Stephanie Weaver

The Current News: May 5, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! Welcome to the first EV news roundup of May. This week’s stories include a first looks at the stunning Formula E Gen3 race car, a seven-pound powertrain, and the results of CAKE’s first ever electric race. If you see any cool stories you think we should cover, shoot us a message at stephanie@thevintagent.com. Oh, and don’t forget to call your mother on Sunday! Let’s roll.

 

Formula E’s New Gen3 Car Shows How Fast Battery Technology is Advancing

A gorgeous render of the new Formula E Gen3 racer. [Formula E]
Formula E revealed its new Gen3 race car last week at Monaco’s Yacht Club. With a design inspired by a fighter jet, this car is faster, stronger, and more efficient than its predecessors. While the maximum power output from the Gen1 to the Gen2 only increased by 50 kW, FIA’s newest EV blows previous generations out of the water with a staggering 650 kW of total power. And that power upsurge was achieved in only one year! Some other noteworthy features of the Gen3 include a weight that is 60 kg lighter than the previous models and top speeds of over 200 mph. The new race car will also be built from renewable materials, including recyclable batteries, natural rubber, and recycled fiber from Gen2 cars.

 

CAKE Worlds Race Winners Announced

CAKE racing in the dirt. Just because it's quiet doesn't mean the action isn't exciting. [CAKE]
Earlier this week, Swedish EV manufacturer CAKE announced the winners of the Cake Worlds Race, the first ever all-electric, gender-neutral race in North America. After the action-packed weekend in Del Mar, CA, professional MXA test-rider Josh Moisman was crowned the North American 4X champion. Ashley Fiolek, coming in ninth place, was crowned the best female rider. Dylan Gaszak secured first place in the amateur class. All three will represent the U.S. in the CAKE Worlds Finals, taking place later this year.  While their press arm is robust, CAKE really needs to work on their PR before an event, as one of our team attended the Del Mar race, and found it sparsely attended.  EV racing is a blast to watch, so ramp up the notice, CAKE!

 

Lucid Will Build 100,000 EVs for the Saudi Government

Lucid Motors secures a major contract with the Saudi government. But how will supply chain issues affect their projections? [Lucid]
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance recently made a purchase commitment for 50,000 Lucid EVs, with an option to buy another 50,000 more over the next decade. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) currently holds a controlling 61% stake of the EV maker...an interesting point given the country's status as the world's largest exporter of crude oil.  Saudi Arabia is also opening up formerly forbidden areas to tourism, and has made huge infrastructure investments in new tourist areas of ancient architecture and astonishing natural beauty, all of which look simply amazing.  The question is, will Saudi Arabia invest in Lithium mining to ensure they can build those 100,000 cars?

 

The World’s Lightest Powertrain?

The Mahle X20 ultra-light powertrain. [Mahle]
The new Mahle X20 e-Bike powertrain claims to be the lightest in the world. The X20 system barely tips the scale at just 7.05 lbs, including the motor, wiring, battery, controller, and head unit. Due to its ultra-lightness, the rear hub motor only cranks out about 23 Nm of torque, but will still be a welcome boost for any bicycle.

 

Aston Martin Plans to Go Entirely Electric

The Aston Martin Valhalla is the company's first plug-in hybrid vehicle, which is expected to arrive in 2024. With no EV design in evidence, it's a bold move for the company to announce a total switch to EVs. [Aston Martin]
Luxury automaker Aston Martin announced earlier this week that it is targeting 2030 as the expiration date of new cars with gas-powered engines. The company also plans to drop its first electric model by 2025.

 

Major Global Lithium Shortage, and 'The New Oil'

From the Publisher: Lithium is a very common mineral on planet Earth, found in rock and soil and seawater.  Lithium is also a critical element for the battery technology currently powering EVs, but extracting Lithium from all these places is difficult, expensive, and is currently a filthy business, perhaps even dirtier than oil extraction.  The planned-for shift to EVs across Europe and North America, and the current growth of the EV mobility sector, have exposed a major weakness in the supply chain: the demand for Lithium by battery manufacturers worldwide has exceeded the available supply by 50,000metric tons every year since 2020.  The price of Lithium carbonate has gone through the roof, shooting up 442% since 2020, and now accounts for 80% of the cost of EV batteries.  The cost of a new Tesla long-range has gone up $1000 this year to reflect this, as one example of a quantifiable impact of the mineral shortage on EV mobility.  And looking forward, "All the world's cell production combined represents well under 10% of what we will need in 10 years," said Robert Scaringe, CEO of Rivian.

Lithium mining in Sonora, Mexico. [Mexico Now]
Lithium has earned the name 'white gold', but perhaps it's better called 'the new oil', given its impact on global energy geopolitics, and a shift away from the Middle East as primary energy brokers for a power-hungry world. China remains in control of an estimated 80% of the world's Cobalt extraction, according to a New York Times story, but Lithium production is currently split between Australia (#1), China, Chile, and Argentina.  After threatening to nationalize Lithium production in Mexico, President Obrador (AMLO) allowed Chinese company Ganfeng Lithium to take a 50% stake in UK mining company Bacanora currently controlling mineral mining in Sonora...effectively giving the Chinese a 50-year lease on 100,000 hectares in the Sonoran desert.  Economically weak countries with vast natural resources are under tremendous political pressure to concede their natural resources to foreign economic powers.  And whether the world will know what the extraction ultimately looks like is an open question, given the regular murder of journalists and activists daring to give voice to local concerns over extraction. At The Vintagent, we believe in sustainability and a clean environment, and support efforts to that end.  The EV industry is painted as essentially 'green', but that is still an open question, given the usual ugliness of extraction.  Let's hope the rush to reduce carbon in our atmosphere doesn't lead to an even worse situation on the ground.

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: April 29, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! While Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter nearly broke the internet earlier this week, we’d like to turn your attention to much more captivating EV stories. This week’s roundup includes a stunning café-inspired e-Motorcycle, an EV brand that was born to be different, a Dodge Ram EV pickup, e-Bikes from MINI, and even an electrified Corvette. If you see any stories you’d like us to cover, drop us a message at stephanie@thevintagent.com. Let’s roll.

Meet the New Nuit: A Visionary Café-Inspired e-Motorcycle

The Nuit is a pared-down eBike, and looks in profile surprisingly like a 1960s Velocette Valiant! [Nuit)

Some designs will never go out of style. A good case in point is Belgium designer Benjamin Surain’s new e-Motorcycle, the Nuit. Based on a TC Max Super Soco. Ben completely transformed the bike into his own unique minimalistic vision. The Nuit, or Night, is built entirely from sustainable materials. Ben tore apart the TC and reworked the entire frame using eco-friendly materials and 3D printing technology. The result is a sleek, barebones bike that weighs only 187 pounds. The Nuit can reach top speeds of 110km/h and features fully adjustable firmware for a customized riding experience.

A Brand as Distinct as da Vinci

The DaVinci eBike takes a unique approach to the design issue of the big battery required for high power and long range. I see the design heritage of the 2009 Mission One here. Also, the 'follow you around' self-balancing trick![DaVinci]

We all know that Leonardo da Vinci was an artist ahead of his time. And it’s safe to assume that Davinci Motor Corp. is too. Founded in 2013, the Chinese startup’s motto is, “Scientists discover the world that exists. Engineers create the world that never was.” And these revolutionaries are definitely living up to their words. Davinci’s two high-performance models, including the DC100, are self-balancing bikes that will follow you around. The DC100’s single-sided swingarm showcases its distinct rear wheel that seemingly floats in mid-air. The only caveat to this is that the front wheel is encased with an immense swingarm on the right side of the bike. A brave act by the designers, to say the least. The DC100 also features a 17.7kWh battery and a “creep” feature that allows the bike to slowly start moving when you release the brake lever, a lot like an automatic car. There’s also an app-based remote-control feature that allows your bike to come to you from wherever it’s parked.

Ram’s EV Truck Concept Debuts this Fall

The Dodge Ram teaser campaign, looking like an action film logo...which is pretty much how cars are framed these days. [Dodge]

Ram plans to unveil its EV pickup concept this fall, possibly at the Los Angeles auto show. The automaker released a teaser on Twitter earlier this week which featured an illuminated Ram logo.

MINI Drops Four New e-Bikes

Cooper Bikes! The bicycle brand of BMW's Mini cars. [Mini]

MINI Cooper’s bicycle brand, Cooper Bikes, just revealed four new e-Bike models this week that feature regenerative braking. Designed for city commuters, the lineup includes the drop-bar CR-72 Randonneur bike, the single-speed CS1E, and two gender-specific models, including the CG-7E and the CL-7E. All models use the Zehus Gen2 electric bike drivetrain and produce 40Nm of torque and top speeds of 25km/h. Swanky, yes. Fast, not so much.

Here Comes the EV Corvette!

The E-Ray in the wild? We won't see a production version for several years. [Chevrolet]

GM has finally confirmed what we all new was eventually coming: an electric Corvette, to be called the E-Ray. While a hybrid version of the muscle car will hit dealerships as early as next year, GM will use its Ultium platform to support future all-electric ‘Vettes.  It's expected to be a 1000hp all-wheel-drive beast with 3 or 4 motors.

Fresh Funds

Portuguese e-Skateboard company, Hunter, raised a $1.3 million seed round.

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is now worth $5.7 billion after raising $675 million in a Series C round of financing.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s new program will open the door to $6.4 billion in formula funding to develop carbon reduction strategies over the next five years.

Ola: The World’s Tesla Alternative

"A Tesla for the rest of us." The proposed Ola EV auto, an outgrowth of their two-wheeled company. [Ola]

Ola founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal has big plans for the company and wants to launch its first EV by 2023 or early 2024. The vehicle is promised to have autonomous technologies, making it valuable for international markets. “Tesla is for the west and Ola is for the rest,” Aggarwal said.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: April 21, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! We’re neck-deep in spring now and the EV industry is only continuing to crank out awesome vehicles and innovative technology. The one caveat to this week’s roundup is that we’ve noticed more and more stories about e-Bike battery explosions!  Follow that story! This week’s roundup includes a new EV drag racer, an electric SUV concept from Ford, Cake eBikes for younger riders, and a man who outran a Tesla. As always, send your tantalizing tales to us at stephanie@thevintagent.com. Let’s roll.

New Hookie Co Dragster

Hookie goes to the drags! The makers of the Tardigrade lunar cycle are moving on to faster things. And, how did they make an Ösa do 100mph? [Hookie Co]

Dresden-based startup Hookie Co. just dropped a sick dragster that was their reinterpretation of Cake’s Ösa electric utility bike. Dubbed the ‘Silver Ant,’ this futuristic e-Motorcycle is made for drag racing. And while the idea of a silent drag race sounds strange, that’s exactly what you’ll be witnessing when the Silver Ant goes head-to-head with other bikes at the Glemseck 101 festival’s EV-only race this fall. The otherworldly motorcycle is promised to reach speeds of 100mph and has unique sprinting capabilities, including one brake and an aerodynamic rider position.

Three New Cake Bikes Aimed at Younger Riders

CAKE gets small! And appeals to riders of all ages with a new range of little bikes. [CAKE]
This week, Cake unveiled three new e-Bikes specifically designed for younger riders. As part of the Cake Kids Evolution Program, the lineup includes three new two-wheelers called Ready, Steady, and Go. The company’s goal is to build confidence in kids as they’re learning how to ride a bike by gradually building skills as they graduate from one model to the next. “Being a dad, I have been disturbingly surprised by the motorized off-road kids bikes that lately have hit the market, addressing kids from toddlers and up. With the Cake line of bikes, we want to excite young riders and stress safety. You need to learn how to walk before you run, and you need to master your balance before you start playing around with a throttle,” Cake Founder and CEO, Stefan Ytterborn, said.

Ford’s New Electric SUV Concept

The trend towards jellybean bland finds full expression in the new Ford SUV concept: when all the rules are erased, why not try interesting as a design brief? [Ford]
Ford recently revealed its new Lincoln Star electric SUV concept in preparation for adding four new EVs to its lineup by 2026. Featuring Tesla-like aesthetics, the Lincoln Star boasts panoramic windows, a Land Rover-esque silhouette, and three “rejuvenation moods” that adjust the cabin’s sound, lighting, and even smell.

 California Goes Electric

 The Golden State is giving up gas-powered vehicles. The California Air Resources Board’s new proposal would require 35% of new passenger cars sold in the state to be battery- and hydrogen-powered by 2026.

Man vs. Tesla: Man Wins

Can a man outrun a Tesla? Well, yes, based on a single charge...

Earlier this week, ultramarathoner Robbie Balenger outran a Tesla Model 3 by 100 feet. Man and machine began at the same starting point about 250 miles outside Austin. The Tesla was driven at an average speed of 65mph for the duration of a full charge, which equated to 242 miles. Balenger followed the car’s exact route on foot and beat the car’s distance by 100 feet, despite soaring temperatures.  Balenger completed the race in 76 hours, 54 minutes, meaning he literally ran for three straight days, only briefly stopping to sleep, eat, etc.  No doubt Balenger consumed considerably less energy than the Tesla, required less infrastructural support, and did not upset the balance of international power in his requirements for rare minerals!  It's long been said that a standard bicycle is the most efficient form of transportation in terms of total energy consumption; perhaps Lance Armstrong could repeat this test and begin a discussion of lifecycle energy consumption!

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: April 14, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! Did you get your taxes done? Are you ready for Easter? With so much going on this week, we encourage you to take a breather while catching up on the latest EV news. This week’s stories include some upcoming releases from Honda and Cake, the race to secure battery materials, a crazy hyper-car concept that promises 2,200hp, some mind-blowing funding news, and a custom e-Motorcycle exclusively made for Shaq. As always, shoot us a message at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you think we should cover a particular story. Let’s roll.

Killer Concepts from Honda and Cake

Mystery concepts from Honda, stepping into the e-vehicle game cautiously. [Honda]

Both Honda and Cake revealed awesome EV concepts this week. The former includes two electric Honda sports cars that will be released later this decade, including a “specialty” and “flagship” model. Both cars will most likely be built on the automaker’s e:Architecture platform.

Looks like CAKE is going into the pedelec business! [CAKE]
Meanwhile, Cake recently dropped a teaser that hints at a lighter two-wheeled EV. What are your thoughts?

An Electric Hyper-Car Concept that Promises 2,200 Ponies

The DEUS hypercar concept...is 2200hp enough though? [DEUS]
DEUS Automobiles debuted its jaw-dropping Vayanne electric hyper-car concept at the New York International Auto Show this week. The Austrian company is less than two years old but has bold ambitions. The startup’s stunning new concept is predicted to churn out 2,200hp, 1,475 lb.-ft. of torque, and reach top speeds of 248mph. The Vayanne was developed in partnership with Britain-based Williams Advanced Engineering, the tech division of the Williams Formula 1 racing team.

NASA Partners with Canoo to Develop EVs for Artemis Missions

Canoo to the moon! [Canoo]

This week, NASA announced that they would contract startup Canoo to build EVs to transport astronauts to the launchpad for the upcoming Artemis mission to the moon. According to a press release, Canoo will provide NASA with crew transportation vehicles (CTV) and customized lifestyle vehicle (LV) models by next summer.

Fresh Funds

BMW's EV line is growing by leaps and bounds. [BMW]
BMW Group reported that they more than doubled their EV sales in Q1 of 2022. A driving factor of the automaker’s success was the recent arrival of the i4 and iX. Overall, BMW Group sold 35,289 BMW and Mini EVs in the first three months of 2022.

The X Shore eboat is a perfect app for EV tech. [S Shore]
Electric boat manufacturer X Shore secured $50 million in their latest round of investment funding. The company will use the funds to increase research and development of maritime EV technologies, as well as to support the manufacturing of their first production boat.

Porsche's efuels plant is currently producing synthetic fuels at $45/gal. [Porsche]
Porsche dropped $75 million in investments in the industrial production of eFuels to support their goal of electrifying 80% of their model lineup by 2030.

 

GM and Ford Shore Up Battery Materials

Automakers General Motors and Ford are making strategic moves to secure EV battery materials. This week, GM signed a cobalt supply deal with the Glencore, a global mining company. Ford also signed a supply agreement with lithium miner Lake Resources.

 

Shaq’s Custom e-Motorcycle

Shaquille O'neal has been a moto fan for decades, and is jumping on the EV bandwagon with a custom bike by Ty's Profab. [Shaq's IG]
Remember when West Coast Choppers built a custom bike for Shaquille O’Neal over 20 years ago? Well, the NBA star is at it again, but this time it’s an EV. Oklahoma-based Ty's Profab build a café-style e-Motorcycle for Shaq in just 14 days.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: April 7, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! Before we jump into this week’s EV news, we wanted to announce our new exhibit at the Petersen Museum spotlighting the electric renaissance. Opening April 9th, the 'Electric Revolutionaries' exhibit  showcases 12 pioneering designers/teams that are leading the way for the EV industry. Standouts in the exhibit include the ‘KillaJoule,” the swiftest sidecar streamliner developed by mechanical engineer Eva Håkansson, Hugo Eccles’ “XP Zero,” and the global debut of Curtiss Motors’ “The One.”

If you’re in the LA area, and want to join the reception on April 14th, here's where to buy tickets.  We'd love to see you there!

Now let’s get into this week’s stories, which include some awesome women making headway on EV production in Mexico, Lexus’ new electric car that features a steering yoke, and the obstacles preventing the U.S. from moving the needle on its ambitious goals regarding electric vehicles.

If you see a story you’d like us to cover, send it to stephanie@thevintagent.com. Our inbox is always open. Let’s roll.

Meet Zacua, the Mexican EV Developed by Women

Mexico has a small motor manufacturing industry, for both motorcycles and cars; the Zacua is the newest, with an all-woman workforce making EVs. [Zacua]
When it comes to electric vehicles, it seems like there’s always a man behind the machine. Mexico’s Zacua is about to change all that. The Zacua is a car created mostly by women. While this EV has been in development for the last five years, a 7.1-degree tremor that rocked the region in September, 2017 delayed plans. Luckily, the company has recently introduced two models to the market, including the Zacua MX2 coupe and the MX3 hatchback. Both cars can reach speeds of 85kph. The batteries are protected by an aluminum chassis that is designed to absorb energy in the event of an impact. The battery has a range of about 160km, but this number will vary depending on speed, incline, decline, and daily driving habits.

The Zacua M2 looks like a perfect urban runabout that has the potential of cleaning up Mexico City's smog issues. [Zacua]
Zacua aims to accelerate the use of environmentally friendly energies in Mexico by manufacturing small, non-polluting urban vehicles with great functionality and aesthetics. They plan to gradually open 150 charging stations in Mexico City.

How the War on Ukraine Will Impact the EV Industry

[Alain Pitton / NurPhoto/ Getty Images]
In Rivian’s latest SEC filing, the startup forecasted “significant expenses and continuing losses for the foreseeable future,” citing the effects of the conflict in Ukraine among the factors that will severely impact its success. “The cascading impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more recently the conflict in the Ukraine, have impacted our business and operations from facility construction to equipment installation to vehicle component supply,” Rivian stated. The war has prompted other automakers to halt production, including Audi, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Renault, and Porsche. Since Russia and China, their greatest ally, are leading suppliers of the raw materials needed to produce EV batteries, EV makers are faced with the additional hurdles of rising prices and declining availability of these resources.

UPS’s New Adorably Tiny Electric Delivery Vans

Brown gettin' down! The last-mile UPS EV delivery vehicle, the eQuad, that's technically a bicycle in disguise. [UPS]
UPS tested out their new electric delivery vans this week and they’re downright adorable. Technically considered quadricycles, the vans are powered by an electric bike motor and measure less than 10 feet long and 33 inches wide. Called the eQuad, the small vehicles can efficiently zip through long lines of traffic, making last-minute deliveries a breeze. The vehicle’s drivetrain is nearly identical to that of an electric cargo bike and features a traditional bicycle seat, handlebars, and an electrical assist system that comes alive when a rider begins pedaling. UPS is now trialing 100 of their tiny vans in EU markets and plans to expand testing into the U.S. soon.

Lexus’ First EV Will Be Piloted by a Steering Yoke

Amazing that Lexus doesn't already have an EV offering; this is the RZ450e, coming soon. [Lexus]
Luxury automaker Lexus will be revealing the RZ 450e, their first EV, on April 20th. To promote the release, the company recently dropped two teaser images, one of which features a steering yoke. We’d love to hear if Lexus’s steering yoke is a yea or nay for you.

America is Losing Speed in the Race for EVs

At the FIA Formula E race at Templehof airport in Berlin: - Lucas Di Grassi (BRA), Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler, Audi e-tron FE05, leads Sébastien Buemi (CHE), Nissan e.Dams, Nissan IMO1. [FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images]

The Washington Post published an article this week about America’s difficulty to keep up in the EV battery race. Despite efforts to boost the domestic availability of raw materials, China still monopolizes 60% of battery production, and controls 80% of some vital minerals like Cobalt. With rising material prices and market imbalances, the hurdles will only continue to get higher for US companies. Furthermore, the U.S. government currently has only 1% of the chargers it needs to support EV usage in the next decade. According to recent testimony from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. government owns only 1,100 of the 100,000 stations it needs to power a planned shift to electric government vehicles.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: March 31, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! They’ve always said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, right? Well, as far as EV news is concerned, the last week of March was anything but soft and meek. This week’s electrifying stories include the largest e-Bike in the world, a startup looking to swap out plastic parts for paper, and a new EV that boasts some incredible autonomous driving features. As always, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you see any news you think we should cover. Let’s roll.

Paper or Plastic?

CAKE is moving on to alternative construction materials for their EVs, in hopes of lightening their carbon and fossil-fuel footprint. [CAKE]

EV manufacturer CAKE recently announced a partnership with a Swedish startup called PaperShell that wants to replace plastic parts with paper. While this may seem like an absurd endeavor, PaperShell’s paper-packed technology seems to be possible. Founded in 2021, PaperShell is aiming to replace plastic components with an eco-friendlier alternative that “resembles an artificially engineered and exclusive wood.” In the most basic sense, the company would press their sustainable concoction into whatever shape you’re looking for, be it parts for an electric scooter or a spoon.

“Our components are made by press molding, or inflation bladder molding. They create 3D surfaces that are hard and load-bearing for indoor and outdoor products,” PaperShell said. The natural fiber composite solution is hydrophobic, UV, fire-, and weather-resistant. The company states that since the amount of bio carbon is close to 100%, every 1kg of fossil-based plastics replaced with the solution will keep 7.5kg of fossil-based CO2 from being released into the atmosphere at end of life.

