as its sportbike brethren, though it has a slightly less powerful motor with 20kW continuous and 35kW peak. Top-speed is 93mph and a single charge will cover a maximum distance of 87-miles. Like the MF, the MT is a modern interpretation of the classic cruiser genre with more than a dash of sleek contemporary visual traits. Unlike the sportbike, the MT offers seating for two, as well as a much more laid-back, relaxed riding position.

The MF104 in profile, with an interesting, if heavy-looking, architecture. [NeuWai]
NeuWai is owned by Songuo Motors Co, which is a large Chinese company focused on the development and manufacturing of EVs of all shapes and sizes, with more than 600 employees, more than half-a-dozen separate facilities, and some seriously deep pockets. With Songuo and its extensive resources fully behind the MF/MT 104 project, NeuWai should have everything it needs (and then some) to bring these futuristic full-size ebikes to market by their scheduled shipping date of Q1 or 2020. There’s a decent chance the initial release will be limited to NeuWai/Songuo’s native Chinese market, though based on the fact the western markets purchase a whole hell of a lot more sportbikes and cruisers than in the east, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the MF and MT eventually comes to European and American shores.

China already dominates the EV market, with over 3 Million ebikes already zipping around its roads. Will the entry into big-bike turf put them at the top of this market too? [NeuWai]