The First Rolls-Royce EV Will Arrive Next Year

Not much detail, but it's inevitable: a Rolls-Royce EV. Not such a dramatic shift, really, as Rolls' have always been smooth and silent... [Rolls-Royce]

Luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce will release their first electric car, the Spectre, late next year. The company’s winter testing recently wrapped up, and another 1.24 million miles of testing is already scheduled. Most of the winter testing took place on the frozen surface of Lake Kakel in Sweden. The company’s goal for testing its new model in -40-degree conditions was to ensure the vehicle handled as well as any other Rolls. “By driving on low traction surfaces such as snow and ice and willfully destabilizing Spectre, the engineers can create dynamic circumstances at low speeds that would ordinarily occur at high speeds,” the company stated in a release. “This can be reviewed and guided in situ and in slow motion, in doing so parametrizing and finessing cold-weather vehicle performance in areas such as handling, controllability, stability, predictability, and the ‘waftability’ that defines the Rolls-Royce experience.”

Barq’s New e-Scooter is the First from the Middle East

The Barq Rena Max is an update of the Motocompo concept - super compact and convenient short-haul transport. [Barq]

Abu Dhabi-based startup, Barq, just dropped their Rena Max, the first EV from the Middle East. Barq explained that their e-Scooter was intentionally designed for use in the “last-mile” delivery market and aims to combat “inefficient costs and low productivity.” To do that, the scooter features state-of-the-art tech, including battery cooling regulation and an integrated software system that will regulate the temperatures in the scoot’s storage to boost the quality of deliveries. “The insulated top box includes a food safe lining, configurable shelving and integrated thermometer,” Barq said. Designed by CALLUM, the scooter will also feature an integrated eight-inch touch screen, adjustable riding modes, and an 150km range per charge. The bike will be able to hit top speeds of 97kph. Talk about a fast delivery!

The World’s Largest EV Made is Perfect for Giants

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear! The eDirtySixer on 36" rims is really really big! [DirtySixer]

If you were 7’1”, what type of EV would you choose to ride? Probably one with 36” tires. DirtySixer, founded by 6’6” David Folch, has been developing larger bikes for larger people since 2013. The company, loved by NBA legends including Lebron James and Shaquille O-Neal, recently introduced their first EV model, fittingly called the eDirtySixer. You’ve got to be leggy to ride this thing. The massive e-Bike features 36” tires, a Shimano E8000 mid-drive motor, and a 500wH battery. And did we tell you that this baby also lacks a chain? Rather, the motor is linked to the rear wheel through a Gates carbon fiber-reinforced belt drive. This makes the eDirtySixer quieter, cleaner, and more durable.

Meet the Lotus Eletre

EV SUV Eletre, the latest Lotus. Lotus has always been at the cutting edge with tech, as the first manufacturer to use glues instead of welding for their chassis, and if you recall, the first Teslas used a Lotus chassis. [Lotus]

Lotus recently unveiled their new electric “hyper” SUV dubbed the Eletre. It will be the first of a trio the company plans to release during the next four years. The Eletre, which translates to “coming to life,” can skyrocket from 0 to 60mph in just under three seconds and has 373 miles worth of range on a full charge. The SUV is “future proofed” with hardware that can be controlled via over-the-air software updates to enhance its driver assistance system. Lotus also plans to have four light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors “deploy” when needed. When not in use, the sensors will be tucked away at the top of the windscreen, rear glass, and front wheel arches. These sensors enable the vehicle to enter and exit parking spaces through a smartphone app.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Mar 26, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! So how about those soaring gas prices? Yah, we don’t want to talk about them either. What we’d rather chat about is this week’s hot EV topics. With tons of new electric releases from leading luxury brands, a new plant that will support US battery production, and more, the first week of spring really packs an electrified punch. As always, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you see anything you’d like us to cover. Let’s roll.

  e-Bike Sales Are Surging

Remember how we said we didn’t want to discuss gas prices? We lied. The dramatic spike in gas prices has caused an epic explosion of e-Bike sales. Many e-Bike manufacturers, including Pedego Electric and VanMoof, have experienced record high sales for the last several weeks. EV sharing companies are also seeing an increasing demand for their services.

Michigan is Getting a Graphite Processing Factory

Graphex Group, a volume producer of spherical graphite for lithium-ion battery anodes, just entered into an exclusive non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a joint venture with Emerald Energy Solutions to build and operate a graphite processing plant in Warren, Michigan. The 150,000 square-foot factory will bring about 125 new jobs to the region and help support America’s EV battery production. Currently, the majority of graphite is being produced in China. Bringing the process and refinement of graphite to home soil is expected to alleviate supply chain issues.

New EV Releases from Leading Luxury Brands

Audi, Maserati, and Porsche, oh my! This week, tons of luxury brands unveiled new electric cars. Including:

The Audi A6 e-Tron. [Audi]
Audi showcased its new A6 e-Tron concept at the Shanghai Auto Show. The car is a sneak peek of a new family of EVs built on a fresh EV platform co-developed by Porsche. Called the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), the platform will support midsized SUVs and sedans. The A6 concept features a 100kWh battery with a range of 435 miles. The car is promised to produce 469 ponies and 590 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Maserati GranTurismo concept - will they be the first luxury car brand to offer a 100% EV? [Maserati]
Maserati released new details about its electrified future this week during its earnings report. The company stated that they are on the path to being the first luxury brand to launch a 100% electric sports car. Dubbed the GranTurismo, the car will come to market next year and offer 1,200hp from three electric motors. The company aims to produce 100% electric versions of all their models by 2025.

Porsche's electric concept 718, which won't need so much air ducting...[Porsche]
Porsche is planning to bring an electric 718 to market in 2025, as well as an all-electric Macan.

Spooky pix in place of details: the BMW iX1 electric SUV. [BMW]
BMW recently dropped a teaser image of their iX1 electric SUV, which will debut later this year. The vehicle is built on the FAAR platform and will offer 272 miles worth of range.

 

Is Can-Am Returning to Two Wheels?

Can Am, how we missed you, but did see your trikes. The patent office is a great place for picking up vehicle activity... [Can Am]
Powersports giant, Can-Am, recently dropped new patents for an electric roadster and trailbike, as well as outlines for a retro model and cruiser. The patent shows a tubular frame housing the battery pack. Unlike the LiveWire platform, this one can be rotated to accommodate different configurations.

Note the abbreviated frame around the battery pack, and controllers up top, and a motor behind the batteries. [Can Am]

Washington Aims to Ban All Gas Cars

Washington – the state where we attempted to host Electric Revolution Live – just passed a bill to require all new light vehicles sold in the state to be electric. This will start with the 2030 model year. If passed, the bill would make exceptions for emergency vehicles and those weighing over 10,000 pounds.

Toyota Wants to Bring Charging Stations to the Masses

Toyota is partnering with Chargepoint to install EV charging stations in public places and residential homes. The at-home charging stations will come with a 23-foot cord and be able to charge a RAV4 Prime nine times faster than a standard outlet.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: March 17, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! We hope you weren’t that jostled by turning your clocks forward this past Sunday. Here at The Vintagent, we truly appreciate the extra hour of daylight. We’re also pretty amped up about this week’s EV news roundup. From an electrified vintage-inspired Ford Mustang to an EV that can support people moving to the moon, here are the EV stories that grabbed our attention this week. If you see a story you think we should cover, hit us up at stephanie@thevintagent.com. Let’s roll.

The OG EV Gets a Makeover

The FLEX lunar rover on test in Death Valley. [Astrolab]

Remember the Tardigrade lunar motorcycle? Well, here’s another EV aimed at the moon. Way back in 1969 when humans first landed on the moon, we relied on an electric lunar rover to navigate the uncharted terrain. This week, Cali-based startup Astrolab revealed its ‘flexible logistics and exploration’ (FLEX) lunar rover. Designed to support people inhabiting the moon and Mars, FLEX is intended to carry both passengers and cargo and open the door to next-gen planetary exploration. While previous rovers were developed to carry a specific payload, FLEX will be built around a modular payload interface that supports intermodal transportation. The vehicle features a removable deck that holds two standing passengers, a deck equipped to carry 3m³ of cargo, hazard detection sensors, and wheels developed for soft soil.

The company recently tested a full-scale prototype in the California desert near Death Valley. Former astronaut Chris Hadfield was in the driver’s seat. Despite tackling earthly terrain like a champ, Astrolab needs to get its EV moon-ready with the hopes of using it in NASA’s Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) project, which will make lunar rovers for future Artemis landings. In order to do this, FLEX needs to meet anticipated NASA requirements, including the ability to run for an eight-hour moonwalk, be able to operate for 10 years, and survive frigid lunar nights. We’d love to see thicker sidewalls so it can better absorb impacts from lunar rocks and exoplanet obstacles. And maybe adjustable solar arrays to keep it juiced.

The Classic Mustang Reimagined

The new EV Mustang conversion by Charging Cars, with 536hp. [Charging Cars]

What’s more American than apple pie? The Ford Mustang. However, British engineers at Charging Cars are reimagining American muscle with an electric, zero-emissions Ford Mustang. Inspired by the 1967 classic, the company will only have 499 of the EVs available for reservation. Developed in partnership with Arrival, the electric sportscar features a 64kWh battery that powers two motors and churns out 536 ponies and 1,061 lb.-ft. of torque. Better yet, this electric powerhouse will go from 0 to 100 in less than four seconds. Whoa.

Alpha Motor Drops Its ACE Electric Coupe Series

The Ace electric coupe range by SoCal company Alpha Motor: from standard to super sports. [Alpha Motor]
Alpha Motor, an EV manufacturer based in Irvine, California, recently dropped its new ACE electric coupe series. The new series features three distinct models, including the ACE, ACE performance edition, and the SUPER ACE. All models will be built on the company’s mechanically adjustable vehicle platform. For its new series, Alpha has partnered with AMP to outfit its vehicles with an ‘energy ecosystem.’ The system includes eCloud, charging stations, and a battery management system. The AMP ecosystem is connected to the cloud, allowing for AI-powered battery analytics. One of the most unique aspects of the AMP energy ecosystem is its super compact energy management unit, which dramatically reduces the cost of vehicle power electronics by reducing the component count and size by up to 70% of the industry average.

Honbike Releases a Driveshaft e-Bike

The Honbike eschews a chain or belt in favor of a driveshaft. [Honbike]
Japanese company Honbike recently released a futuristic folding e-Bike with a driveshaft. Ideal for urbanites, the driveshaft transmission allows for no maintenance for up to 25,000 miles. The motor packs 250W of power and tops out at 15.5mph. Best of all, the foldable design fits under just about any desk.  Bicycles with shaft drive have been around since the turn of the Century, with Pierce bicycles the best known; the same company as Pierce-Arrow cars and Pierce motorcycles, which also used shaft drive.

Big News from Super73

Super73 is going gangbusters, here with an Indian-branded version of their popular ebike. [Super 73]
Indian recently aligned with e-Bike manufacturer Super73 to release the eFTR Hooligan 1.2. The e-Bike, priced at $3,999, has moto-styled bars, inverted front forks, an LED headlight, and the distinct gold Indian Motorcycle chain. The eFTR promises top speeds of 20mph on throttle operation. The bike will reach 28mph with the pedals. This allows for non-motorcycle-license carriers to legally ride the bike. The 960Wh battery delivers 75 miles worth of range.

The new Super73 C1-X is the company's first motorcycle. It's small, with 15" wheels, so is not much bigger than their current ebike range, but will offer much more performance. [Super73]
More and bigger news from Super73 is the introduction of their first proper motorcycle, the C1-X.  With 15" wheels and a short wheelbase, the overall dimensions are similar to the standard Super73 ebike, but the C1-X has no pedals, and proper motorcycle suspension.  It will undoubtedly have real motorcycle power, as the swingarm and forks look substantial.  Framing a motorcycle with the same dimensions as their ebikes is a smart move, making a transition from pedelec to full eMoto less daunting, and the standard Super73 models the perfect gateway drug to motorcycling.  We approve!

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: March 9, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! Can you believe that spring is only 10 days away? We sure are ready for longer days and warmer weather. If you’re looking for more good news, you’re in luck! This week’s EV roundup includes exciting new releases from Volkswagen, Ferrari, and Yamaha. Better yet, wireless charging stations might be closer than we thought! As always, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you’ve seen any EV stories you’d like us to cover. Let’s roll.

Hong Kong's Felo Ready to Go

The Felo Fw-06 DX is a new style e-Scooter with aggressive styling and an in-wheel rear motor. [Felo]

Felo-EV is a new Hong Kong-based electric motorcycle brand, with some innovative 'crossover' offerings.  That means they're mixing scooter X dirtbike X Transformers for some pretty cool model styles.  Seems like their model list hasn't hit the West yet, but in Hong Kong, and certainly China, there's an enormous market waiting.

Volvo to Test Wireless EV Taxi Charging Stations

Will the new Volvo EVs using inductive charge stations?. [Volvo]
In a world that demands convenience and lightning-fast results, wireless EV charging stations are a concept that drivers dream of. Why make the extra effort to plug in your e-Bike or car when you could just park it over a battery juicer in your driveway? Thankfully, Volvo is helping this technology gain traction. The German automaker will be testing wireless charging stations for its small fleet of EV taxis over the next three years. Volvo will use wireless induction charging pads developed by Momentum Dynamics that are installed directly into the pavement. When a compatible EV parks over the pad, charging will start automatically. Volvo plans to have its taxis work 12 hours a day and cover around 60,000 miles annually. Their goal for the current tests is to understand the durability of the system for commercial vehicles.

 Ferrari is Entering the EV Realm

The new Ferrari: finally faster than a Tesla? [Ferrari]
Ferrari will soon be a part of the electric revolution with its 296 GTB Hybrid sports car. The vehicle will be the luxury automaker’s first V6-powered road car and also one of its first hybrids. The 296 is promised to crank out 818 ponies when you enhance the internal-combustion engine with an electric motor. While deliveries aren’t expected until the summer, you can still order yours now.

The VW Brings Back Its Iconic Bus, but with an Electric Twist

The VW bus reboot is all-electric and super cool. [VW]
 

Volkswagen dropped some exciting news this week with the revival of its iconic Bus. The reborn Bus, dubbed the ID.Buzz, will be built on the same platform as the company’s other electric vehicles. The ID.Buzz will produce 229 lb.-ft. of torque and 201hp. The 82kWh lithium-ion Battery pack promises 77kwH of use. If you want to enjoy a lazy drive down to the beach for some surfboarding, the ID.Buzz is certainly ideal, as it will reach top speeds of only 90mph.

Yamaha Drops New e-Bikes

Yamaha's comprehensive fleet of e-bikes: still no superbike though. [Yamaha]
Earlier this week, Yamaha announced that it will soon be bringing its three own-label e-Bikes to market. The bikes will cover all urban, gravel, and mountain segments and will be available for purchase by the end of the year. While Yamaha has been an innovator in the EV space since it first introduced its Power Assist System (PAS), which formed the foundation for the world’s first production e-Bike way back in the 90s, the company is breaking down new barriers with its new “Switch ON” campaign where it revealed an additional six new EVs. The new lineup includes e-Bikes and e-Scooters in the 50cc to 125cc equivalent class.

Aston Martin’s New EV Development Deal

The new Aston Martin X Britishvolt collab promises the Valhalla will be their first EV effort. [Aston Martin]
On Monday, Aston Martin announced that it had entered into a partnership with UK-firm, Britishvolt, to develop new battery and EV tech. This will help Aston make the pivot to EVs in the next several years, including the 2024 release of its first plug-in hybrid car, the Valhalla, and the 2025 release of its first EV.

Tesla Gets the Go-Ahead

Tesla received environmental approval from the Brandenburg, Germany government for its Giga Berlin plant. The plant, which will be Tesla’s first in Europe, is expected to make up to 500,000 EVs annually.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

The Current News: March 3, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! Can you believe it’s already March? Time flies like and e-Moto on full throttle…This week’s EV news roundup includes two weirdly wonderful tricycle concepts, an electric Meyers Manx, fresh funds, and how some awesome folks oversees are showing their support for Ukraine via EV charging stations. As always, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you see something we should cover. Let’s roll.

 

Showing Support for Ukraine

There's a war going on.  Sadly, there's always a war going on, somewhere, and for most of the West, wars in the Middle East and Africa are sadly normalized in the media, and paid little attention.  War is always a tragedy, and a failure of our humanity.  We support the cessation of all warlike activities by all parties in all countries.  This week, Russia's attack on Ukraine is dominating the news: this isn't the space to dive into the complex history behind this invasion.  We uncategorically support the Ukranian people in their hour of suffering and bravery.   Several EV companies are taking direct action to support the Ukraninan people: Tesla is offering free power from their Supercharging stations for all EVs around Ukraine. This could help at least some people flee dangerous locations. Other Ukraine advocates are showing their support in more creative ways: earlier this week, some Russian EV charging stations were hacked to show a message reading “Slava Ukraini!” on their screens. This reportedly translates to “Glory to Ukraine!” Other stations are also displaying messages that support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.  Small gestures that do not replace or repair lives, but who knows how or who they might help?

 

Wacky, Wonderful EV Tricycles

The Arcimoto has a laid-back stance and looks seriously cool with its disc wheels [Arcimoto]
Two fascinating new EVs that caught our attention this week are both tricycles.

Oregon-based startup Arcimoto dropped an awesome new full-suspension, three-wheeled EV this week dubbed the Mean Lean Machine (MLM). Harnessing tilting tech to corner like a two-wheeler, the MLM’s other specs, including range, features, and pricing, will be unveiled later this year.

Taito is an upgrade on the standup scooter with a wooden step and cool tech. [Taito]
Developed to be the more “grown-up” alternative to scooters and hoverboards, TAITO is a sleek three-wheeled EV that can conquer roads, sidewalks, gravel, and even cobblestone. Featuring an IP55 water-resistant construction, an 18.6-mile range, an innovative shock-absorbing bamboo platform, and supreme stability, this scooter is perfect for urban commuters who want to glide around town in style.

 

Tiny, But Mighty

Bolstering the new vehicle category of ultralight but fast off/road quasi-legal e-Bikes. [Revx]
The REVX is a sprightly, little e-Motorcycle that caters to both novice and performance riders. With a barely-there body weighing just 114 pounds, the REVX can reach max speeds of 60 to 90km/h and is powered by a lithium-ion 54v battery that offers 100km of range.

 

First New Meyers Manx Vehicle Under New Ownership Will Be Electric

The original Meyers Manx design, upgragded with some tasty/racy mag wheels, from the 1968 film 'The Thomas Crown Affair', with Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen [Michael Ochs archive]
Many of you may know the Meyers Manx by its more generic name, as the original 'dune buggy'. The marque is now owned by Philip Sarophim, who Vintagent fans will know as the contributor of Big Oly to ADV:Overland and the Lancia Stratos HF Zero to Silver Shotgun, both exhibits curated by Paul d'Orléans at the Petersen Museum.  Meyers Manx is planning a partnership with battery-coating company, Coreshell, to develop a 240hp, big-range EV,  going above and beyond to ensure the new vehicle mimics the look and performance original Meyers Manx. They started the design process by digitizing the original buggy and uploading it onto a computer to closely scrutinize it from every angle, including the width and wheelbase. Then they took a long look at the electrical components to see where they would all seamlessly fit. We have seen some sneak peek concepts that we sadly can't share, but suffice to say, we can’t wait to see what emerges.

 

Polestar Aims to Develop Climate-Neutral Cars

Can an automobile be truly carbon-neutral? Let's see what Polestar comes up with. [Polestar]
Polestar announced earlier this week that it would be working with suppliers to develop new manufacturing processes that would result in climate-neutral vehicles. The project, called Polestar 0 Project, could completely eliminate emissions from the supply chain.  "Norwegian aluminum and renewable energy company Hydro intends to collaborate with Polestar’s experts on zero-carbon aluminum, while automotive systems supplier ZF intends to explore with Polestar how their innovation in electric powertrain and overall systems competence could eliminate carbon emissions and save resources," the company stated.

 

Fresh Funds

The all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning is expected to be their best-seller EV. [Ford]
Automaker Ford just boosted its EV spending to $50 billion.  In shades of the Harley-Davidson/LiveWire split, Ford will establish a separate EV brand as a unique entity distinct from its legacy combustion engine company. Ford plans to develop more than two million EVs by 2026.

Rideshare standup scooter company Beam gets a cash injection: this is their Saturn scoot. [Beam]
Singapore-based startup Beam secured $93 million in funding to further develop its fifth-gen e-Scooters and expand into new markets across Asia.

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

 


The Current News: Feb 24, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! Did you know that spring is less than a month away? For many of us, longer daylight hours and milder temperatures mean more time at the handlebars. In other awesome news, the last week of February was stuffed with plenty of electrifying stories. From e-Bikes that cater to cycling enthusiasts to an EV making a big splash in the boating industry, here are the EV news stories that matter most to you.  As always, if you see something that deserves our attention, drop us a line at   stephanie@thevintagent.com.  Let’s roll.

Three e-Bike Models Perfect for Cycling Enthusiasts

The Rebeld street racer with a little electric kick. [Rebelde]
If you’re an avid cycler who’s on the hunt for an e-Bike that can truly go the distance, look no further than the three e-Bike models designed by Pablo Baranoff Dorn and Rebeld. The series, including the ‘FIXIE,’ ‘MTB,’ and ‘URBAN’ models, were developed with cycling enthusiasts in mind, including urban commuters and off-road adventurers. All of the models are built on the Shimano Steps e8000 frame but feature their own distinct design and amenities.

 

Electric Hydrofoil Boat’s Maiden Voyage Makes Waves for the Future of Boating

A badass electric hydrofoil pleasure boat. [Candela]

Almost a year and a half after development, Swedish watercraft manufacturer, Candela, dropped a video of the maiden voyage of its C-8 electric hydrofoil boat. Silently and smoothly moving above the water’s surface on computer-guided underwater wings, the vessel successfully completed its first flight outside the company’s headquarters in Lidingö, Stockholm.  The C8 uses 80% less energy than traditional boats. Merging aircraft technology with cutting-edge software, the C8 can lift itself above the water’s surface after reaching speeds of 16 knots, or 18.4mph. And the electric direct-drive means no noise, no oil changes, and no maintenance.

Z-Triton Drops an Electric Camper, Boat, and Trike Fusion

Just when we thought EV concepts couldn’t get any wilder, Latvian design and prototyping company, Zeltini, released a market-ready amphibious trike-camper vehicle that truly blew our minds. The EV has room to sleep and ride two and features integrated solar roof panels with a lithium-ion battery pack, an electric boat motor with cabin steering, two days worth of range, and even a spot for your favorite houseplant.  It's an extraordinary machine - have a look at the video!

 

The Axiis Liion Electric Supermoto Inches Closer to Production

Almost ready for the road...the Axiis. [Axiis]
Portuguese Axiis Engineering Art, known in the motocross world for its superior CNC machined products, unveiled a mind-boggling concept electric superbike dubbed the Liion that promised to crank out 134 ponies and 177 lb.-ft. of instantaneous torque. However, after an exciting initial debut, the Liion seemingly slipped off the radar. Until now. While the Axiis Liion isn’t available just yet, the company has made its concept a reality. While the real-world details have yet to be revealed, we’re excited to see this design come to life.

 

A Steampunk-Inspired Wooden e-Scooter

A woodie hybrid e-scooter [Kalpa Taru]
What’s more eco-friendly than an EV? An EV made from wood. The custom one-off-built e-Scooter from Kalpa Taru, a Bali-based bespoke furniture design studio, is called the NIU NQi GT/S and is made entirely from brass and wood. Every component of this scooter is made entirely by hand from blocks of wood that were thoughtfully finished, assembled, and topped off with brass accents.

 

Electric Motorcycle with Top Speeds of 250mph

A 250mph street legal Lightning? Don't count them out, they've proven themselves over and over again. [Lightning]
Here’s one for all of you speed demons out there. Lightning Motorcycles recently joined forces with CBMM to create the fastest production motorcycle on earth. The targeted speed is 250mph. Lightning has been the world's fastest production motorcycle before, with their LS-218 of 2008, which definitively proved its top speed claim at Bonneville...quite unlike the usual top speed claims by manufacturers.  And, they kicked butt at the Pikes Peak hillclimb with an LS-2018 in 2013.  So, if Lightning says it will make a 250mph street legal motorcycle, I'd say that's very likely.  The question is, will you actually be able to buy one?  [And if you want a look at the LS-218, one was included in our Electric Revolution exhibit of 2019]

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

The Current News: Feb 16, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! We hope our British readers had the opportunity to check out the MCN London Motorcycle Show this past week. From the looks of it on Instagram, they showcased some pretty stellar EVs, including one we’re going to chat about later on. This week’s EV news roundup includes plenty of exciting stuff, including a freakin’ EV Hovercraft (!!!), a device that can transform cycles into electric bikes, and even an electric DeLorean (!!!!). As always, keep your ears to the ground and drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you hear anything interesting. Let’s roll.

The TS is On the Verge of Greatness

The Verge TS is slated to begin production very soon, and prototypes have been spotted in the wild. [Verge]
One e-Motorcycle that has been captivating us for a while now is the Verge TS. The EV has come a long way since its days of inception in Finnish designer Teemu Saukkio’s garage. In fact, the Verge TS is no longer just a prototype and is being produced for the EU market within a few short weeks, with a long-term goal of global domination. The TS, featuring 80kW of power, 1,000Nm of torque, and 200km worth of range, is bound to be a success. We’re excited to see what the future has in store for Verge.

 

BMW’s Funky, Fast e-Motorbike Takes Centerstage at the MCN

What ho! BMW showed an eccentric and funky minicycle at MCN. [BMW]
While the MCN was packed with killer bikes, one EV that stole the show was BMW’s zany little Motorrad CE 02. Designed for teens and young adults, the CE 02 concept was originally unveiled last fall. But EV fans got to see it live and in the flesh this past week at MCN. Powered by a 11kW motor, this lightweight urban bike boasts top speeds of 56mph. But would you expect anything less from BMW?

 

VonMercier Arosa is Basically a Luxury Hovercraft

 

With a bright red paint job and black fan port, one might think it's an Italian supercar...but those aren't wheels, and it doesn't touch the ground. [Arosa]
Something that really blew our minds this week was a sport-luxury EV Hovercraft from VonMercier. But this isn’t your dad’s big, bulky, and super ugly amphibious vehicle. Dubbed the Arosa, this stunning EV seamlessly blends innovative luxury with cutting-edge performance technology to create a machine like no other.

F1 references abound, abetted by the need to funnel lots of air through the chassis. [Arosa]
Able to conquer land, shore, and sea, the Arosa features air-cushion hovering technology, an advanced directional control system, and sports seating for two. And it’s all wrapped up in a low-body profile that looks like something straight out of a Ferrari showroom.

 

An Electric DeLorean??

As so few people ever drove (or heard) a Delorean, an EV version makes perfect sense. It was always about the shape, right? [DeLorean]
Okay, all you cyberpunk enthusiasts out there, listen up. We’ve got news for you. The DeLorean Motor Company recently dropped a short teaser that previews an EV with gullwing doors that’s set to a dramatic trailer soundtrack with horns that sound like they’re taken straight from the Book of Revelations. Promised to arrive later this year, the company alludes to its first EV being called DeLorean EVolved. While it’s clear the company is intending to drop an EV sports car with gullwing doors, that’s as much as we know. Dun-dun-DUN.

 

New Device Turns Water in to Wine – Or Cycles into EVs

Gursaurabh Singh has created an easy-attach electric motor/battery unit for the typical Indian bicycle. It's a 'motosacoche' updated and upgraded. Kudos! [DVECK]
India has gone above and beyond when it comes to creating new EV technology. And one citizen just did it again with a revolutionary device that can convert any old bicycle into a battery-powered, motorized vehicle. Gursaurabh Singh is the founder and creator of Dhruv Vidyut Electric Conversion Kit (DVECK), a cutting-edge technology that allows normal pedal bikes to reach top speeds of 25kmph and a payload capacity of 170kg.  It's waterproof and fireproof!

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

Hugo Eccles and the XP Zero

After the tremendous success of our 2018 'Electric Revolution' exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum (with 6.3 Billion media impressions), The Vintagent team and the Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation are following up with an exhibit featuring a dozen individuals and teams making an impact in the EV scene.  'Electric Revolutionaries' opens April 9th, and includes the work of our subject today: Hugo Eccles.  Hugo's futuristic XP Zero prototype has won design awards and garnered attention around the world, and will be featured in Electric Revolutionaries, along with more of Hugo's work.   Our EV Editor Stephanie Weaver interviewed Hugo about his process designing the XP Zero.

It’s no surprise that the electric revolution is taking the world by storm. And one of the fastest-growing markets in the EV space is electric motorcycles. In fact, the global e-Motorcycle market is projected to experience an explosion over the next decade, with a forecasted CAGR growth rate of 32.5%. And while we’re beyond debating about whether or not the future of transportation is electric (it is), there’s still plenty of discussions to be had for some folks when comparing gas-powered bikes to electric ones. But that’s like comparing apples and oranges.

The XP Zero is a superb piece of design, and points a way forward for electric motorcycles. By simultaneously retaining traditional styling cues, then literally puncturing them with voids, the XP Zero highlights exactly what's different about EV design. [Aaron Brimhall]
Hugo Eccles, co-founder and design director of Untitled Motorcycles (UMC), began his EV journey almost a decade ago.  A professionally-trained industrial designer who has worked with a robust roster of heavyweight marquee brands, including Nike and Ford, Eccles established the American arm of UMC in 2014. “At that time, Mission Motors was based in San Francisco and I reached out to them and parleyed a test ride on their Mission R, which just blew my mind. I think that was the turning point for me,” Eccles said. “Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. I couldn’t un-experience it.  The sensation was amazing, it was like catching a glimpse of the future.” Eccles, who earned his Masters at the Royal College of Art in London, combined his engineering intuition and a fresh perspective to create XP Zero, a visionary motorcycle that celebrates all things electric.  “The trick with industrial design is that you’re simultaneously being worldly and naïve. While you need to know how things are manufactured, you’re also trying to look at the world with the wide-eyed innocence of a child and think, ‘why couldn’t it be like that?’” he says.

Hugo Eccles of Untitled Motorcycles America (UMC) at work on the XP Zero prototype. [Simone Mancini]
When Eccles first received the project from Zero, he created a number of self-guided design principles to build a vehicle that was entirely distinct from gas-powered machines. “I wanted to celebrate electric. I didn’t want to design a motorcycle that was covered in fairings and was indistinguishable from a gas bike. I don’t understand the point of electric motorcycles mimicking combustion. It’s a lost opportunity and misleads riders into thinking that electric bikes are just like gas, except with a different motor. The experience is so fundamentally different,” Eccles explains. The divergence of gas and electric bikes has left all riders at a crossroads. But it’s one we’ve seen before. “At the beginning of the project, I started researching electric vehicles and discovered that the first cars were electric. At the turn of the last century, there were twice as many electric cars on the road as there were gasoline vehicles. Around 1914, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were in serious negotiations about starting an electric car company. It struck me that we were so close to living in an alternative reality where had they started such a company, and where we would all be driving EVs,” Eccles says.

With a Zero powertrain and components, the XP Zero is a fully functional eBike, intended to be built in series. But excellent design rarely comes cheap. [Aaron Brimhall]
This concept of an alternative reality would unlock the inspiration for the XP Zero. “Rather than designing a ‘futuristic motorcycle’, which is challenging if you’re using current-day technology, I started imagining what a 2020 motorcycle from this parallel reality would look like,” Eccles explains. “How would an electric motorcycle look today if they had continued developing EVs for the past 130 years?” The result is a bare-bones café racer EV that does away with everything except the absolute essentials. With the XP Zero, you get no carburetors, no fuel tank, no exhaust. The minimalist design leaves the XP’s electric powertrain as the captivating centerpiece. Eccles included only enough bodywork to enable a rider to comfortably and confidently control the bike. “Everything that distracts from the riding experience has been removed,” Eccles explained. “Riding the XP is very pure. There’s no gearbox so whatever situation you find yourself in, you’re always in the right gear. You can dive into a hairpin corner and not worry about shifting gears or unsticking the rear, you just focus on braking and smoothness. You’re barely aware of the machine that’s carrying you, just the pure sensation of speed. It’s like flying a jet.”

The XP Zero has features you only see at certain angles, or at night, as with the elongated taillights under the seat. [Aaron Brimhall]
It's time to stop comparing electric motorcycles with gas-powered ones. While rotary phones and smartphones, at their most basic levels, have the same core functions, they are two wildly different species with hugely different implications.  The XP isn't trying to pretend to be something it’s not. Nor should we.

The structure of the XP Zero is clear: a short trellis tube frame connecting headstock to swingarm pivot, and a long battery cover that extends to form the triangulated seat and tail section. The rest is lightweight body panels. [Hugo Eccles]
The XP is available to order from Untitled Motorcycles. Contact them at hello@untitledmotorcycles.com

The build details are simple, clean and finely wrought, as you would expect of such a design. No shabby fabby here! [Ludovic Robert]
A good light exposes the rhythm of the XP Zero's smaller details: the cooling fins on the wheel covers, the ribbing over the battery panels, the drilled disc brakes. [Aaron Brimhall]
 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

The Current News: Feb 9 2022

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you. 

Hello dear readers and riders! Are y’all ready for Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re planning to spend time with your honey, your Harley, or your hound, we hope you have an awesome day! This week’s EV news roundup is a doozy. From Jaguar rolling out its own EV platform and an electrified Batmobile to an e-Motorcycle from Triumph and more, here are the EV stories that we think matter most to you. As always, drop us your thoughts, tips, or V-Day love letters at stephanie@thevintagent.com.  Let’s roll.

EVs Are Hitting the Batcave

Coolest EV ever? Maybe so: it certainly is dramatic and full of character, just like its putative owner. [Nguyen Dac Chung]
Earlier this week, Gen-Z architect, Nguyen Dac Chung, revealed his electric Batmobile concept car. Talk about superhero strengths! The fully operational, tactical vehicle can reach speeds of up to 65mph, is assembled from ABS, carbon fiber, and steel, and is powered by a lithium-ion battery. Nicknamed the Tumbler for its tank-like appearance, this ultimate cosplay car also boasts hydraulic doors and four tactical cameras. The vehicle is currently on display at VAN DARYL, an automotive gallery in Vietnam founded by Daryl Villanueva of Bandit9 (we included his L-Concept in our Custom Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum in 2017). “As a kid, I was a fan of superheroes, especially Batman. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to build a Batmobile. All of them. From Adam West’s to Christian Bale’s,” Chung explained. We think Batman would be pleased.

Triumph Goes Electric

Is it live or is it a really good vaporware sketch? Apparently, this is a real Triumph TE-1 prototype, and it sure is moody.  Of all the major motorcycle manufacturers, Triumph may be the most likely to succeed, as that's their track record under the ownership of John Bloor: make affordable, attractive high-performance motorcycles that are stone reliable, and they will come. [Triumph]
Triumph just announced that it’s getting closer to entering the EV space with Phase 3 development of its Triumph TE-1 e-motorbike. While the British bike manufacturer initially decided to test the waters three years ago, its concept is now taking full form. Triumph handled most of the development in house, including the final chassis design. WAE oversaw most of the electronic components, including the prototype battery pack that will harness the power of “dedicated cell packaging for optimum center of gravity.” Integral Powertrain handled the prototype powertrain, which includes its electric motor with silicon carbide switching tech. The bike is estimated to pump out 174 ponies at peak power. Phase 4 of development is slated to take about six months.

Origami EVs

The Stilride has a pressed-metal monocoque body, the same as a Vespa, but oh so different. Do I detect just a -touch- of the El Solitario Impostor in those footboards? [Stilride]
Sweden-based startup, STILRIDE, is revolutionizing the EV industry with its novel approach to manufacturing. Using an innovative technique called industrial origami, STILRIDE uses a potent mixture of design and robotics to fold single sheets of recyclable steel into rugged rides. The company’s first scooters are slated to hit the market later this year.

NAON Zeroes in On Production of Its Zero-One

The Naon Zero-One has a 100km/h option with twin battery packs, which puts it in Cake territory as a fast lightweight. [Naon]
German startup, NAON, just released its first e-Scooter prototype. Called the “Zero-One,” this premium scoot features an appealing geometric design that explores the concept of low-impact personal mobility. Outfitted with a 2.4kWh battery, the Zero-One can travel 70km on a single charge. If the rider pops the second battery in, they can enjoy a range of about 140km. NAON is offering its new scooter in two different modes, including the L1e, which delivers top speeds of 45 km/h, and the L3e, which tops out at 100 km/h. This makes the L3e one of the quickest e-Scooters in the market. "A high-quality product should offer more than just outstanding look and feel. It is also our responsibility to consider the impact we have on our environment,” NAON stated.

Cake Partners with Polestar

No more jokes about Volvo drivers and motorcycles, they're teaming up with a new all-Swedish initiative.  Now your can order your Makka with your new car, for 'last mile' commuting. [CAKE]
Swedish startup, Cake, has collaborated with Polestar, to create the Cake Makka. Developed as a cargo scooter, the Cake Makka features a tubular structure, vintage aesthetics, and tons of versatility. The e-Scooter’s removable 31Ah 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in just three hours and offers 50km of range. The Makka is available in three different trims, including the Makka Flex, Makka Range, and Polestar Edition, which stands out because of its distinct white color.

 Jaguar Announces Its Own EV Platform

Sadly, Jaguar has dropped plans to offer an electric conversion kit for their most beautiful model ever, the E-Type. [Jaguar]
Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Thierry Bolloré, announced earlier this week that the luxury automaker has plans to build its own EV platform. Called Panthera, the EV platform will support several electric Jaguar models, and is their new strategy for a totally bespoke Jaguar EV platform, rather than a bought-in platform as they had previously considered.  In effect, Jaguar scrapped its previous EV plans in a pivot towards the luxury end of the market, and needed their own distinctive architecture to make a convincing case for their new EV lineup slated for 2025, when they will cease development (but not sales) of ICE automobiles.

Fresh Funds

The Cowboy founders expect to seriously ramp up production with new funding for their modestly-priced ebikes. [Cowboy]
  • e-Bike startup, Cowboy, raised $80 million in an effort to expand into the US and beyond. The Belgian company hopes to reach more than 100,000 riders by next year. Cowboy currently has two basic models and a ste-thru, and the 42lb bikes have a 70km (42 mile) range.
Dott is an app-based standup scooter share system currently only found in European cities. [Dott]
  • Over in Europe, Dott added $70 million to its Series B, bringing its total up to $85 million.

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

The Current News: February 3, 2022

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you. 

Hello dear readers and riders! We’ve officially entered the second month of 2022! Is it just us, or does January always seem to drag on and on and on and… Our first EV roundup for February is pretty wild. There’s an awesome new store that our Brit readers need to check out, a rad racer that just came out of extinction, news from H-D and Tesla, and even an electric school bus! As always, hit me up at stephanie@thevintagent.com with questions, insights, or pictures of your dog.

Let’s roll.

Maeving Opens Brick-and-Mortar Store in London

Taking a leaf from The Bike Shed's concept of transforming a railway arch, Maeving has opened a chic new shop in London. [Maeving]

Here’s some exciting news for all of our UK readers. Maeving just opened a swanky new shop in the London Bridge Station on Western Arcade between the Underground and main station concourse. Swing by, chat with the team, and check out their stunning collection of e-Motorbikes.

Mugen E Rex Will Soon Hit the Track

The Mugen E-Rex - no dinosaur. [M-TEC]

Everyone loves dinosaurs. So, when you name an electric dirt bike after the iconic T-Rex, people are bound to get excited. Well, now that excitement is only going to ramp up when the Mugen E Rex is slated to go racing later this year. Much like its namesake, this dino-themed bike almost went extinct last year. But, according to the folks at FIM, the E Rex is doing just fine. In fact, Mugen (now going under the moniker M-TEC) officially signed on as the official factory manufacturer for the E Explorer World Cup.

Harley-Davidson’s Hefty EV Plans

The Livewire X Kymco mashup gives Livewire access to a hyperefficient production facility, rapid prototyping and development, and ultimately the possibility of lower prices for Livewire. [Kymco]

With plans already in place to make LiveWire, its EV brand, its own publicly-traded spinoff company later this year, Harley-Davidson is definitely embracing the electric revolution. Recently, H-D announced a merger with Taiwan-based manufacturer KYMCO. The partnership will enable H-D to expand its lineup of electric bikes. In fact, it’s been reported that we may see three new product levels from LiveWire in the near future, including the S2, S3, and S4. All of the bikes will feature their patented Arrow powertrain.  An affordable Livewire?  Something we'd like to see Harley-Davidson accomplish: they're still the only major motorcycle manufacturer in the world to offer full-size electric motorcycles, after all.

Electric Beach Cruiser Hits the Marker

The Sol Eclipse e-cruiser looks simple enough to appeal to the Venice Beach crowd. [Sol Eclipse]

Want to cruise around in style? Then check out the new Sol Eclipse e-cruiser bike from Blix. Featuring the classic styling of a traditional beach cruiser, this breezy bike boasts a powerful 750w rear-hub motor, LED lights, and cushy 2.4-inch tires. You can ride for about 45 miles before the bike needs to be charged.

We Won’t See Musk’s Cybertruck Anytime Soon

Sometimes vaporware is just...vapor. No Cybertrucks this year. [Tesla]

Earlier this week, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, stated that the weirdly wonderful Tesla Cybertruck will officially be delayed until 2023 at the earliest. "So, we will not be introducing new vehicle models this year, it would not make any sense, because we will still be parts-constrained," Musk said during an investor conference call. "We will however do a lot of engineering, tooling, what not to create those vehicles, as the Cybertruck, Semi, Roadster, Optimus, and be ready to bring those to production hopefully next year, that is the most likely."

Hydrogen Tanks Take EVs Off-Roading

You didn't know you wanted it until you saw it: a hybrid hydrogen EV for Baja. And man, does it look mean. [SCG]

Let’s be honest – short-range EVs aren’t cut out for off-road riding. However, hydrogen is about to open the doors to EV endurance racing. Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has just updated its off-roading Boot with a hydrogen tank. Aptly dubbed the Hydrogen Boot, the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle might be able to go the distance.

Send Your Kids to School the EV Way

A quiet, modern school bus? Sounds good to us: public transport has been electric for 130 years! [BYD]

Just this week, BYD revealed its electric school bus with V2G tech. Available in three different lengths ranging from 22.9 to 26.7 feet, the Type A bus definitely has a Type A personality, with superior attention to details. Designed to transport about 30 students and equipped with handicap accessibility, the bus offers a 140-mile range, which is more than enough to cover many daily routes.

Fresh Funds

  • Boeing sunk $450 million into startup Wisk. The company is attempting to develop and commercialize self-flying, electric air taxis.
  • Ola Electric raised $200 million in its new round of financing. The company is now valued at $5 billion.

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

The Current News: January 26, 2022

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you. 

Hello dear readers and riders! Did you know that e-Bike sales have now outpaced both electric and plug-in hybrid cars combined in the United States? That’s right! While we all know electric bike sales skyrocketed during the pandemic, new numbers recently released this week revealed that the US experienced a 70% increase in e-Bike imports in 2021, with nearly 790,000 electric bike imports last year. This immense figure is in startling contrast to the 652,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars purchased by Americans in 2021. That’s huge! This week is packed with other exciting stories, including rad releases, fresh funds, and more. So, without further adieu, let’s roll.

 

An e-Scooter Inspired by Design

The Bel&Bel Z-scooter lifts design cues from the classic Piaggio Vespa, but is a self-balancing upright. [Bel&Bel]
If you’ve been with us long enough, you know that over here at The Vintagent we’ve got a taste for unique design. That’s why we’re obsessed with the self-balancing Z-Scooter. Inspired by the iconic design of Corradino D’Ascanio, the Z-Scooter is an innovative mashup of a Vespa and a Segway. What folks are actually purchasing is a conversion kit that transforms Bel & Bel’s NineBot base model into a sleek scooter design. You can buy an entire package or just the add-on. Featuring the rich curves, single headlight, and aluminum body of the classic Italian brand, the Z-Scooter is outfitted with a clever kickstand and can be operated with the simple push of a large red button. From there, you just hop on board and cruise around town in supreme fashion.

 

Ola Shares First Peek of Its Electric Car

Indian company Ola is branching out from super-efficient scooters for a full car design that looks simultaneously futuristic and inexpensive. [Ola]
Ola Electric, the Indian electric two-wheeler manufacturer, is acclaimed for its cost-efficient and high-performance e-Scooters. However, earlier this week, the company released the first images of its full-size electric car. After teasing about a possible four-wheeler a few months back, the startup’s CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, took to Twitter to pique our curiosity even further with a rendering of an electric hatchback. The concept features a glass windshield that continues across the roof and top half of the vehicle. The car has four doors but no handles are visible. LED lights accent the front fascia. While Ola’s e-Car is now just a rendering, we’re excited to see it possibly come to life in the near future.

 

BMW’s Fantastically Weird CE 04

The CE 04 is a design that's been shown in various iterations by BMW over the years (the similar Concept Link was revealed in 2016), but it appears they're finally going to build it. [BMW]
German luxury vehicle manufacturer, BMW, recently released its new boldly-designed e-Scooter, the CE 04. Aimed to go toe-to-toe with 400cc bikes, the CE 04 is equipped with a chassis-mounted motor derived from ones used in BMW’s passenger cars.  The e-Bike’s handlebar controls, switch gear, and TFT display are all quite similar to other BMW motorcycles, giving seasoned BMW riders a familiar feel behind the bars. At 65.9 inches, the CE 04 is definitely a long bike and is bound to take corners, speed bumps, and potholes like a champ.

 

Luxury Brands Race to Get in on the e-Bike Craze

The most spectacular launch of the recent fashion/ebike collabs has been the Burberry/DAB Motors mashup. Nice backdrop! [Burberry]
With e-Bike sales outpacing that of electric cars, it’s no wonder luxury brands are chomping at the bit to enjoy their piece of the pie. Electric bikes are swiftly becoming the next coveted fashion item, with upscale fashion companies partnering with e-bike companies. Examples in the past few months include Saint Laurent x Super73Jacquemus x VanMoof, Burberry x DAB Motors,  and Feng Chen Wang x Piaggio. all hoping to create extra cache in both directions.  Which is cooler, the big fashion brand or the e-bike? Well, these relatively tiny companies aren't paying for a luxury brand affiliation - the cash definitely flowed in the other direction, so there's your answer.

 

Fresh Funds

 

There Gogoros my Hero...the tie up between the largest Indian motorcycle manufacturer and the Taiwanese battery-swap company means there will soon be battery stations across India... [Tech2]
  • Taiwanese e-Scooter company Gogoro has partnered with the Indian supergiant moto manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, and another investor, to bring its total funding efforts to $285 million.  We covered the story of Hero MotoCorp back in 2017 on The Vintagent; it's an eye-opening read, as Hero dwarfs every European and American motorcycle manufacturer, combined.

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

The Current News: Jan 20, 2022

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hello dear readers and riders! Now that we’re almost three weeks deep into 2022, have you stuck to your New Year’s resolutions or let them fall to the wayside? You can be honest. We won’t judge. Electric vehicle manufacturers are certainly sticking to their promises of delivering hot new releases all year long. This week’s EV news roundup includes some fantastic unveilings, fresh funds, and more. As always, if you have questions, concerns, or something awesome you’d like to share, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com. Let’s roll.

 

Sodium Cycles Releases a Completely Customizable e-Motorcycle

Go cute or go home! Sodium Cycles changes up its offering with the adorable Xubaka. [Sodium Cycles]
French startup, Sodium Cycles, debuted its Xubaka, a zippy 50cc-equivalent e-Motorcycle, a few weeks ago at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. Small but mighty, this little e-Motorbike has quickly become the darling of the EV world due to its unique customization characteristics. Able to reach top speeds of 45 km/h from the 4kW electric motor, the Xubaka promises to deliver between 60 to 80km of autonomy when fully charged. The EV is the first French e-Motorcycle to invent its own codes with its original mode of propulsion technology. Thanks to the popularity of its initial release, Sodium Cycles is working on a 125cc-equivalent EV that’s slated to drop next year. The bigger model will offer top speeds of 130 km/h and a range of 100 to 200km.

 

Savic Motorcycles Launches New Website and Apparel Line

After a hiatus, the Savic is expected to be available soon, with fully customizable features. [Savic]
Aussie EV startup, Savic Motorcycles, is no stranger to The Vintagent. In fact, we first covered them about three years ago. After hitting a brick wall during the global pandemic, Savic secured production funding last October and dropped its new website earlier this week. The new site allows customers to assemble Savic’s C-Series model with cosmetic add-ons, different paint schemes, and performance upgrades. There’s even an augmented reality feature that enables a user to see what their creation looks like right in their own driveway or garage.

 

Komaki Will Drop Its Electric Cruiser

India's first electric cruiser, the Komaki promises modest range and performance, which is perfectly acceptable for Indian riding conditions. [Komaki]
New Delhi-based EV manufacturer, Komaki, recently announced that it would launch its first electric cruiser motorcycle in India. Dubbed the Komaki Ranger, the e-Motorcycle will feature a 4kW battery pack that juices its 5,000-watt motor. The bike is promised to deliver over 200km of range on a single charge.

 

Tarforms Begins Delivery on Its e-Motorcycles

The Tarform has been long in coming, celebrated in its ambitious concept, and eagerly anticipated. [Tarform]

Brooklyn-based startup, Tarform, will begin delivering its e-Motorcycles this week. The company began the initial sketches for its line of unique electric motorcycles nearly five years ago but suffered from pandemic-related production setbacks. The hefty $42,000 price tag isn’t for the faint of heart. Neither is the bespoke design. However, the bike does deliver thrilling top speeds of 120mph thanks to its 41kW motor. Tarform’s machine also boasts its own unique sound profile that fuses the native electric motor with acoustic amplifications, giving the e-Motorbike an unmistakable presence.  We included the Tarform in our 2018 exhibition at the Petersen Museum, 'Electric Revolution', and it's great to see them available now.

 

Projections on E-Bike Sales Through 2028

A graphic by Inkwood summing up the projections for the e-Bike market 2021-2028. [Inkwood Research]
  • The global e-Bike market share is positioned to hit $69.24 Billion/year in 2028, according to a 235-page research study published this week.   In 2020, the global market for all things e-Bike was $41.35 Billion: that includes Pedelecs, Speed Pedelecs, and Throttle on Demand (ie, motorcycles), plus associated manufacturing of drive mechanisms (hub motor, mid-drive and others), and batteries of all types used in their propulsion (lead-acid, Li ion, and others).  By contrast, the global market for internal-combustion two-wheelers in 2020 was $278 Billion; that means the e-Bike market is already 1/7th the IC market, and growing rapidly.

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor of The Current vertical on TheVintagent.com, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Her Instagram is here.

The Current News: January 13, 2022

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hello dear readers and riders! We’re only two weeks deep into 2022 and it’s already shaping up to be an exciting year in the world of electric vehicles. This past week has been stuffed with awesome unveilings at CES 2022, rad releases, pioneering new battery technology, and other electrifying stories you won’t want to miss.  Let’s roll:

Damon Motors Drops Its New 170mph HyperFighter e-Motorcycle

The Damon Hyperfighter is a badass and ultra-sophisticated electric superbike, with significant rider safety features. [Damon]
Here at The Vintagent, we’re huge fans of Damon Motorcycles. However, our heart eyes almost exploded this week when the Canadian startup unveiled its new electric motorcycle line dubbed “HyperFighter Colossus.” Damon’s initial prototype was released way back in the summer of 2019. Soon after, Damon began taking pre-orders for the $40,000 e-Motorcycle. But this was all two years ago, or 200 years ago in COVID time. Last week, the company revealed its new model at CES 2022 in Las Vegas. Marketed toward eco rebels, the Damon HyperFighter Colossus is a beefy sportbike with a price tag of $35,000. Built on the same HyperDrive foundation as the company’s first e-Moto model, the bike’s powertrain features a structural battery case that is similar to HD’s LiveWire Arrow platform, and can support numerous other models.

Using Al, the Hyperfighter learns from its rider, and adjusts itself to the rider's speed and riding style in real time. [Damon]
Bathed in bold yellow, the HyperFighter is expected to come equipped with Damon’s CoPilot system that boasts a 360-degree advanced warning system, cameras, and other safety features. The bike will also include the startup’s Shift technology that enables the machine’s ergonomics to seamlessly adjust in real time, changing a rider’s position in the heat of the moment. The bike’s 20kWh battery promises to deliver 146 miles worth of range, 200 ponies, and reach top speeds of 170mph. “Forget what you know about traditional streetfighters. Just as HyperSport has done to the sportbike segment, the HyperFighter stands to disrupt the streetfighter category with groundbreaking technology not found on any other bikes. The HyperFighter is a stripped-down demon of a bike that is not for the faint of heart. We’re excited to give the naked sports bike fanatic everything they want, and with HyperDrive serving as the nucleus, Damon can continue to innovate and rapidly scale to bring the world’s most electrifying motorcycles to market,” Damon Motors’ cofounder and CEO Jay Giraud stated. Prepare to be dazzled.

 

Crypto Has Just Been Electrified

Trikes looking like a crypto mining craft? That's the Daymak Spiritus, with a potential 130mph top speed. [Daymak Avvenire]
Have you ever wondered what a car-motorcycle-mashup would look like? Well, Toronto startup Daymak Avvenire is here to answer that question. The company’s new EV, dubbed Spiritus, is predicted to be the fastest three-wheeled EV on the globe. But that’s not all. This baby also mines crypto while parked. This vehicle is not for the faint of heart. It’s all business in the front with a car-styled appearance, and a straight up party in the back with a single-wheeled, moto-centric tail. The vehicle doesn’t even tip the scales at just 620kg, making it super light on its feet, er, wheels. The Spiritus will be available in two different versions, including Deluxe and Ultimate. The former, base-level Spiritus will hit top speeds of 138km/h and have a range of 290km. The premium model will reach peak speeds of 130mph and delivers a staggering acceleration of 0 to 96km/h in just 1.8 seconds. If you’ve never given crypto a try, here’s your chance.

 

It’s Like a Habitrail, But for Humans

The Podbike Frikar

Norway’s mobility company Podbike stated earlier this week that it will deliver its first electric bike-car later this year. Called the Frikar, the enclosed bike-car resembles a Habitrail with wheels. The all-weather bubble protection and enhanced aerodynamics make this micro-mobility machine a really unique product. And thousands of folks agree, with over 3,400 preorders already reported. The Frikar has a price tag of $7,300, features 5.7 cubic feet of cargo space, and can reach lethargic top speeds of 15.5mph.

 

Washable, Stretchable Battery Created

The new flexible, washable batteries developed by the UBC team led by Dr Ngoc Tan Nguyen means they can be sewn into clothing for safety lighting or other groovy applications. [UBC]

Science knows no bounds. We saw proof of this earlier this week when researchers at the University of British Columbia created a battery that functions perfectly even after being stretched or washed. Poised to revolutionize wearable devices, the pioneering battery was developed by Dr. Ngoc Tan Nguyen and his team. He explained, “Wearable electronics are a big market and stretchable batteries are essential to their development. however, up until now, stretchable batteries have not been washable. this is a critical addition if they are to withstand the demands of everyday use.”

Quick CES 2022 Recap

Though CES 2022 was primarily a bust (thanks, COVID), we did notice some standout EV releases, including:

The CAKE :work series was well received at CES. [CAKE]
  • Of course, CAKE’s new updates to its RideCake connectivity app
  • The Delfast Top 3.0 is super-fast with a very long range. [Delfast]
  • Delfast’s Top 3.0 e-Bike, which promises to go 200 miles on a single charge and can hit 50mph.  It's technically illegal in the US, unless it's licensed as a motorcycle...which means the kids will clamor for it.
  • Not your tour guide's Segway: the E110A is a proper scooter [Segway]
  • Segway’s new moped-esque e-Scoot, the E110a, which joins an expanding list of small EVs from this pioneering company.  Monos, self-balancing roller skates, the self-balancing standups they've built for years, plus mopeds, dirt bikes, standup scooters, and now, a proper sit-down scooter.
  • Birds for sale: commuter ebikes not for sharing [Bird]
  • Rideshare company Bird will be selling ebikes and kids scooters this year at reasonable prices, from $99 for kids (non-motorized) glowlit scoots, to
  • The unusual architecture of the Breker is clear. A case of over-design? What do you think will be the most successful light ebikes to come? [Brekr]
  • Brekr is a Dutch company with an innovative loop-frame moped with a swappable battery. Their website says, "The new reality we’re creating is a combination of the beauty of yester-year and a cutting-edge, bold and honest design which embraces the future."  We don't see much yesteryear in this design, but plenty of future.
  • Okai's e-mountain bike with a carbon fiber chassis. [Okai]
  • Okai is entering the e-mountain bike market with their carbon-fiber framed EB20. They aren't in production yet, so no prices offered. Okai is already on the market with several stand-up e-scooters, so this bike will definitely be built.
  • Soltera ebike is basic and very inexpensive. [Aventon]
  • Soltera is an inexpensive pedal assist ebike by Aventon.  Priced at $1200, it's among the least expensive electric bicycles on the market. It has integrated lights and a single speed, but for a little extra a 7-speed version is available.

 

Rivian’s New Trademark Might Signal Plans for an e-Bike

EV manufacturer Rivian filed a new trademark this week that signals the company strategy will include a shift to e-Bikes. The new RIVIAN™ trademark is intended to umbrella all things two-wheeled, including e-Bikes, batteries, motors, parts, and more.  With several $Billion in investment in Rivian already, the estimated $52Billion electric bicycle market (by 2028) looks ripe for the picking. Mercedes-Benz and Harley-Davidson are already on the eBike bandwagon, and eBikes are the fastest growing segment of all two wheeled sales.  Makes perfect sense to us.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Jan, 6, 2022

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Happy 2022 dear readers and riders! We hope you rung in the New Year surrounded by friends, family, and lots of love. The first week of the year started off with a bang when Tesla’s Model S Plaid took on the Harley-Davidson LiveWire in the most silent drag race you’ve ever heard. We’re covering that story and loads more in our first EV news roundup of 2022. As always, shoot us a message at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you see an electrifying story that you think we should cover.

Let’s roll.

Tesla Model S Plaid vs HD LiveWire

Tesla Plaid vs Livewire...is not an apples to apples fight, as the Livewire is not designed for top speed like the Tesla Plaid. A better fight would be a Lightning LS2018? [Tesla Plaid Channel]
Earlier this week, a Tesla Model S Plaid was put to the test when it went head-to-head with the Harley-Davidson LiveWire e-Motorcycle. Hosted by the YouTube channel, Tesla Plaid Channel, the race was definitely a close one. Who do you think won? We’re not going to ruin the surprise, but you can check out all of the action here.

Hydrogen-Powered Cargo Bike

A hydrogen utility bike? An interesting concept by Studio Mom. [Studio Mom]

Studio MOM, a Dutch design company, was recently commissioned by the green energy firm, LAVO, to produce a bike powered by hydrogen. Originally intended to be a lightweight EV, the end product turned out to be a cargo bike instead. Studio MOM stands behind its decision and stated “Considering the basic weight of the system, we thought a cargo bike would be more logical. because long-range cargo solutions in particular require a lot of energy. then an extra hydrogen tank of 1.2 kg is surely preferable to an extra battery that weighs 6 kg.” Created as a modular device, the cargo bike is powered by LAVO’s innovative hydrogen battery that includes fuel cells that produce power through water and solar energy. Each battery holds 40kWh and is intended for both personal or business usage. Called “green hydrogen,” LAVO’s unique energy system is projected to become an alternative to “blue” or “grey” hydrogen and be healthier for the environment because it doesn’t produce CO2 and other dangerous particles.

NIU’s e-Bike Slated to Hit U.S. and European Markets

The BQi line of NIU eBikes is a hotrod in the USA, with a regulated 28mph top speed.  The Euro version tops out at 15.5mph...blah.  [Niu]

NIU, a Chinese e-Scooter and e-Moped company, will soon be rolling out its line of new BQi e-Bikes to American and European markets. The EV manufacturer, known for its pioneering smart electric scooters, has created a unique product unlike the rest of the fat tire or foldable e-Bikes out there. The BQi features an attractive step-through design, making it accessible to almost any rider. Its U-shaped frame makes it easier to both mount and handle the bike when its rear rack is loaded with packages or kids. The company estimates that the BQi’s dual batteries will offer 62 miles worth of range. While the European version will be able to reach a meandering 15.5mph, the folks here in the U.S. will enjoy a 500W motor that tops out at 28mph.

Arc Vector’s $120,000 e-Motorcycle Prepared for Deliveries

Something wicked this way comes. The ARC Vector is a hypersports eBike that builds an AI relationship with its owner. [ARC]
After near extinction, British e-Motorcycle company, Arc Vector, is preparing its fleet of luxury electric motorcycles for delivery. While the e-Motorbike was initially unveiled back in 2018 and priced at $120,000, disaster struck in 2019 and the company was forced to file for bankruptcy. A year later, Arc announced its return to operations. Now, the company states that it will start sending out the first units of motorcycles very, very soon. “We have a very healthy order book and customers are already going through our new commissioning suite in Central England to individually tailor each Vector motorcycle so that they are all unique,” Mark Truman, founder, CEO, and lead designer, said.

CAKE Set to Participate at the CES 2022 Show in Las Vegas

The new :work line of CAKE utility bikes emphasize function and delivery capabilities. Looks cool! A moto-Ute. [CAKE]
Swedish EV manufacturer, CAKE, is slated to participate in the CES 2022 Show in Las Vegas where the company will display its series of professional motorbikes for the first time in the U.S. Additionally, the company announced several enhancement updates to the bikes’ built-in connectivity capabilities, including customized ride modes, a ride history log, anti-theft security, and real-time riding information. “The CAKE work series offers the immediate potential of moving last-mile deliveries and mobile workforces away from traditional solutions for urban transportation, clearly exceeding the efficiency of both cars and bicycles, making this initiative our single most important contribution to date in speeding up the process towards a zero-emission society”, says Stefan Ytterborn, founder and CEO of Cake. ”Above our efforts in delivering a bike that offers a clean and swift ride, our connectivity solutions add an extra layer of efficiency through riding data, measurability, control and unique settings - to both private riders commuting or racing, and fleet owners maximizing the output of their vehicles”.

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Dec 30, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.  

Happy Near Year to all of our readers and riders! 2021 was surely a landmark year for the world of electric vehicles. From first-of-their-kind global legislations and pioneering tech to cutting-edge battery development and soaring stock prices, the EV industry’s wheels will only continue to spin faster in 2022.

The last week of 2021 for our EV news roundup is ending with a bang. Here are the electrified stories from the past seven days that we think matter the most to you. Now grab the bubbly, put on your swanky party hat, and we’ll see you on the other side of the New Year. Let’s roll.

Hit the Streets on Tozz’s Distinctive e-Scooter

The Tozz Pipegun #1 is a stand-up scooter with big wheels and a slick design that isn't over-designed, and just might become the popular adult stand-up it deserves to be. [Tozz]
Istanbul-based startup Tozz dropped its first EV product this week. Initially showcased during Design Week Turkey 2021, the funky, pink-wheeled Pipegun #1 boasts a stainless-steel body, trademark ‘wishbone’ design, LED front lights, 20-inch Salt Tracer BMX tires, and 250w or 500w geared-drive BLDC motor options that crank out 45Nm or 60Nm of torque. The e-Scoot is able to climb 12-degree angled hills and produces 500w of peak motor power. “E-mobility products in the market are designed and developed to move people from point A to point B with less consumption of energy and time. These are great specifications for commuting and go with the flow – or usually rush – of the city. However, most of them are designed to fulfill the requirements and still need some seasoning to be more fun and even offbeat. We removed that secret seasoning from our design cellar and created Pipegun #1,” stated Tozz founder, Burak Kazar.

A First Look at Yamaha’s Two New e-Scooters

Yamaha's new e-scooter finally on display in the metal, the E01, looking appropriately futuristic, with perhaps the capacity to carry 3 riders? [Yamaha]
Yamaha’s two e-Scooter concepts, the E01 and the E02, are headed for production and will be ready to hit the market in 2022. The brand’s E01 e-Scooter will be a 125cc class equivalent and will probably be able to produce 15 ponies, allowing it to fit into Europe’s light e-Scooter regulatory class. The E02 will be a 50cc class equivalent and produce about 5.3hp with top speeds of about 28mph. Yamaha’s patent images portray the vehicle as having a bulky, non-removable battery pack that is mounted to the center frame. The motor is mounted right next to the battery and has a belt drive or chain linking it to the rear wheel. While Yamaha has yet to release an exact date for either scooter’s production unveiling, it plans to roll out both e-Scooters across Europe and Asia in 2022.

Meet the “Porsche of e-Bikes”

The Greyp is a hi-tech EMTB from Croatia, and Porsche voted its confidence by buying a majority stake in the company, which means we'll soon see the $8k bike on our streets and trails, right?  [Greyp]
Greyp (pronounced “grape”) is making waves in the EV sector with its luxe new line of e-Bikes. Porsche recently acquired a majority stake in the Croatian EV company, which has about 1,200 pre-orders already slated for 2022. Greyp’s bikes come with a starting price-tag of about $8,000 and are stuffed with high-end amenities and all types of tech, including dual 1080/30fps cameras, remote and anti-theft features, real-time gamification, and 4G eSim modules. It’s basically a smartphone with pedals.

Army is Testing Sur Ron e-Motorbikes for Paratrooper Airdrop Use

The Sur-Ron is a light, cheap, and popular off-road ebike. The military thinks it just might become a useful tool in the field, to which we say, duh! [Sur Ron]
EVs are becoming the darlings of humanitarian and conservation efforts worldwide. Now, the popular Sur Ron Firefly e-Motorbikes are being utilized for military airdrops. The UK’s 16 Air Assault Brigade is currently conducting airdrop drills that incorporate the 8hp bikes. The e-Motorcycles are ideal for rugged off-road terrain thanks to their trail tires, long travel suspension, top speeds of 45mph. and silent idling, thanks to quieter carbon fiber-reinforced belt. The vehicle’s feather-light weight makes it ideal for parachute drops. “The experiment aims to understand two things. How we could employ bikes tactically and what advantages do they offer over other vehicles, and what are the implications for supplying them with power and interacting with other in-service vehicles. One of the main reasons that we are interested in using motorbikes is because of the need for air portability and, in particular, airdrop. The good thing about such a small vehicle is that you can get it in the back of helicopters; you can undersling it from a helicopter; you can get several in the back of a plane, and then also, potentially you’d be able to drop it from the back of a plane under a parachute. So, it gives you a whole load of options to be able to get mobility in an expeditionary sense forward, in a way that a jeep or even a quad bike just can’t do. So that’s the main reason why we, as an air assault brigade, are interested in it, because it has what we call good strategic mobility. You can get a motorbike quite far, quite quickly, relatively easily,” Captain Dan Lauder explained.

Moonbike Brings e-Snowmobiles to the US

With a fresh, extraordinarily deep snow pack in the Sierras, the Moonbike is looking like a better idea all the time. [Moonbike]
The French have given us a lot of great things. Now they’re giving us e-Snowmobiles. EV company Moonbike is slated to bring its snow transporter vehicles to the US very, very soon. The snow mobile-esque vehicle, which rides on a single forward ski, is powered by a 3kW electric motor and can reach top speeds of 26mph. The 2.5kWh battery pack has a top range of 22 miles in eco mode and offers up to one hour of usage. Prices start at $8,500.

 

A Look Ahead

So now that 2022 is here, what does the New Year have in store for EVs? Some of our predictions include:

 

  • e-Bikes will become smarter, with more high-tech safety features

 

  • EV investments will continue gaining steam as more kickstarts crop up

 

  • More variety in EV products, including e-Trikes and cargo bikes

 

  • An emphasis on local manufacturing, sustainability, battery innovation, and circular design

 

Also, the Vintagent team will produce something extraordinary: Electric Revolution Live.  It's a 3-day EV festival that includes racing, demonstrations, kids events, test rides/drives, great food and wine, and world-class bands and films at night.  There's never been anything like it, and we think it will become the future of the auto/moto show circuit, combining fun with engagement, discussion, and entertainment.   We hope to see you in Walla Walla WA in May, so you can say 'I am part of the Electric Revolution'.  Stay tuned for details, participants, bands, and tickets!

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Dec. 16, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.  

Hello dear readers and riders! At the time of writing this article, it’s currently 70 degrees in the Northeast. This is the honeymoon phase of global warming when we’re all excited to take a long ride in the middle of winter. So, try to enjoy it while it lasts.

This week’s EV roundup boasts exciting new drops, fresh funds, and some surprising potential drops (and increases) in prices from the brands we love.

Let’s roll.

Rad Releases

The Stillride e-scooter is a sculptural statement, and explores possible paths for EV design [Stillride]
  • Swedish startup STILLRIDE dropped an exciting origami-inspired e-Scooter that is crafted out of folded sheets of metal. The company aims to revolutionize the manufacturing of light EVs through its LIGHT.FOLD robotic origami process, enabling automation of the bending of steel metal sheets. STILLRIDE predicts that this innovative tech will cut back on hardware by 20-50% and 25-45% on labor costs.
The Pave lightweight e-bi/cycle enters the hottest e-bike market: small urban runabouts. [Pave Motors]
  • Pave Motors, a Brooklyn startup founded by two brothers that make an EV “fusion bike and motorcycle,” recently released its Pave 1 e-Motorbike. The bike weighs about 99lb and can reach up to 30mph and had a range of 50 to 60 miles. A 50.4V 39Ah lithium-ion battery powers the bike and can be fully charged in just three hours. The real nifty thing about this bike is that it’s connected to a blockchain. When purchased, you’ll get a non-fungible token that is basically a private key to unlock the bike via the Pave+App.
Stark Future made a big splash this week all over social media with a slew of short films featuring their new design, an 80hp dirt bike. [Stark Future]
  • Stark Future, a Swedish electric dirt bike company, just shook up the industry with the unveiling of its cutting-edge electric dirt bike. Featuring extreme power and torque, this EV can leave gas-powered machines in the dust. Its 80hp electric motor can produce a solid 20 more ponies than most 450cc dirt bikes currently available on the market. Best of all, the bike also supports up to 100 customizable profiles ranging from 125cc two-stroke power belts up to 650cc four-stroke monsters.

As H-D’s Prices Drop, Rad Power’s Go Up

The Livewire is getting platform changes that will lower prices, which will surely be welcome news for fans of the brand. [Livewire]
Harley-Davidson’s new middleweight e-Motorcycle LiveWire platform might finally drop its prices. The manufacturer’s second go-around at an e-Motorcycle platform pushes its tech further with a new middleweight design that won’t break the bank. The major difference between the new Arrow platform and the original one is that the battery pack isn’t housed in the frame but rather is a structural component of the bike to which the motor, steering head tube, swingarm, control electronics, and other key components bolt seamlessly onto. This new platform can be used to create numerous models.

The Rad Power Bikes lineup: headed for a price rise in 2022. [Rad Power]
On the other side of the price spectrum, Rad Power Bikes sent an email out this week notifying customers that the company will increase its prices across all lines of e-Bikes starting at the end of the year. The email stated,

Over the past 18 months we’ve taken creative steps to weather the global supply chain crisis. Nevertheless, these challenges have made it much more expensive to build and ship our electric bikes and accessories. In light of this, we’ve made the tough decision to raise prices across the Rad lineup beginning December 29th, 2021. 

These new prices will enable us to continue our commitment to only delivering high-quality and innovative products — plus, with flexible financing options, free shipping, and our direct to consumer business model, Rad Power Bikes will remain one of the most cost-effective ways to get around.”

 

Fresh Funds

Candela is an EV company on the water: in this case, a water taxi design. [Candela]
        1. Candela,

      an electric hydro-foiling boat developer, raised $24 million to accelerate production of its existing small crafts and a larger commercial boat.  The silent and stylish e-Boat company looks to make an impact in the traditionally oily, burbling, polluting watercraft market.

Harley-Davidson's statement on the SPAC listing of Livewire [Harley-Davidson]
Blank-check SPAC takes Livewire public: in a newly popular strategy that avoids much of the government red tape (and regulation) of taking a company public, an SPAC AEA Bridges Impact Corp  took Livewire to the stock market under the heading LVW, with a nominal valuation of $1.77Bn.  In the deal, Livewire will retain 74% equity, ABIC shareholders 17%, and ABIC owners plus Korean powersports company Kymco will own 4%.   SPAC funding is popular among startups with little track record of sales or funding, who bank on future sales for a planned valuation.  Will it work in Harley-Davidson's case?  Time will tell, but read their statement here.

Solid Power solid state batteries might one day power the F-100. [Solid Power]
Solid Power, the Ford-backed solid-state battery developer, made its public market debut this week and saw a boost in stock prices on its first day of trading

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Dec. 9, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It’s an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.  

Hello, dear readers and riders! Welcome to the second week of December! We hope that your holiday shopping is well underway (you may have even picked up a new e-Bike and saved $900 in the process), and that you’re enjoying this season with your loved ones. As you cozy up by a roaring fire (or space heater – we don’t judge!), why don’t you enjoy some of this week’s EV news? From weird EV mopeds and café racer-inspired e-Motorcycles to fresh funds, this week’s roundup is sure to please.

Let’s roll.

New Drops

The Maeving relies on traditional motorcycle design cues ('gas tank' and 'exhaust pipe') to create a retro appeal for their new eBike. [Maeving]
  • UK startup Maeving cranks up the retro charm with its hand-build café racer-inspired e-Motorcycle. Much like the Metacycle from Sondors, Maeving’s machine boasts a rear hub, in this case by Bosch, which delivers 40 miles per 3.5 hours of charge time. The café racer can hit top speeds of 45mph, making it perfect to ride around town.
Three wheels good? The Flakmotor prototype looks like fun, and design studies show it as a utility vehicle as well. [Alex Asemyr]
  • An oddly awesome 3-wheel EV moped called Flakmoped by Alex Asemyr of Lynk & Co was recently released this week. Vroom vroom.  Asemyr shows the trike with various useful configurations, from surfboard hauler to gimble camera rig.  Looks like a winner in the Ute category.
Just Addmotor! Pretty much out philosophy of everything...taken to heart by British ebike maker Addmotor with their City Pro model. [Addmtor]
  • Addmotor unveiled its brand spankin’ new City Pro e-Bike this week. Perfect for urban commuters, this electric pedal-assist bike comes in many millennial-friendly colors, including rose gold and olive green. Standout features include the bike’s 48V and 20Ah battery, which the company claims produces a staggering 125 miles worth of range, though that’s only likely to happen in the lowest power pedal assist mode.
The Lectric XP 2.0 is a folding ebike for easy excursions and commuting. [Lectric]
  • For all of you big bargain hunters out there, check out the new Lectric XP 2.0 fat-tire folding e-Bike. There’s a ton of power boxed up in its beefy little frame, and it’s priced to please at just $949. This little guy features a 500W geared rear hub motor, a 460Wh removable integrated battery with a 45-mile range, and five levels of pedal assist.
The Urtopia ebike is a carbon fiber extravaganza and a slick chassis shape. [Urtopia]
  • Urtopia, a startup from China, debuted its tech-heavy e-Bike this week, featuring a 250W hub motor and three levels of riding assist with an estimated range of up to 80 miles. The bike is also equipped with a fingerprint reader, GPA, integrated alarm, and the list goes on…
Tesla for the kids! The Cybertruck is an electric quad with vibes drawn from the full-scale Cybertruck prototype. [Tesla]
  • Tesla is dipping its toes into the micro-mobility arena with its Cybertruck, a mini Cyberquad for the kiddos. The toy costs around $1,900, which is still pretty cheap for Tesla.

 

Fresh Funds

Meet the solid state battery, and attempt to make a greener energy supply for the tremendous demand for battery technology today. [Factorial]
  • Factorial Energy, a startup that is working on solid-state batteries for EVs, added two more big-name automakers to its investment checklist, including Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis.
Phoenix Motorcars uses existing OEM chassis (in this case Ford) and adapts them with EV powertrains. [Phoenix]
  • Phoenix Motors recently filed for a $150 million IPO. The startup designs, assembles, and integrates electric drive systems and light and medium-duty EVs. It also sells EV chargers for both the residential and commercial markets.
The e-bike market globally is already at $25Bn per year... [Global Market Insights]
  • Revenue for the e-Bike market is predicted to hit a whopping $50 billion by 2027. Major players will include Schwinn, Van Moof, Lectric Bikes, and Trek Bicycles.

 

Equitable Commute Project Brings 5,000 e-Bikes to Frontline Workers

The Equitable Commute Project is a massive 3-year NYC program to offer 50% subsidies to buyers of light e-mobility. Did you hear that? HALF OFF a new eBike...and I can hear the manufacturers lining up now... [EQP]
The Equitable Commute Project recently hosted an e-Bike distribution and training event in the Bronx. The plan is to offer 5,000 frontline workers with e-Bikes that have been subsidized and are subject to accessible financing solutions for New York City. The event drew big names in the EV realm, including Van Moof, Zoom, Rad Power, and The Hub NYC.

 

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Dec. 2, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you. 

Hello readers and riders! Can you believe it’s already December? That means 2021 is at death’s door while our Electric Revolution Live is quickly approaching!

The first week of December is brimming with tantalizing EV news, including a staggering new 283mph e-Motorcycle record, tons of fantastic releases, and even an oddly entertaining EV scooter treadmill (who woulda thought?).

Let’s roll.

Max Biaggi Sets an Astounding New Record

GP Star Max Biaggi sets a new two-wheeled EV land speed record aboard a Voxan Wattman, with a pretty awesome backdrop!  Vintagent fans might recognize the integrated LSR front fender from Alp Sungurtekin's LSR Triumph - he invented the design in 2017. [Voxan]
An astonishing new speed record for EVs was set this week by Max Biaggi. The team set a total of 21 new records, including a new speed record for electric bikes weighing under 300kg. Taking place at Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre Launch and Landing Facility, Biaggi, aboard the Voxan Wattman, set a new benchmark at 283mph. The company implemented a new, more horizontal seating position for Biaggi to drastically reduce drag and boost aerodynamics. The bike is outfitted with a lithium-ion battery with a 5kWh capacity that can achieve 435 ponies and 1360Nm of torque.  We also not the similarity of the front fender's integration with the fairing: as 'dustbin' fairings have been banned from many classes of Land Speed Racing (LSR) competition, Alp Sungurtekin invented this overlapping fender concept on his Triumph LSR racer back in 2017.   It's very clever, and obviously works!  The Voxan effort makes two amazing EV speed records in one week, with the Rolls Royce plane setting the absolute speed record for an EV at 345mph.  We're sure the bikes will get there soon enough!

Rad Releases

The stunning Ovoabike with leather accessories seen at EICMA in Milan last week. [Ovoabike]
  • Ovaobike unveiled three additional new concepts at the EICMA last week, including the MXR off-roading EV, the CT-X e-Scooter, and the CR-21 café racer.
Pretty Nito! The new Nito cargo design as seen at EICMA. [Nito]
  • NITO BIKES added the new CARGO & SHARE (C+S) to its already robust line of EV products. The new e-Scooter aims to seamlessly combine load capacity with The innovative design allows for greater strength and durability over time, enabling the investment in delivery fleets to be paid off over a few years. The e-Scooter is equipped with a 72V – 35Ah battery and can carry up to 100kg of goods.
We like a good pun too: the ScrAmpler from EmGo has a cooled battery unit that won't fry at extended full throttle. [EmGo]
  • Despite being launched a month ago, we can’t get enough of Ukraine-based EMGo Technology’s serial ScrAmpler e-Motorbike. The model has undergone three different editions, with the latest version offering a cooled battery element system which enables the 10kW battery to run for over 30 minutes without damaging the elements at a peak of 24kW. The ScrAmpler can achieve speeds of 130km/h.

Providing Women with Peace of Mind

Share scooter company Lime is looking for ways to make solo women safer on the streets. [Lime]
Lime, a global provider of shared EVs, recently partnered with SafeUP, a community safety network that offers global solidarity for women, to provide free rides for women on e-Scooters and e-Bikes if they feel unsafe. The service is currently available in NYC, San Fran, LA, Seattle, DC, Austin, Miami, and Tel Aviv.

Fresh Funds

This is not a Zembo, but is a Boda, the name for a motorcycle taxi in Uganda. This remarkable photo by Jan Hoek is from his photo series on Boda Boda drivers - see more here. [Jan Hoek]
  • French startup Zembo, which has operations in Uganda, raised $3.4 million to begin scaling operations across Africa. The company sells e-Motorcycles via a lease-to-own program.  The bikes and bodas (motorcycle taxis) are solar-powered: perfect for a country with mixed infrastructure possibiliities.
Zoomo's lease-to-own eBikes target messengers and delivery workers. [Zoomo]
  • Zoomo recently raised a $60 million Series B to beef up its e-Bike subscription service. The startup offers e-Bikes to gig workers or enterprise fleets.
What's inside? The minerals inside your EV battery are soon to be the most politically contentious subject on the planet. Extracting anything from the earth is an ugly business, rarely conducted with concern for nature or local cultures, so we at The Vintagent believe it's critical to be educated and understand the impact of EV technology. It ain't easy being green, and green isn't much of a concern for most EV manufacturers. Understanding these impacts will help citizens guide public policy, as neither gov'ts nor industry is naturally inclined to do the right thing. [Mangrove Lithium]
  • Mangrove Lithium, a company that developed a platform to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide, closed a $10 million Series A round.

Upway to Build Used e-Bike Buying and Selling Platform

You thought the EV industry was just a baby, but there's already a booming secondary market. The Upway team in France was the first to recognize and respond to a new need. [Upway]
French startup Upway just launched a digital marketplace for second-hand e-Bikes. The company recently raised $5.7 million in seed rounds from Global Founders Capital and Sequoia Capital. Currently, the startup is operating out of a Parisian warehouse where a team of five thoroughly check each used e-Bike that comes through the door with a list of about 20 different tests. The bikes are priced 20% to 50% cheaper than their original costs.

Step Aside, Peloton: Meet the $680 EV Treadmill/Scooter

Meet the new treadmill, same as the old treadmill?  We're not sure, but you can get more exercise while cruising around town on this eScooter/treadmill hybrid. [Alibaba]
Tired of using the treadmill in your living room? Well, now you can enjoy your treadmill while out and about with this unusual e-Scoot/treadmill hybrid thinger. Priced at $680, the machine can reach speeds of up to 12mph, which is probably as fast as you should ride a treadmill.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 

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The Current News: Nov. 25, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you. 

We hope all of you readers and riders had an amazing Thanksgiving! Whether you spent it with family, friends, or simply your dog, we hope it was a relaxing and joyous occasion.

While you let all of that turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing settle in your stomach, take a moment to catch up on the latest EV news for the last week of November. In this installment, we’ll explore how the power struggle over cobalt is disturbing the clean energy movement, a stunning EV-powered Cobra duo that makes the perfect holiday splurge, the innovative e-Bikes of the EICMA show in Milan, pioneering new UK laws, and more.

As always, be sure to send us any tantalizing EV tidbits to Stephanie here.

Let’s roll.

Environmental Stewardship vs. Gamesmanship

The new Kisanfu cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC has the highest quality cobalt on the planet, and the richest mines. The majority are now controlled by Chinese firms, as part of their long-term strategy to control the minerals essential for battery production. Read the excellent New York Times article here. [NYT]
A recent story in the New York Times explored how the soaring need for cobalt is upheaving the clean energy revolution. In the urgent race to save our planet from global warming, the human race’s biggest sins are yet again rearing their ugly heads. From greed and gamesmanship to exploitation, our quest to safeguard the earth comes with high stakes. Civil unrest, hazardous conditions for mine workers, and shady business deals all beg to ask the question: what are the long-standing implications of our pursuit to preserve the planet using the tools of Capitalism?

The Perfect Holiday Gift for Shelby Enthusiasts

Got Shelby? The new MkIII-E has 1500ftlbs of torque. [Superformance]
Throughout motorsports history, few names stir up more passion that the iconic Carroll Shelby and his Cobra cars that forged the path for Ford overtaking Le Mans and Ferrari. This holiday season, diehard Shelby enthusiasts can indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime gift by snagging an EV Cobra duo that includes a metallic blue MKIII-E Cobra EV and a Vintage Shelby e-Bike for $180,000. At the heart of the superpowered MKIII-E is a Tesla Model S rear-drive motor accentuated by an impressive 1,500 lb.-ft. of torque. Its battery pack boasts two LG Energy 16-cell units housed in a 32-kWh pack that delivers 100 miles worth of range.

Only 100 miles of range for either choice, two wheels or four, but one is a practical everyday machine, while the other is a beast. [Superformance]
“EV is becoming increasingly more popular within our cars thanks to a simpler, more powerful driving experience,” said Superformance CEO Lance Stander in a press release. “Historically, Carroll Shelby didn’t live in the past. He always said that the best Shelby is the next one, and Carroll was always researching new technologies. Anything that could provide a performance edge, he was interested in. Without a doubt, our new Superformance MKIII-E is the quickest, quietest snake that we’ve ever made.”

Exciting New EVs Unveiled at EICMA 2021

EICMA 2021is in full swing this week and promises to delight and dazzle with state-of-the-art EVs. Sweden’s CAKE launched its Work Series at the event, showcasing new utility vehicles specially made for professional applications, including craftsmen and delivery drivers. According to Cake’s website, the series flaunts “increased motor power, optimized cargo possibilities, and up to double the battery capacity.”

The series features three machines, including:

The venerable CAKE Kalk, still the gold standard for eBike design. [CAKE]
  • The Kalk: an off-road service tool with top speeds of 90 km/h and a range of 83 km in the city.
    The Ösa Flex is an electric workhorse, portable workstation, and battery storage system in one. [CAKE]
  • The ösa Flex: a two-wheeled tower with optimized cargo capacity, top speeds of 45 km/h to 90 km/h, and a 140-km range.
  • The newest of the CAKE line is the Makka, an urban commuter/utility machine. [CAKE]
  • The Makka: A nimble urban mobility tool and smart configuration platform that can effortlessly move tools, gear, and equipment at speeds of up to 45 km/h within a 100-km range.

New UK Homes Will Require EV Charging Points Effective 2022

Boris Johnson, Britain’s Prime Minister, recently announced that all new homes in England will be required to have electric vehicle charging points starting next year. During his speech at the annual Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference, he said, “We’re regulating so as to require new homes and buildings to have EV charging points, with another 145,000 charging points to be installed thanks to these regulations.”

The new mandate applies to developers of new residential housing, retail sites, and office blocks. Additionally, developers of renovations where there are 10+ parking spaces must abide by the law. The push for EV points is part of the UK’s bold initiative to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030.

Rolls Royce Electric Airplane is the World's Fastest EV

Based on a Nemesis NXT racing plane kit, the Rolls Royce Spirit of Innovation has 400kw of power and has hit 345mph over a 3km timed run. [Rolls Royce]
You can expect nothing less than perfection from Rolls-Royce. And the company exceeded expectations yet again with their Spirit of Innovation electric airplane, which recently crushed the all-time electric top speed record, plowing through the air at a mind-blowing 384.4 mph. However, that will only happen if the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) approves the flight and certifies the record. If so, Rolls-Royce’s craft will have surpassed the current record by 132 mph!

The electric plane is powered by a 400-kilowatt electric powertrain that boasts “the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace,” according to a recent press release from Rolls Royce.

HD’s New Satirical Video Promises Endless Belly Laughs

Ending our roundup on a light note, Harley-Davidson released a hilarious short film  this week that explores how new e-Bike owners can easily fall victim to cycling culture stereotypes. Trust us, you’ll enjoy the comic relief while being trapped in a cramped room with all of your crazy relatives this holiday.

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current: Zaiser Motors founder Anthony Cross

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’re well aware of the flurry of media around electric vehicles recently. Here at The Vintagent, we've been covering the EV scene since 2009, built our channel The Current in 2016, and  deliver weekly roundups of EV news that (hopefully) appeals to both electric enthusiasts and gas-powered junkies.  What's often missing amongst the PR and chatter are the stories of the folks driving the Electric Revolution.

Anthony Cross has one of those stories. Co-founder and CEO of Denver-based upstart Zaiser Motors, Anthony has piloted the company’s recent milestones, like reaching funding goals on WeFunder and unveiling a redesign of its innovative Electrocycle platform. However, Zaiser’s windfall should not overshadow its mission nor its impressive industry-first twin-hub powertrain machines. Both of its e-Motorbikes, the Silhouette and the Arrow, are accomplishing what other EV manufacturers are failing to do. With more torque, power, and a cruiser-style design built from the ground up, the Silhouette is an e-Motorcycle that is actually exceeding anything that’s available in the gas market. The company’s other bike, the café racer-styled Arrow, has captured the attention of vintage devotees and EV fanatics alike, and is poised to fulfill the current demand for smaller, more nimble electric machines.

Anthony Cross, the CEO of Zaiser Motors. [Zaiser]
“The trend now seems to be that smaller bikes are in. But is this because people want smaller bikes or because they’re more usable and cost-effective than the larger ones that deliver less range because the tech isn’t there yet? I think it’s a bit of both. However, I also think that as the technology improves, we’ll start to see more people get used to the equivalent of a 500cc café racer and then want a bigger bike. I believe we’ll see a renaissance of bigger bikes down the line. And that’s what Zaiser is leaning in to. However, the smaller bikes, like the Arrow, will be dominating the market for a while,” explained Anthony. Despite the massive shift to EVs, Anthony, a classic bike and car enthusiast, is not blind to the fact that many traditionalist riders are hesitant to swap out their gas-fueled motorcycles for battery-operated ones.

The Zaiser Electrocycle has a distinctive profile and a very long range. [Zaiser]
“I’m always going to have my ’72 R50/5. I love that thing. It feels good, rides well, and is a beautiful little machine. But would I take it out in less-than-optimal conditions? Probably not. I’d probably ride the Arrow for that. And I think that’s the way motorcycling is going to transition. It’ll just make more sense to have a reliable, trusty vehicle that you can ride every day and take your Shovelhead out when conditions are perfect. An EV won’t replace your Shovelhead, but if it provides you with a good portion of the joy and exceeds the reliability, it’s done its job.”  Recognizing the opportunity for innovation and shifting global legislations, Zaiser Motors is working over-time to bring its Electrocycle platform to market in 2022. But Anthony is gung-ho about not losing the immersive experience of being astride a powerful, gorgeous, internal combustion machine.

The Zaiser Electrocycle in black. Will its traditional silhouette appeal to IC fans, given its parity on performance and range? [Zaiser]
“Just because it’s electric doesn’t mean it’s going to be boring. We’re going to ensure our bikes are fun as hell, sound cool, and accelerate and corner seamlessly. It needs to be exciting,” he said. “When I take my BMW out, it’s a bonding experience with my machine. We can’t lose that. Zaiser Motors is committed to transferring that soul and that relationship to EVs. Those types of e-Bikes are the ones that are going to come out on top.”

 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is EV Editor for The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.  Got EV news?  Give her a shout.

The Current News: Nov. 11, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022 (a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum), we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene via The Current.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you. 

Hey there, all of you readers and riders! Can y’all believe that we’re almost halfway through November? That means 2022 is right around the corner.  If that’s tough to wrap your head around, this week’s EV news roundup is sure to be a doozy. From an awesomely bizarre four-person e-Bike to an extreme e-Racing truck, this installment will astonish and amaze, and provoke thought with recent discussions around global battery/mineral supply, the a new geopolitical landscape.

As always, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com if you see anything you think we should cover.

Let’s roll!

A Weird and Wonderful Four-Seater e-Bike

"Watch that fringe and see how it flutters
When I drive them high steppin' strutters.
Nosey pokes'll peek thru' their shutters and their eyes will pop! When I take you out in the surrey with the fringe on top!" [Alibaba]
Do you dig vehicles that are strange and unusual? Then check out this awesomely weird four-person e-Bike from Alibaba. Perfect for a party, this thing is powered by a 1,500W motor located in its rear wheels that’s powered by a 32Ah battery packing just under 2kWh. With a reported 50-mile range, a baby bumper, and two brakes, this bike is the ideal family EV.

McLaren Drops an Extreme e-Racing Truck

Gnar! When will you be able to buy a McLaren off-roader? When you can afford it, obv! [McLaren]
British automotive manufacturer McLaren is trying its hand in the world of e-Racing with the Odyssey 21, an all-electric SUV. Initially unveiled at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the SUV boasts the firm’s distinct papaya orange color palette and ornate detailing by artist Vic Lee. Extreme E is an all-electric off-road series that is made up of five races. The innovative motorsport’s goal is to explore the technological future of racing while raising awareness of sustainability and climate change. Moreover, the sport is inclusive, having all teams consist of both female and male drivers. “Our decision to enter extreme E will inform and enlighten our own journey of discovery and is underpinned by a clear imperative to accelerate McLaren Racing’s own sustainability which places carbon reduction, recycling and reuse and elimination of waste at its core,” the company stated on its website. The buggy-shaped Odyssey 21 is slated to compete next year and be driven by the renowned rally racer Tanna Faust.

Damon Starts Construction of Manufacturing/R&D Facility

The awesome Damon hyperbike, with a 200mph top speed has garnered tremendous interest and tens of $Millions in pre-orders. [Damon]
e-Motorbike manufacturer Damon started construction this week on a new 110,000 square-foot manufacturing and R&D facility in Surrey, British Columbia. Slated to open next fall, Damon’s plant will employ hundreds of production and officer workers throughout the surrounding areas by 2025. Damon’s next-gen e-Motorcycles feature onboard AI to boost safety.

Big Red is Making Moves

The Honda eMaas concept of integration of EV batteries into the public power grid. [Honda]
While Honda’s EV battery will soon be part of a new Indian battery-swapping network, the company recently stated that it had much bigger plans for the future. Despite an initial focus on powering e-Motorcycles, Honda is now looking at ways to utilize its EV battery design as part of the public power grid with the goal of moving to carbon neutrality by 2050. Big ambitions, and the kind of thinking we need to implement now to reduce carbon emissions asap.

e-Bikes are the Most Popular EVs

The wonderful Matt Williams illustration accompanying the NYT article. [Matt Williams]
EVs hit the New York Times yet again this week in a business piece that predicts the popularity of e-Bikes will not slow down anytime soon. With 130 million e-Bikes projected to be sold by 2023 worldwide, they are the EVs that are highest in demand, and widest in popular acceptance, even in EV-resistant countries like the USA.   Why?  Because they're fun, and a near miracle in making bicycling easier and more accessible for those not dedicated to the Peloton.

Juiced’s Fat-Tire e-Bike Targets a Younger Crowd

The Juiced fat-tire eBike hits the hottest part of the market, the biggest segment of EV sales in the world. [Juiced]
With a nimble frame and affordable price tag, Juiced’s new fat-tire e-Bike is meant to target teens and young adults. Called the RipRacer, the bike is available in two versions, including the Class 2 with a 52V/10Ah battery that can reach speeds of up to 20mph and the Class 3, equipped with a 52V/15Ah battery with a top speed of 28mph.  That's skirting the law defining 'bicycle', so perhaps there's an app to bring the speed over 30mph...but we never said that, and would never encourage readers to exceed the speed limit, or the boundaries of their current reality, or Instagram's willy-nilly posting restrictions.

New York Times Nails the Issues

A battery production facility in China [Getty/NYT]
This week, writer Steve LeVine summarized why 'America Isn't Ready for the Electric Vehicle Revolution.' Give it a read: we've been saying it for years - the USA is the last bastion of resistance to EVs, and our politicians the deepest in the pockets of the petro industry.  While we're used to the corruption, it has blinded those who could make a difference with legislative support on a transition to greener energy sources, to strategically place US industry in a competitive path.  Denial of climate change and looking backwards has given China an open door, and they walked right through it, currently owning 90% of the world's capacity to process Lithium, 70% of the Cobalt, and 40% of the Nickel.  Thus, US and European manufacturers are completely vulnerable to shipping or supply chain issues from abroad, like pandemics or political issues, as .  In crude terms, China now holds the cards to future transport, and despite $7Bn in the recent US infrastructure bill allocated to support battery supply chain, nothing is included to address problems of mineral processing, or other critical issues like battery development and the absurd state of EV battery recycling at the moment.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer and Vintagent Contributor. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct 28, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hello readers and riders! Are you all ready for Halloween trick-or-treaters this weekend? Well, this week has been a real treat for us as far as EV news is concerned. Flying cars!  A commitment to an electric Ducati!  The last week of October features tons of spook-tacular new drops, including a 1,600-pound car!

As always, if you see something of interest, drop us a line at stephanie@thevintagent.com.

Let’s do this:

An EV Car that Flies!!!

 

HT Aero, the latest entry into a long-promised future of flying cars. None have yet been certified by the FAA, but soon... [HT Aero]
We’re going to start with the story that excites us the most. HT Aero, an urban air mobility company and an affiliate of Chinese EV company Xpeng, unveiled a new car concept this week that also flies! The startup raised a staggering $500 million in a Series A round in an effort to roll out its next-gen model in 2024. The ultralight vehicle will have the ability to turn into an aircraft via a foldable rotor mechanism. The props will seamlessly be integrated into the vehicle when it’s in car mode and when it’s ready for takeoff, the props will span about 12 meters from the large tail. If you’re scared of heights, don’t worry! The airplane car will also feature parachutes and an advanced environmental perception system to conduct safety assessments before taking flight.  Parachutes or seat belts...think about it.

Ducati Plans on Making its EV Debut in 2025

Rumored and vaporware'd for years: now Ducati has committed to an EV as part of a racing program with Dorna to take over its eBike racing series from Energica. [Ducati]
An EV Ducati? This seems to be the case as Ducati becomes the official manufacturer for the MotoE race series slated to kick off in 2023, after Italian eBike manufacturer Energica declined to supply the series with its already-available Ego Corse models [watch our film about the customized Energica from our Electric Revolution exhibit here]. The announcement will also see the Italian moto manufacturer stepping into the EV arena with the development of its first ever e-Motorcycle. However, this will not come to fruition until 2025 or later. The company, with its proven racing pedigree, will utilize futuristic tech solutions to develop a nimble bike that boasts best-in-class power-to-weight ratio despite the weight of the battery. The e-Motorbike will be tested on different race tracks worldwide. Would you ride one?

ICOMA Drops a Cubicle-Friendly e-Bike

The new Icoma Tatamel takes the Honda Motocompo concept from the 1980s to today, with surprisingly little conceptual modification required. Make a bike suitcase-sized! The Motocompo is a cult item now...perhaps the Icoma will become the same: it certainly is cute. [Icoma]
Never worry about chain grease on your trousers when you bike to work, ever again! Japanese startup, ICOMA, recently debuted a foldable e-Motorcycle dubbed the Tatamel bike. The itty-bitty bike can be folded down to fit under an office desk. When you’re ready to ride, the bike measures 1000mm tall, 1230mm long, and 650mm wide. When folded, it measures 680mm tall, 700mm long, and 260mm wide.  The Tatamel has a 40km/h (24mph) top speed and a 50km (30-mile) range: that's pretty fast and far riding a briefcase!   The side panels are of course customizable, and we've seen some terrific Honda Motocompo - the closest conceptual kin - customs in the past year.  What we want to know: can we carry it on a plane?

A Lighter-than-Air EV Car

Ultralight and ultrafast: the Vazirani Ekonk weighs only 1600lbs. [Vazirani]
Mumbai-based startup, Vazirani, revealed its 1,627-pound electric hypercar this week. Known as the Ekonk, the EV features a single seat and utilizes a bespoke battery technology to efficiently cool its power source with air instead of a liquid-cooled system. Chief designer, Chunky Vazirani (what a name!), who has worked for Land Rover and Jaguar, used biomimicry to draw inspiration from the way animals naturally regulate their body temperatures through breathing, to cool his motor with air instead of water or oil.  The Ekonk is planned to be the fastest car produced in India, with 722hp and a top speed of 192mph, and a 0-100kmh speed of 2.6seconds.  Quick!  Amazingly, the Ekonk will include no 'drivers aids' like traction control etc, but presumably will have a sophisticated controller instead of a light switch for on/off power.   The goal was a 1:1 hp/kg power to weight ratio, and an extremely low drag coefficient, plus no passengers to keep the overall weight to a minimum.  While the imagery looks like vaporware, we're assured a prototype is currently in the testing phase.

Double Your Riding Pleasure

The Velotric Discover ebike is currently available and very reasonably priced., with a nice range of colors. [Velotrix]
Remember Doublemint Gum’s slogan of “double your pleasure, double your fun?” Now you can have twice the battery and twice the fun with Velotric’s Discover e-Bike. Boasting a 692Wh battery that delivers 80 miles worth of range, the step-thru bike has a 500W motor and 65Nm torque. However, the Discover 1 doesn’t forgo comfort or style for functionality. It’s designed for optimal comfort and is available in stunning color options, including canary yellow and turquoise.

Coast to Coast on Sunlight

Suhil Reddy is riding across the USA using a solar-powered ebike with a range of 40miles/day on solar power alone. [Suhil Reddy]
We’ll wrap up this week’s roundup with an inspiring story of how one guy is riding a solar powered e-Bike clear across the US. Catching rays from North Carolina to Texas, Sushil Reddy is doing a coast-to-coast ride on sun-powered bike with his partner, Luis Fourzan. Sushil’s bike is powered by two solar panels mounted on the back, giving it a range of about 40 miles. Conversely, Luis is astride a regular e-Bike. Suhil already holds the world record for the longest distance traveled on an ebike, and is undertaking this ride to support awareness around sustainability and personal efforts to combat climate change. We wish them the best of luck on their travels!

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct 21, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Howdy readers and riders! Welcome to our weekly roundup of EV news where we report on the stories that matter most to you. In this edition, we’ll take a look at some awesome new releases from Soriano Motori and Daymak, explore an intriguing new website that allows anyone to download and build a bike, and chat about fresh funds.

Have you seen any EV news that’s attracted your attention? Our inboxes are always open! Drop us a line to let us know what excites you.

 

New Drops

The new Soriano Giaguaro V1 sportbikes are coming: 80hp and a 200 mile range claimed. [Soriano]
  • Soriano Motori, an e-Bike startup launched in 2019 in an effort to revive the renowned motorcycle marque’s name for a new generation, recently announced that it plans to premiere its stunning new Giaguaro V1 Gara e-Bikes at EICMA 2021 next month. Soriano promises 80 hp, a range of up to 200 miles, with a 0 to 60mph time of just 3.5 seconds.  This puts them in direct competition with Energica, and soon, Ducati, in the e-sports field: a natural playing ground for an Italian brand, but a tough field as the market for very fast eBikes is still fairly small.  What bike will break through to the sports rider? In other news, last December Soriano became the first moto brand to accept cryptocurrency as a preorder payment. If their bikes are anything like their forward-thinking payment options, we’re excited to see what’s next.
The Daymak Spiritus 3-wheeler is dramatic and enclosed, unlike other sports trikes. [Daymak]
  • Toronto-based EV manufacturer, Daymak, made waves earlier this week with its three-wheeled EV prototype, the Daymak Spiritus. One of the first vehicles in the company’s exorbitant Avvenire EV lineup, the electric “car” boasts a 180-mile range and is priced at just under $20,000. Its unique aerodynamic shape plays a significant role in its high range rating and also qualifies the Daymak Spiritus as a motorcycle in almost every jurisdiction worldwide. This means that it’s outside the stringent safety policies passenger cars must adhere to. Daymark President Also Baiocchi notes, “A poster from 2005 of our Spiritus concept three-wheeler still hangs in my office, so finally seeing our vision come to life 16 years later and sharing that dream with more than 25,000 people who ordered the vehicle is a very special moment for us. This prototype is a major milestone in our commitment to the Avvenire program, and having achieved this goal, the rest of the journey is finally coming together."

From Byte to Bike

The open source, downloadable plywood bicycle design is begging for a motor! [OpenBike]
One story from this week that immediately caught our eye was Arquimana’s downloadable bike designs that can literally be fabricated by anybody in the world. The Spanish company is leveraging technology to cut down on carbon emissions by enabling folks to build wooden bicycles from downloadable drawings. A person can effortlessly download the drawing from the OpenBike website, take it to their local fablab, and build the bike with the help of 3D printing. Since the fabrication files are licensed under Creative Commons 4.0, builders can modify the bike to their exact specifications.

Show Us the Money

Electric snowbike! That looks like big and quiet fun...enjoying the outdoors without the two-stroke howl of a snowmobile. [Moonbike]
  • MoonBikes, an e-Snowbike (!!!) manufacturer, recently closed a $5.2 million seed funding round. Their e-Bike/snowmobile mash-up machine features a light frame, one front ski, and a track in the back. It can reach 26 mph, has a range of up to three hours, and features a 40% steepness grade. Curious how these go in the snow?  Ask Roland Sands!  He spent a month in a cast after crashing into a tree on one...
In Chinese cities, anything smaller than a car or with less than 4 wheels is an EV, from mopeds and scooters in their tens of thousands, to 3-wheel delivery trucks that displace the universal small pickup found in other countries. [Paul d'Orléans]
  • The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) recently announced that EV sales in China will grow to 35% of the total market for vehicles by 2025. That’s a jump from 1.4 million units sold/year to three million per year - only EVs!   China already has the largest number of eBikes on the street of any country in the world, after legislating small internal combustion motors off the roads of major cities in 2016.  Now there are an estimated 10M eBikes on China's streets, which makes them very quiet, with no noxious fumes from cheap two-stroke motors.   Walking the streets of Shanghai is an experience of the future of the global transport, and it's very pedestrian friendly.  Combined with China's commitment to dramatically cut its use of coal for generating power, and its current ban on new coal-powered electric plants, puts China in the lead on green energy.  They still have a long way to go on carbon emissions, though, While China's per-capita emission are low (hey, 1.4 Billion is a lot of people), their total carbon output grew significantly in 2020, as opposed to the rest of the developed world, which dropped with reduced travel and production during the pandemic.  Have a look at China's carbon footprint here.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct. 13, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hi readers and riders! Like we do every week, we’ve assembled an extensive list of valuable EV news that matters to you. This week sees several new releases, soaring stocks, fresh funds, and a new addition to our ADV:Overland Petersen Museum exhibit - the Tardigrade.  Let’s roll.

Exciting New Drops

The second week of October has seen some revolutionary new releases from EV brands both old and new.

The proposed VanMoof supercycle with a higher top speed. [VanMoof]
  • VanMoof recently announced a brand-new concept, the VanMoof V. The company’s first high-speed e-Bike is ready for pre-order and boasts two-wheel drive, a full suspension frame, next-gen tech, and advanced acceleration with top speeds of 50 kmph (31 mph).
A prototype Kawasaki eBike sports machine shown in 2020. [Kawasaki]
  • Kawasaki is dipping its toes into the e-Bike sector and plans to launch 10 two-wheeled EVs and hybrid bikes by 2025. More bikes are planned by 2035.
The Corrit mini cycle is an appealing and timely offering, as the small eBike scene is booming. [Corrit]
  • Corrit Electric is dropping its first ever e-Scooter, the Hover, by the end of the month. The startup is currently taking pre-orders for the bike and will start delivering it to customers by late November. The two-seater scoot has a load-carrying capacity of about 250 kgs (551 lbs), a max range of 110 km (68 miles), and can hit speeds of 25 kmph (15 mph).
The CAKE anti-poaching Kalk is a special edition of their lightweight all-purpose machines, developed to help park rangers fight poachers silently in South Africa. They're now in the field being tested. [CAKE]
  • Swedish EV maker, CAKE, is busy this week, releasing the first batch of electric bush bikes to curb illegal poaching in Africa. Dubbed the Kalk AP, the e-Bikes feature 18-inch custom off-road tires and a rear carrier to attach medical equipment, arms, and a first-aid kit to treat wounded wildlife.

The Tardigrade, an amazing lunar cycle built by Hookie Co, will be installed at our ADV:Overland exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum by November. [HookieCo]
Speaking of CAKE, the custom moto design company Hookie Co has just shipped its completed moon motorcycle, the Tardigrade, to the Petersen Automotive Museum for inclusion in our exhibit ADV:Overland. This otherworldly ride was originally conceived by Russian designer Andrew Fabishevskiy, and his vaporware sketches of a NASA motorcycle were compelling enough for Hookie Co to secure the rights to actually build it!  That was quite a process, using CAKE power, although much of the build technology involved was new, including DuPont Kevlar 3D-printed wheels and NASA developed hi-temp finishes.  It's a notional machine and a lot of fun, not an actual off-world prototype, and is a perfect complement to the sci-fi legends already in the exhibit: the 'chariots' from the 1960s and 2018 versions of Lost in Space.  If you haven't seen the exhibit, you must!

Offset Motorcycles digs deep into the eBike scene, first with the OFR-M1. [Offset Motorcycles]
  • Denmark-based startup, Offset Motorcycles, just announced its fledgling project, the OFR-M1. Featuring a minimalistic design, a 6.2KwH battery pack that offers 1.5 hours of riding time and can be charged from 0% to 80% in just three hours, and a radical flux motor that’s good for 25 kW and 59 ft.-lb of torque, this zippy little thing can go from 0 to 60 in just under 4.5 seconds.

Mike Riis is developing electric speedway bikes, which are already approved in youth racing, for use against traditional methanol-burning racers. Watch a video here from Sideburn. [Mike Riis]
The company’s founder, Michael Riis Eriksen, is so passionate about EVs that he’s already developing electric speedway. bikes for inclusion into European racing series. While the concept is challenging for die-hard Speedway fans, electric racers drastically cut down on noise pollution, which is the #1 problem with Speedway tracks today: neighbors complaints!  The bikes will also be more cost-effective for racers, as they will no longer need routinely rebuild their engines.  Thoughts?

Money and More Money

  • Greaves Finance recently facilitated financing for EV production in India. The company is offering nimble financing options, low interest rates, and instant loan disbursement to support an obviously booming development sector.
  • Stocks are soaring as homebased off-road e-Motorcycle company, Volcon, goes public. Under the symbol VLCN on Nasdaq, the company enjoyed a surge in share values, with a $9.01 jump at opening. Fluctuating throughout the day, shares reached a staggering $15.50 at one point! Volcon Powersports made history last year by creating the first American-built, off-road, fat-tire e-Motorbike. Now they’re bringing home the bacon.
  • Russia-based tech giant Yandex recently acquired an Israeli e-Scooter rental company called Wind. The deal is slated to be finalized by the end of the year.

e-Bike and e-Scooter Safety Concerns Hit Hard in NYC

A New York Times story cites safety concerns for eScooters. [New York Times]
Earlier this week, the New York Times mused about the growing safety concerns as EV popularity continues to grow in the city that never sleeps. In 2021 alone, at least 17 people have been killed riding EVs in NYC.  Then again, 20 bicyclists were killed in the Big Apple in 2020...

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct. 7, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Hello all riders and readers! Welcome to our weekly EV news roundup, where we share everything you need to know about the world of electric bikes. The first full week of October panned out to be EV-heavy, with several exciting new releases, fresh new funding, and how the EV boom is sending battery giants scampering to fill the shortage of qualified engineer and research specialists.

Let’s do this.

More Info is Released About the $5,000 SONDORS Metacycle

The Sondors Metacycle is on track to be the first affordable mid-size eBike. The 'statement' void where the gas tank used to be is a clever design feature, as is the monocoque aluminum chassis. [Sondors]
While SONDORS is preparing to release its $5,000 e-Bike, the Metacycle, we’re learning more about its battery. With a promised range of 80 miles on a single charge and top speeds of 80 mph, the bike’s battery plays a critical role in its performance and acceptance by traditionalist riders. According to the company, the removable battery boasts “unparalleled innovation, spectacular design, and next-level ingenuity.” However, there are some caveats. There is concern regarding how the cables will be connected and disconnected when a rider removes the battery since they may need to be manually disengaged.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section!

Ridiculously Fast e-Scoots

The 60mph Ycom electric scooter has a carbon fiber chassis and plenty of power, proving that anything on wheels can be souped up and taken racing. Can't wait to see these guys at Electric Revolution Live in My 2022! [YCOM/ Malcolm Griffiths]
One downside to EVs we often hear gas-loving riders voice is that electric bikes lack speed. Well, these 60 mph e-Scooters will crush those complaints! The little YCOM S1-X e-Scooter barely tips the scale at just 77 pounds and was custom built for the new eSkootr Championship series (eSC). The races are slated to start next year on 400 to 800-meter circuits, and we want to see them!  Full racing leathers and helmet required for these carbon-fiber rockets.

Fresh Funds

The Dance.co bikeshare in Germany is a white-glove rental service. [Dance.co]
  • German EV startup Dance recently raised $19 million in just a few short weeks after rolling out its e-Bike subscription service in Berlin. The monthly subscription will run you about $90 for the white-gloved rental experience.
Indian startup kWh bikes has secured major investment to start production of their technologies. [kWh bikes]
  • kWh, a Bengaluru-based e-Scooter startup, raised $2 million from Let’s Venture. The company plans to use the funds to take its prototypes to production.  The company had developed an e-scooter with a steel tube chassis and in-wheel motor with modest performance and a very low price.  It will join the new wave of inexpensive eBikes coming from India that will soon appear around the world.
Chinese mega-company CATL currently supplies an enormous range of companies in the tech and EV space. [CATL]
  • Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), China’s largest battery manufacturer, recently acquired Vancouver-based Millennial Lithium for $297 million.  Chinese companies already dominate the global supply of lithum-based batteries, which are the gold standard for EVs, as well as for smartphones and computers.  China currently controls 80% of the world's minerals used for the production of batteries - lithium, cobalt, graphite, etc - as part of their far-seeing strategy to secure mineral rights from countries around the planet, especially in Africa and South America.  As half of the world's vehicles are expected to be electric by 2040, this makes China's position on the application of energy (as opposed to its production) the strategic equivalent of the Mideast domination of petrochemical production in the 20th Century.  The United States prioritized 'energy independence' after the 1974 Oil Crisis, and achieved it in 2019, but no such long-term strategy for the protection of mineral rights or battery production - as important to future transport as petroleum is today - exists today, or is even being discussed.  In other words, in all important respects, China has won, as the only runner in the race to power personal tech and EVs.  The geopolitical implications are clear as the center of 'power' shifts further east.
Ultium is the new battery system being developed by GM as part of its future move to an all-EV lineup. [GM]
  • GM is investing a ton of money in a next-gen battery platform dubbed Ultium. The company will use a facility in Michigan called the Wallace Battery Innovation Center to drive the development and commercialization of long-range EV batteries.

South Korean Battery Giants Face Staffing Shortage

Korean battery manufacturers like LG acknowledge a huge deficit of suitably educated workers for the future of EV and tech power. [LG]
Three major players in the South Korean EV battery sector are suffering from a shortage of qualified specialists as the demand for electric vehicles continues to balloon. Samsung SDI Co Ltd, SK On, and LG Energy Solutions (LGES) can’t find enough technicians with the proper training and experience needed to keep advancing solid-state batteries. This is directly impacting production of EVs already, as supply chains slow down, and manufacturers are currently unable to meet demand, or even finish their vehicles as they wait for vital parts. This has been exacerbated by 21st Century on-demand production systems that are convenient for manufacturers (as they hold no stock of parts) but requires suppliers to be flexible, and meet demand quickly. At the moment, that system is broken, in nearly all international trade, from lumber and steel to tech and transport.  The global battery industry has doubled production over the last five years, and will only continue to expand as EVs take over the streets. South Korea estimates that it lacks almost 3,000 graduate degree-level positions in departments such as design and research to fulfill the ever-increasing demand.   More STEM education is needed there as well as in the rest of the world!

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Oct. 1, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

Happy national Drive Electric Week! Held every October, the week-long event is a nationwide observance to raise awareness of the numerous benefits of electric vehicles. Here at The Vintagent, we’re proud to be doing our part in promoting EV education by sharing valuable stories with you every week. This week sees the drop of Harley-Davidson’s most affordable e-Bike, the Serial 1 MOSH/CTY, how the UK’s fuel shortage is driving the demand for EVs, a new e-Scooter that has a staggering range of 480+ km on one charge, some fun new releases, and a ton of successful fundraising efforts.

The Cheapest Bike Harley-Davidson Will Ever Make?

Serial 1's Mosh CTY basic model is $3999: many of their models are already sold out, so sort you Xmas order today! [Serial 1]
Harley-Davidson’s e-bike arm, Serial 1, just announced that its first limited-edition S1 Series e-Bike, the MOSH/TRIBUTE, is now available for pre-order. The vintage prototype is a hat tip to Harley’s past, but it features all the essential tech for today’s savvy riders. The most affordable option in the new lineup is the MOSH/CTY. Priced at $3,799, the 20-mph, pedal-assist e-Bike boasts a removable 529Wh battery, a light, mid-mounted Brose S MAG motor that produces 90Nm/66 ft.-lb. of torque, and a Gates carbon-fiber belt. The only caveat is that the bike has no built-in suspension. But if you’ve successfully ridden a hardtail, you’ll probably fare well on this lil’ guy.

Demand for EVs Spike Amidst the UK’s Fuel Shortage Crisis

Brexit and subsequent disaffection of transport drivers with low-paying, low-benefit jobs has contributed greatly to the fuel shortage in the UK. Ebikes are one solution... [Bloomberg]
Remember when everyone was panic-buying toilet paper during the early days of the pandemic? Well, now the same thing is happening in the UK. EV website searches spiked by more than 60% earlier this week due to widespread panic at the pump, due to widespread shortages. Electric vehicle retailers also saw more enquiries from potential customers, with a message sent every two minutes.  While the gas companies blame 'panic buying', workers around the world have re-examined their low-paying jobs, including 'essential' transport workers.  Stories in the NYTimes, Guardian, etc, have discussed the devolution of driving as a career, from a secure, well-paid job to a low-wage grind with long hours and few benefits, which only got worse after Brexit and the Covid pandemic.  In common with workers around the world (in restaurants and retail especially), transport drivers in the UK are re-examining their careers, while the government sent a call for 10,000 retired lorry drivers to return to 'essential' work.  Most retired drivers, though, are ignoring the call. 

Longest Ranging e-Scooter Drops

India is set to become the largest motorcycle manufacturing region in the world. With products like the Raft Indus NX, with a 300-mile range on a single charge, it's not hard to see why they will soon lead the world in innovation and sales. [Raft Motors]
Mumbai-based Raft Motors announced this week that its e-Scooter, the INDUS NX, can travel more than 480 km (almost 300 miles) on a single charge, obliterating complaints about 'range' with eBikes. The scooter is equipped with dual-battery options with 10 amps fast charging, disc brakes, and a keyless start.  It's another example of how far ahead the Indian motorcycle industry has leaped compared to the rest of the world.  With sales in India alone of over 1Million motorcycles and scooters per MONTH, the Indian industry dwarfs all European and American industries combined.

Riders Across 139 Countries Log 50-Million Miles on Electric Monos

With 50 Million miles logged to date, the Onewheel is a micro-mobility powerhouse. And that photo was shot on Mt Tamalpais in Marin County, CA! [Onewheel]
This isn’t recent news, but we’re going to include this because we’re really, really impressed. Future Motion, the maker of the electric skateboard, Onewheel, announced back in June that its global community of riders have collectively racked up more than 52 million miles on the device since the company dropped its first model seven years ago. The data comes from the company’s companion app where riders can track their usage. Just last year, Onewheel riders logged more than 27 million miles.

Fresh Funding

The current CAKE lineup: 3 different chassis and price points: Makka, Kalk, and Ösa. [CAKE]
Many EV startups rely on fundraising to fuel their dreams. Some, like CAKE, are successful. In fact, the Swedish EV manufacturer announced this week that it had dramatically surpassed its fundraising expectations, closing at $60 million. “We knew we were entering a space with increasingly strong tailwinds when we got started back in 2016, but we couldn't dream of the pace in which things are now happening, for the good of people, planet and business,” CAKE founder and CEO, Stefan Ytterborn, stated in a press release.

Other recent noteworthy investments include:

Ubco's utility ebike is a classic example of one of the fastest growing segments of the EV market: two-wheeled utes. [Ubco]
Battery Resources focuses on a glaring problem with EVs: their batteries are not currently recyclable, meaning all those rare earth minerals have to be mined afresh for every battery. Not very 'green'...but Battery Resources already offers recycled materials for battery production. [Battery Resources]
  • Battery Resources, a startup that’s launching a closed-loop approach to lithium-ion battery materials, raised $70 million in funding.

Rad New eBike Releases

Some additional EV releases that caught our attention this week include:

Cowboy Ebike CEO Adrian Roose tests out his C4 model. [Cowboy]
  • Cowboy’s nimble new Cowboy 4 e-Bike, featuring an integrated “cockpit” that allows riders to securely mount their smartphones to access GPS or fitness data in real-time. The bike has a range of about 43 miles on one charge and can travel up to 20 mph.
The Rad Power e
Bike is a classic city commuter. [Rad Power]
  • Rad Power Bikes announced the release of its RadCity 5 Plus, a commuter e-Bike that can climb hills 40% faster than earlier predecessors.
Pave Motors from NYC offers a slick, modern minibike. [Pave Motors]
  • NYC’s Pave Motors announced its Pave Bike, a minibike with a tiny in-wheel motor, is available for pre-order.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sept 24, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

It seems that with every passing week, the EV world is going farther and faster. And as the e-Bike boom continues to grow, so will our coverage on the essential stories that matter to you, dear readers/riders. This week sees 70mph e-Scooters built entirely by a team of women (definitely my cup of tea), an evocatively styled e-Bike that is sure to appeal to scrambler enthusiasts, an e-Scooter that boasts the same collision warning sensors as your car, and EV stocks worth investing in.

e-Scooters to Be Built Entirely by Women

The Ola Electric scooter has a 'universal' shape, simple enough to appeal to everyone. [Ola Electric]
Ola Electric, an Indian EV two-wheeler manufacturer, plans to export its 70 mph e-Scooters, the S1 and S1 Pro, to the US very, very soon. Better yet, the company is employing 10,000 women to get the job done. The all-lady team will work in Ola’s gigantic Futurefactory. The company is planning to produce 10 million electric scooter per year, and estimates that it will supply 15% of the global e-Scooter demand by 2023. Ola’s decision to build an 100% female workforce, including women managers, is part of a unique inclusivity initiative that is crucial in India. Ola’s CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, elaborated further in a recent blog post:

10,000 women! A PR stunt or a strategic move on the part of Ola Electric? Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola Electric, stands with his workers, who will produce 2Million scooters in 2022, with an eventual goal of 10M/year for the global market.  Sound like a lot?  Consider that Indian motorcycle/scooter manufacturers like Hero are already the largest in the world, and Indian manufacturers sell  over 10M two-wheelers per year! [Ola Electric]
Today, I am proud to announce that Ola Futurefactory will be run entirely by women. We welcomed the first batch this week and at full capacity, Futurefactory will employ over 10,000 women, making it the world’s largest women-only factory and the only all-women automotive manufacturing facility globally. This is the first in a series of initiatives we are undertaking at Ola to create a more inclusive workforce and provide economic opportunities for women across the board. We have invested significantly to train and upskill them in core manufacturing skills and they will be responsible for the entire production of every vehicle manufactured at Ola Futurefactory.

Enabling women with economic opportunities improves not just their lives but that of their families and indeed the whole community. In fact, studies show that just providing women parity in the labor workforce can grow India’s GDP by 27%. But this requires active and conscious efforts from all of us, especially in manufacturing where participation remains the lowest at just 12%. For India to be the world’s manufacturing hub, we must prioritize upskilling and generating employment for our women workforce.

RGNT’s Throwback e-Motorcycle Caters to Scrambler Enthusiasts

The RGNT Scrambler has short chromed fenders and a grey frame. [RGNT]
Are you a fan of the Honda CL series? Then you’ll probably dig the 77 mph retro-styled e-Motorbike RGNT is now taking orders for. The Swedish e-Bike manufacturer recently announced that it is taking orders for the updated Generation 1.5 RGNT Scrambler. Featuring classy, stripped-down styling, an enhanced suspension fork with increased durability, new Galfer brake rotors, and an upgraded 11 kW motor that decreases heat by as much as 30% to reduce battery waste energy, this bike is sure to appeal to classic café enthusiasts. With a 68-mile range and a Combined Braking System (CBS) for increased security, RGNT’s Scrambler is bound to sell out fast.

The Swedish eBike company RGNT based their initial model (the No.1 as seen here) on a vintage Honda chassis, but is currently a hand-built machine. [RGNT]
RGNT motorcycles are currently hand-built in their modern facility just outside Gothenberg, Sweden: the Vintagent team just took a Zoom tour of their facilities!  The RGNT No1 used a chassis and look based on the vintage Honda CB series, and the Scrambler is reminiscent of the CL Scrambler series.  A new chassis and new production line is in the works, as RGNT grows its footprint across Europe and soon to North America.  The vintage styling may not be cutting edge or reflect a tank-less future, but it appeals to a broad spectrum of riders and non-riders alike, who intuitively recognize it as 'motorcycle': it's proved a popular strategy on the 'Net, and fingers crossed the market for mid-range eBikes is as strong as for ICE bikes.

New e-Scooter Has the Same Collision Warning System as Your Fancy Car

The Unagi (Japanese for eel) has safety detection systems built in. [Unagi]
Unagi isn’t cutting any corners when it comes to its next-generation e-Scooter. The Unagi Model Eleven will sport smart sensors that scan for unexpected dangers, including careless pedestrians and stop signs, and alerts the rider via audible signals. Learning from its past mistakes, the Model Eleven has swapped out the original rigid airless tires for a soft, puncture-proof foam option. And even though the scooter’s top speeds of 19 mph and steep price point won’t win everyone over, we’re still intrigued.

EV Stocks Worth the Investment

New, huge, and well-funded players in the EV market include Chinese automaker XPeng. Not paying attention to such stuff? To quote Yoda, "You will be...you will be." [Bloomberg]
During Q1 of 2021, global EV sales spiked a staggering 160% , to 260Million units (!Wake up peeps!) from the same quarter last year. Such sales numbers are making stock watchers pay attention, thinking the future EV growth in sales makes EV stocks a prime investment opportunity. Some stocks worth watching are Nikola Corporation (NKLA) and Hyliion Holdings, in case you play the markets.  Note: The Vintagent does not endorse any investment strategy...we spend all our money on motorcycles!

Government Investment in EVs Projected to Create 150,000 Jobs

A report by the Economic Policy Institute lays it out: if the US government does not invest in EV technology, a projected 75,000 US jobs will be lost in the coming decade, as EV production ramps up overseas (did you note all the articles above are about non-US companies?).  The EPI report projects, though, that with the $175M included in the current budget proposals to support EV development, the US will gain 175,000 jobs in EV production over the next 10 years.  "The Stakes for Workers in How Policymakers Manage the Coming Shift to All-Electric Vehicles" lays out the stakes: "...battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which are powered exclusively by a battery and an electric motor, currently make up a small part of U.S. auto sales. And the batteries and other drivetrain components in BEVs are largely made by non-U.S. suppliers. The coming shift toward BEVs is a transformational change to the industry that is by now inevitable."  To summarize: if we're not part of the solution, we're creating more problems.  Seems pretty straightforward.  Give the article a read here.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sep 17, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, as a follow-up of our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

This week in EV news sees a baby-toting EV cargo bike, a fold-up e-Bike, a reimagined electric motorbike platform, a new drop from one of the OG e-Bike manufacturers, and updates on President Biden’s EV tax credits.

Zaiser Motors Drops a Platform Redesign and Sporty e-Bike

The Zaiser Silhouette is long enough for a serious cruise, and has room for 300 miles of battery storage. [Zaiser]
Zaiser Motors, a Denver-based technology startup and creator of the world’s first Electrocycle, the Silhouette, announced earlier this week that it would be dropping the Arrow, a sportier model, that will be built on the company’s newly designed Electrocycle platform. After reaching its initial funding goals in just six weeks, Zaiser is using the capital to enhance the development of the Electrocycle platform. The Electrocycle Silhouette is a twin-hub electric motorcycle with a staggering 300-mile range, top speeds of 120 mph, and a starting price tag of $25,000. Its baby brother, the Arrow, will have a range of 160 miles and can be cranked up to 100 mph.

With the launch of the Arrow, Zaiser is hoping to target urban riders and daily commuters who are looking for a lighter, more affordable EV option. The Arrow costs $8,500 and weighs 380 pounds.

Monday Motorbikes Introduces the Piezo

The new Piezo model from Monday Motorbikes, still bearing a Puch-inspired frame system. [Monday Motorbikes]
San Francisco EV startup Monday Motorbikes recently announced its newest generation of electric motorbikes. Dubbed the Piezo (after piezoelectricity, an electrical charge built up in response to mechanical stress), the lineup will be the company’s eighth generation of EVs.  The Vintagent has been following the Monday story since 2013, after encountering founding engineer Nathan Jauvits on a San Francisco street with his home-built EV Puch moped, which he intended to make into a production machine.  We look forward to new models!

Carqon Classic Caters to the Kiddos

The hand the rocks the cradle: the Carqon is kid friendly for the bicycle set. [Carqon]
Dutch company Carqon wants to help parents ditch the stroller once and for all. Its electric cargo bike, the Carqon Classic, features a large nest that cradles your kid in comfort. The integrated children’s door, featuring double childproof safety locks, allows youngsters to effortlessly climb aboard all on their own. You can tote around up to two tots and an infant. The bike’s low center of gravity, hardy off-road tires, and front-fork suspension ensure a safe, smooth ride for all.

Everybody wear a helmet, ok? Still, strapping your child into a reinforced passenger compartment sounds like a good thing. [Carqon]
That's especially easy on bicycle friendly Dutch roads, although we see plenty of cargo bicycles carrying kids to school in urban areas of the USA.  Perhaps the safety angle will be push growth for Carqon?

Meet the World’s First Folding e-Bike

Clever folding design and amazingly inexpensive: the new Fiido folders. [Fiido]
Anyone who’s carried luggage on a train or subway understands the importance of compact carry-ons. But what if you have to travel with your e-Bike? The Fiido X folding bike is the EV world’s answer to this question. Created by the direct-to-consumer Chinese company, Fiido, the fold-up e-Bike can be easily stowed away in your car, under your work desk, or even in the overhead compartment. The Fiido X is available in three models, ranging in price from $1,098 to $1,298. All models max out at 20+ mph and feature a built-in battery and light magnesium frame that weighs no more than 40 pounds. Though the Fiido X is a pedal-assist only e-Bike for now, the company plans on selling a mod kit later down the road for riders that want to add a throttle.

e-Bike Tax Credit Slowly Makes Its Way Through Congress

President Biden is pushing hard for more EVs on the road as part of a broader strategy to fight climate change. [Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/CNET]
Remember how we told you about President Biden’s proposed EV tax credit back in April? Well, it has slowly been creeping up through the Congressional hierarchy, offering a $4500 subsidy to buy an EV.  That amount may almost triple to $12,500, if the current bill becomes law.  But there's a catch: the EV must be made in the USA with union labor in the bill as written, which has both Tesla and Toyota pushing against the bill, as neither company qualifies [If only Congress had been so concerned about either qualification in the 1980s/90s, when industry left the USA in droves and American industry hollowed out  - Ed.]  A phase-out schedule based on income brackets of $75,000 and over has also been proposed. The text also uses the troublesome “under 750 watts” phrase when defining e-Bikes that qualify for the incentive. Ideally the wording will be updated to say “not more than 750 watts” to be inclusive of all e-Bikes that are currently legal throughout most of the country.  For a decent exploration of the issue, check out this CNET article.

[Editor's note: I've been asked the same question by every E-Moto manufacturer I've met: 'what will move the needle on ebikes in the USA?'  I've always answered the same, 'Legislation.'  Which they've always found discouraging, but it's exactly what propelled China to the top of global ebike usage, with millions on their streets today.  EVs have their issues, from rare mineral extraction and its political/social/environmental cost, to clean electricity production, but walking on the streets of Shanghai today is to experience quiet and relatively pollution-free streets.]

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sept 10 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

It’s that time of the week to plug in, charge up, and ride out! The first full week of September has been a crazy one for electric motorcycles. From BMW releasing yet two boundary-pushing e-bikes (you’re guaranteed to love the 186 miles worth of range on them) to four moto giants partnering up to launch a battery swapping system, this week’s EV news roundup is bound to get all you electric vehicle nerds fired up!  It's all movement towards the Electric Revolution.

BMW Drops two new E-Bikes: High-Speed and Low-Speed

The BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY skirts the line between bicycle and motorcycle, but is legally firmly in the moto camp. BMW built the concept vehicle to push boundaries on legal issues cropping up for e-bikes that are as fast as motorcycles. [BMW]
BMW is no stranger to making a big splash. And that’s just what the company did at the recent IAA Mobility show in Munich, Germany. The luxury vehicle and motorcycle manufacturer unveiled two new EV bikes at the event, under an 'adaptive mobility' (AMBY) banner: the BMW Motorrad Vision AMBY, a low-speed electric motorcycle, and the I Vision AMBY, a high-speed e-bike.  And while the two machines are similar, one is firmly in the motorcycle camp in using a twistgrip for power, requiring a helmet, and having no pedals. The Motorrad Vision AMBY is ultralight at 65kg (145lbs), and can travel up to 186 miles in its lowest power setting, while hitting speeds of up to 37 mph in the highest mode. Fun fact: the highest speed on the i Vision AMBY doesn’t fit into any current EV legislations, and is intended to push legislative boundaries for adaptive speed limits for varying conditions.  For example, with 'geofencing' the top speed could be regulated in pedestrian zones to a 16mph, while in open country the full 37mph could be exploited.  Our American readers are surely horrified at the concept of a motorcycle designed to invite legislation, but BMW sees a connected future, where all vehicles will communicate, with each other and with local speed limits too.

The new BMW I Vision AMBY is a sleek modernist pedelec design with full suspension. [BMW]
On the other hand, BMW’s I Vision AMBY pedelec tops off at 37 mph. With wide tires and a hefty suspension system, this bike looks like it’s certainly ready for the trail.

CAKE and Polestar Announce the Maiden Electric Mobility Bundle

Polestar carries CAKE: the new Makka two-wheeler on the back of a Polaris 2 sedan. [CAKE]
CAKE and Polaris have teamed up to release a new electric mobility bundle that merges the convenience and comprehensive all-road capabilities of the Polaris 2 electric car with the urban agility of the CAKE Makka moped. A rear tow bar mount will enable the bike to be easily transported behind the car and simultaneously charged.

“Our new electric mobility bundle comes as a unique first step to solve the worldwide problems of city mobility as well as to accelerate the transition towards an emissions-free future. Instead of wasting time in a car queue, struggling to find a parking spot or squashing up in a crowded subway train, we together with the team at Polestar want to make the future of mobility flexible, accessible and emission-free - while aiming to create cities for people, not for cars that pollute,” CAKE CEO and founder, Stefan Ytterborn, stated in a press release.

Would you buy this bundle? Let us know in the comments below!

VanMoof Becomes “Most Funded e-Bike Company” After Raising $128 Million

The VanMoof ebike is chic and simple, and now the best-funded company in the global market. [VanMoof]
As part of its goal to put out 10 million e-bikes in the next five years, VanMoof has recently raised $128 million in funds. The Amsterdam-based company is using those funds to roll out branded stores and service hubs in more cities across the globe. VanMoof has already grown its retail and service footprints from eight to 50 locations worldwide during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vehicle Manufacturing Giants Team Up to Create a Battery Swapping System

Four major motorcycle manufacturers join forces to harmonize EV manufacture in regards to charging and batteries. [SBMC]
Honda, KTM, Yamaha, and Piaggio have all signed an official agreement to provide a battery swapping service to the moto community worldwide. The four companies are the founding members of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC), seeking to broaden the use of light EVs, including motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters, focussing on issues such as recharging times and battery life.  Most importantly, the group seeks to create an international standard for charging ports for all two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Schaeffler Group Reveals a Chainless e-Bike Drive System

The Schaeffler bike-by-wire system of pedal crank power. [Schaeffler]
Schaeffler Group recently unveiled its new bike-by-wire system, called the 'Free Drive'.  It's a pioneering system consisting of a crankset generator, rear hub motor, and human-interface panel that utilizes automotive technologies to allow e-Bikes a physical disconnection between the crank and  rear hub motor. To put it simply, the system doesn’t use a belt, chain, or driveshaft to connect the rear hub to the generator/crankset.  There's an external battery to both absorb excess energy from pedaling and to power the rear wheel hub motor at a continuous 250W: thus the battery recharges as you pedal and gives a reasonable power. The system might prove ideal for ultralight, multi-wheel delivery vehicles on which a chain drive might prove cumbersome.  Ultimately, freeing a crankset from the wheel drive will also ease the development of new 'architectures' for bicycles and light multi-wheel vehicles, making feet-forward or even hand-crank vehicles much easier to build, without long or multiple-chain systems connecting the rear wheel.  Imagine the possibilities.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Sep. 3, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

This week has definitely been an exciting one for the world of electric motorcycles! From BMW dropping an EV bike catering to Gen Z (as a millennial, I feel slightly slighted), to an e-motorcycle setting a new land speed record at Bonneville, here is this week’s roundup of awesome EV stories from the Electric Revolution.

CrownCruiser Sets a New Standard for EV Bikes

The Crown Cruiser uses a carbon fiber chassis for a unique and chic urban style. Its designer Adebola Adeleye has been experimenting with ebikes for years, and is using an Indiegogo campaign to launch production. [Crown Cruiser]
A seamless blend of retro aesthetics, high performance, and pioneering technology, the CrownCruiser just dropped on Indiegogo. With throwback styling, tons of curves, and a tech pedigree backed by input from aerospace industry experts, the CrownCruiser promises to deliver an unrivaled riding experience within a 100-mile range. With a brushless DC hub motor that produces a maximum output of 100W and an affordable price tag of $3,150, the CrownCruiser is the brainchild of Adebola Adeleye. Using his background in aeronautical engineering and his passion for exploration, Adeleye set out to create an EV motorcycle that mated form with function.

To learn more about the Crown Cruiser, or support their Indiegogo campaign, click here. [Crown Cruiser]
Currently, manufacturing of the carbon fiber frame and other components of the bike are being developed by a leading independent materials manufacturer that has previously worked with Formula 1 teams. The CrownCruiser is currently ready for production. To make riding easier, Adeleye’s startup is planning to install swap-and-go battery stations across cities in the UK to allow riders to power up in seconds.

CAKE Launches Third Platform: Makka

CAKE's Makka with optional saddlebags. [Cake]
CAKE's third model platform was released this week, the Makka.  A light urban delivery or pleasure vehicle, it requires no license for riders 15 years an older, and is street legal.  It's also CAKE's first motorcycle with an in-wheel motor, with a step-thru chassis that's similar to their Ösa platform, but uses only large-diameter tubing with no spine member. It looks to be a perfect last-mile delivery vehicle, and comes with a range of accessories, from racks and saddlebags to a child safety seat!  We believe that's a first from a motorcycle company.

An industry first? The Makka with optional accessory child safety seat! [CAKE]
With cities and its mobility changing faster than expected with cleaner and more efficient solutions, we have been eager to share the Makka. An urban short-haul vessel, compact in size and price, reaching a wide audience in the process of deciding what their future means of transportation will be. I’m proud to introduce the CAKE urban shuttle, Makka.”, says Stefan Ytterborn, CEO and Founder.

BMW is Targeting a Younger Crowd with Its Motorrad Concept CE 02

The new BMW Concept CE 02 is a mini urban runabout with styling cues taken from indie ebike builders and customizers. It's an important move for BMW, which has struggled to reach new or non-riders and especially the youth market (in common with most OEMs). The future of fun is the future of motorcycling! [BMW]
Do you know what is rad? Luxury vehicle manufacturer BMW’s Motorrad Concept CE 02. Catering to Gen Z youngsters ages 16 and up who aren’t that familiar with riding, the EV bike boasts styling that’s worthy of the ‘Gram, smart technology, and a design that enables riders to pick a posture that best suits them. While traditionalists might roll their eyes at the lack of footrests and gears, we’re pretty pleased that BMW is trying to get the next generation aboard two-wheels.

Making tech specs irrelevant in pursuit of pure enjoyment is a drastic shift in approach for BMW, which has been steered for decades by a corporate culture of increasing tech and sophistication, which began to alienate new riders. [BMW]
Head of Design for BMW Motorrad, Edgar Heinrich, is clear about the inspiration behind the CE 02: "At first glance, there is little about the BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02 that is typically BMW Motorrad – it’s something completely new. We want to strive for something novel and be pioneers – which is what we’ve proven ourselves capable of with various projects in the past. The Concept CE 02 features new proportions and modern forms of single-track mobility in an urban environment. In addition, we wanted to achieve a level of design innovation that we have not had before at this level. Straightforward use was important, but above all the emotional component was crucial, as well as riding fun.”

The Nicolai Eboxx Ultra E-Bike is Beastly

The Nicolai Eboxx blurs the line between bicycle and enduro motorcycle with high performance, speed, and comfort with full suspension. [Nicolai]
The man behind the Nicolai Bicycles brand has been putting out wild e-bikes for a long time, and his brand new 275 Nm monster is no different. Recently featured at Eurobike 2021, the Eboxx Ultra delivers power between 15 to 35 kW. Despite its power, the Eboxx Ultra is a cumbersome machine, clocking in between 121 and 143 pounds. This makes the Eboxx Ultra more comparable to a light enduro motorcycle that a mountain bike.  It looks comfortable and fast for the trails less traveled, and the Eboxx Ultra handles itself pretty nicely on the pavement, reaching top speeds of about 40 mph.

EV Motorcycle Sets New Land Record

Ukranian ebike maker Delfast utilized the Dnepr name (and dummy fuel tank) for a run at Bonneville, hitting 107.2 mph with rider Serhii Malyk aboard, on Aug 21, 2021. [Delfast]
Two weeks ago on the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Ukranian ebike manufacturer Delfast set a record in the new “A Omega” class. The 68-horsepower Delfast Dnepr ran 107.2 mph with professional rider Serhii Malyk, who set previous records in 2017 and 2018 astride Delfast ebikes.  Delfast now owns the Dnepr name and intellectual property rights, and used a 1980s Dnepr two-stroke 'fuel tank' on the e-racer as a nod to the past.  If the name doesn't ring a bell, Dnepr was one of the companies producing clones of the BMW R71 model during and after WW2 (along with Ural and Chiang-Jiang, Yangtze, etc), as well as building their own designs of two-strokes and even Wankel-engined prototypes before hitting troubles with the fall of the Soviet Union.   Now Delfast is reviving the Dnepr name, which resonates in the former Soviet bloc countries, and is looking to secure a foothold in the future with their hi-tech ebikes.   Delfast is dedicated to producing economical ebikes with great performance - they currently hold the world record for the longest distance travelled on a single charge with their Prime ebike, rounding the Kiev Velodrome for 228 miles!

Expannia's new EV Concept Worthy of Daytona Bike Week

Expannia has a bold new lineup of motorcycles, microcars, sedans, and busses, all slated for future production. Their ebike is slick and attractive, but features limp-rod fake exhausts...why?
It's a beauty without them. [Expannia]
Far from the caterwauling cries of Harley exhausts we expect to hear bellowing up and down Main Street during Daytona Bike Week, Miami-based startup Expannia is quietly working on a lineup of muscular EVs. As the initial part of an ambitious plan to rollout compact cars, SUVs, and microcars by 2026, the company’s e-bike, slated for next year, is a true stunner. Housing 20 to 25 kW motors powered by a 6 kWh battery, the bike promises to reach top speeds of 75 mph and have a 93-mile range. While the bodywork is angular and frankly stunning, the designers in a fit of insecurity have fitted faux dual exhaust pipes and air intakes, to fool whom?  Ditch the chrome bits, Expannia, and be bold in your EV heart!

Ford and GM’s Stance on EV Impact of Gas Vehicle Values

The switch to EVs will not impact resale values, according to US industry bigwigs. Thoughts on that? [Aaron Bragman]
Automotive manufacturing giants, Ford and GM, are both expressing confidence that the global pivot to using EVs will not negatively effect the values of gas-powered vehicles. C-suite executives at both companies do not expect major changes within their leasing portfolios due to the ever-growing demand for electric vehicles. Do you think they’re right?

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Aug 27, 2021

As part of the buildup to our Electric Revolution Live event in May 2022, we are ramping up reportage on the EV scene.  It's an ever-evolving, even frantic, landscape of electric vehicles, and it can be tough to keep abreast of all the latest bikes, batteries, and news constantly flooding the market. That’s why we’ve re-launched our weekly EV News Roundup to bring you cherry-picked stories that matter to you.

From the affordable and super durable SONDORS Metacycle EV bike that features hub motor technology designed to eliminate the common chain/belt final drive (a frustration to many of you traditional riders, we know!) to batteries that promise to charge to 80% in just 30 minutes, here are our picks for the most buzzworthy EV stories of the week!

The SONDORS Metacycle Will Soon Be Hitting the Market

The Sondors is a sleek, modern design with sufficient identity to stand out in the market, and very reasonably priced.  'Cost of entry' is second only to 'range' on the list of gripes for potential e-bike buyers. [Sondors]
Priced to please at $5,000, the SONDORS Metacycle electric motorcycle is swiftly approaching its Q3 2021 shipping date. Durable enough for the daily commuter, the Metacycle delivers up to 80 miles on a single charge and can hit top speeds of 80 mph. While that won’t win this utilitarian bike any trophies on the racetrack, its affordable price-tag is sure to be appealing for the average rider who is looking for a highway-capable EV bike. The Metacycle offers hydraulic brake locks, a digital full color display, adjustable suspensions, and a rear hub motor. SONDOR’s motor choice is in stark contrast to the mid-mounted motor that most electric motorcycle manufacturers opt for. This streamlines the bike and eliminates the need for extra components, dropping the Metacycle’s price exponentially.

Husqvarna Unveils Its First EV Street Bike

The E-Pilen concept has been on display since Spring, but it's looking ever more likely to enter the market in 2021. [Husqvarna]
With the public hungry for more EV options, many motorcycle manufacturers are desperately trying to keep up with the demand. Husqvarna is no exception. Known for its high-quality off-road bikes, the company is now shifting its focus to the EV sector with the release of its first EV concept, the Husqvarna E-Pilen. Fans of the brand’s Vitpilen or Svartpilen gas-powered motorcycles will already by familiar with the E-Pilen’s styling. The concept sports a similar body and panels that will contain three removable battery packs that promise a range of 62 miles.

Stand-up electric scooters are among the most popular EVs on the planet, and almost disposable in urban areas. Still, Husqvarna sees a potential for the market in personal mobility. [Husqvarna]
The E-Pilen is the first in a long line of EV projects by Husqvarna’s parent firm, Pierer Mobility. The company plans to release a variety of electric motorcycles and scooters built on a 48-volt platform, with powers spanning from 4kw to 11kw.  Their Vektorr scooter and Bltz stand-up electric scooter fill out their upcoming EV lineup.

At Energica, Shorter Charging Times Are Around the Corner

The stunning Energica Ego cafe racer built by DeBolex Engineering for our Electric Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum in 2019, the 'TW Steel Oil in the Blood' custom. [Tom Homa]
If you ask any gas-powered motorcycle enthusiast why they aren’t keen on making the transition to electric bikes, they’ll quickly cite refueling and range as their largest discouragers. But this could all change soon.  Our friends at Energica Motor Company, an Italian manufacturer of electric motorcycles, have already implemented faster charging for their model lines, including the CHAdeMO standard for the Japanese market.  But, according to the company’s CTO, Giampiero Testoni, even swifter charging times will be arriving soon.

In a recent interview with Visordown, Testoni stated, “Of course, there was already a Japanese standard, but we were the first to start on a European standard, enabling charging to 80% in half an hour. In real use, when you stop for refueling, you go and drink some coffee, 20 minutes, it’s very easy to reach that target.”  While this is a good start, Testoni believes that an 85% charge in just 15 minutes is completely achievable in the very near future.

An EV Ducati?!

Italjet harkens back to the era of the Wedge with their concept for an EV Ducati, a retro-futuristic shape reminiscent of deTomaso's designs for Benelli's 250-4, and Giorgetto Giugiaro's boxy 860GT of 1975, which was a flop, it should be noted.  Car designers never seem to nail it with the motorcycle crowd, who seem to prefer substance over styling. [Italdesign]
A company hailed for having a combustion-engine soul, Ducati is becoming increasingly involved in e-bicycles. However, a recent electric motorcycle concept dubbed the “Ducati 860-E Concept” could soon plunge the Italian company into the world of EV bikes. Created by Italdesign, a company that has a long-standing relationship with Ducati and even collaborated with them to designed the firm’s Urban-E electrical bicycle, the 860-E draws inspiration from the 1970s L-twin to convey a neo-retro model of a Ducati electric motorcycle.T he concept’s circular headlights, arching tank, and gilled side covers all pay tribute to Ducati’s distinct visual trademarks. Other features will include LED lighting, dual-mount front brakes, and an inverted front-end.

Ghanain Teenager Builds Solar-Powered Wooden Scooter from Scrap

Samuel, a 17-year old student in Ghana, gained insta-fame last week for his home-built, solar-powered electric scooter, built entirely from scrap wood and discarded parts.  The scooter charges its battery from a small solar panel on the back, uses very low-draw LED lights front and rear, and incorporates the small electric motor from his mother's sewing machine!  The scooter is totally functional, and captured global attention after a Ghanaian YouTube star (Efo Selasi) featured him on his channel.  Now we wonder, how can we get this young man a scholarship for the engineering school he is so clearly ready for?

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


EV Tax Credit: Ditch Your Car?

Would you abandon your car if given a Federal tax credit to buy an E-Bike?  Despite the 2021 tax deadline being pushed back to May 17, thousands of Americans are still scampering to organize their paperwork to enjoy hefty tax refunds under the new tax code.  But would you give up your car for a large EV tax credit?

Harley-Davidson has spun off its EV division, and is launching the Serial 1 e-bike brand as an affordable fun/commute vehicle. See our post here. [Harley-Davidson]
The Age of Electrifying

The current US administration has big plans for electric vehicles. Despite his love for his 1967 Corvette, President Biden plans to spend up to $174 billion to get Americans behind the wheels of electric cars. He also plans to make electric vehicles more affordable by offering rebates, tax credits, and other incentives. The President also hopes to have a million charging stations scattered across the country by 2030. Other government officials are following suit. Congressmen Jimmy Panetta and Earl Blumenaurer of California and Oregon were inspired to propose the Electrical Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment (E-BIKE) Act. They want to drastically reduce carbon emissions by getting more cars off the streets. The Act promises to provide tax credits to individuals seeking to purchase a new e-bike. In fact, consumers would get up to 30% of their total e-bike purchase back come tax season. However, the limit caps off at $1,500.

In Europe, EV manufacturers benefit from government support, and individuals earn tax credits when buying EVs, lowering their price dramatically in a bid to make them more popular. Sweden's CAKE has become very successful with niche marketing its KALK and OSA models, and the Elektrafuture urban MX series in France features racing CAKE models. [Fabio Affuso]
While a tax credit sounds tempting, does the purchase of an electric car or e-bike make a significant environmental impact?  And exactly how many people are actually buying e-bikes? Would riding an e-bike save the planet? According to a recent study published by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities, 45% of trips taken by e-bike riders in the US are done instead of driving a car. An additional study claims that the 15% of Americans riding e-bikes in lieu of cars could cut our carbon footprint by as much as 12%. This is huge.

Would You Take the Tax Credit?

The E-BIKE Act has a good chance of passing, but will it encourage more consumers to go electric? While Europeans have been encouraged to buy e-vehicles thanks to new legislations, and government subsidies for EVs, would America do the same?  Not surprisingly, an overwhelming percentage of Americans prefer gasoline vehicles. Right now, EVs make up less than 2% of new-vehicle sales in the US. While numerous automakers are embracing electric vehicles as their future, promising to end production of gas-fueled cars and trucks by the 2030s, consumers are still dragging their feet. They have lots of reasons: the high price of EVs, the lack of charging stations in many areas, the limits on range and charging times.  For most Americans, the timing just isn’t right for the purchase of an EV, yet.

In China, electric two- and three-wheelers circulate in the Millions in large cities. Here, a Shanghai carpenter has transformed his electric scooter into a utility vehicle. [Paul d'Orléans]

EV sales have taken off in Europe, and eBike sales are enormous in China, because gas-powered small vehicles are already illegal in most Chinese cities.  To walk on the streets of Shanghai is to experience the future of the West, as most light vehicles zipping through the city are already electric, even shaggy 3-wheel lumber haulers that in previous centuries were horse-drawn, then powered by smoky two-stroke engines in the 20th Century.  Today Shanghai's streets are relatively quiet, and the air is free of exhaust smoke, which compares extremely favorably to a walk through Paris in the summer, where every stoplight becomes a drag race for dozens of small two-stroke scooters, that fill the air with a noxious, eye-watering cloud.

E-Bike Apps are hugely popular the world over, leading to unexpected problems like bicycles being heaped on popular corners. Such problems have been dealt with harshly in some cities, by cities simply scooping up and trashing ebikes by the heapful. The problem has eased, but exemplifies the type of unknowns created by new tech. [Paul d'Orléans]
Will the EV experience ever gain traction in the USA?  Without legislation encouraging (or requiring) EVs, it will take a very long time before Americans embrace battery power en masse. The Vintagent's own Paul d'Orléans notes, "I've been asked by every eBike maker - 'what will move the needle on sales?', and my answer is the same: only legislation will create mass adoption, for better and worse."   With the proposed E-BIKE Act tax incentives, more people will surely be inclined to give electric vehicles a go, but at what scale we can only wait and see.

Clean in the Streets! A Serial 1 on test: e-bikes, electric-assist bicycles, and electric mountain bikes are the biggest growth sector on two wheels. [Serial 1]
[Feature image: Wisconsin State Journal, Amber Arnold ]

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


It's Fuell Not Buell

Riders the world over were ecstatic when news broke that Buell Motorcycles has resurfaced. But despite that company’s pioneering ploys for the future, it will go forth without its founder, Erik Buell. Buell Motorcycle’s story is surely a wild ride. The company was created in the early 1980s by former road-racer Erik Buell. The machines bearing his name boasted advanced chassis built from Erik's racing experience, and air-cooled engines manufactured by Harley-Davidson. In spite of the brand’s initial success, it struggled after 2009. The company, becoming a division of Harley-Davidson in 1993, was closed down by the (non-riding) CEO of Harley-Davidson during the Great Recession. The same man who publicly wondered why people ride sports bikes shut down one of the most innovative lines of sporting motorcycles seen in decades. Michigan-based Liquid Asset Partners (LAP), a specialist in dismantling and selling off corporate properties, was hired to liquidate Buell’s assets.

Erik Buell, a perfect example of an American maverick, has been making waves in the motorcycle industry for 40 years. [Fuell]
Despite this tremendous blow, Erik was not deterred, and founded Erik Buell Racing (EBR) in late 2009. “I ran a small company called EBR which designed a lot of innovative product concepts for HERO, and also evolved the Buell 1125 motor into an 1190 version, of which we made a few thousand. The EBRs were exciting; however, I found it more interesting creating radical concepts for HERO. Although these were concepts and most did not get to production, after so many years doing more conventional products, I found real inspiration in being able to stretch into new areas, like the HERO Leap, iOn, RnT and SimplEcity,” Erik stated. But history repeats itself, and just as it had done with Buell Motorcycles, Liquid Asset Partners liquidated EBR in 2015, after HERO was unable to pay its bills. This time, LAP decided to keep the EBR brand, and carried on producing EBR bikes in limited quantities.

Erik Buell's original hybrid, the 1982 Buell RW7501: a chassis of his own design housing a Barton racing two-stroke engine.  Erik quit his job at Harley-Davidson to develop a limited number of these racers, before they were rendered obsolete by rule changes at the AMA.   His next engine?  A cache of 50 unused Harley-Davidson XR1000 motors left at the factory after the model was dropped, for his RR1000 model of 1987. [Buell]
Now it seems that the original Buell Motorcycles brand is back from the dead, with a stream of future models in the pipeline, according to press releases.  Buell Motorcycles is on target to release 10 performance-based models by 2024, including touring, dual-sport, dirt, and cruiser bikes.  But Erik Buell isn’t involved with either the Buell or EBR brands. Instead, he has turned his attention to the EV market, co-founding FUELL in 2018. “I co-founded FUELL because there was clearly a great need for new products and innovations in the electric motorcycle/bicycle world. That is where I have been for the last three-plus years, and it is very exciting to be free to design radical stuff,” Erik explained.

The Fuell Fllow eBike bears much of the original thinking behind Erik Buell's work. It's intended as a light urban commuter. [Fuell]
Erik believes that the future is electric. He sees the EV market growing, especially in urban areas that allow for short-distance trips. “The growth will be mostly urban short distance as the energy density of batteries is far less than that of gasoline. Thus, long range between re-fueling stops is simply not a technical possibility on a two-wheeled vehicle. To get extra range, much more weight must be carried than for equivalent range using fossil fuel. In a four-wheeler, that weight is not noticed. In a two-wheeler it is unmanageable. However, in shorter, lower speed trips, electric makes a lot of sense, and will also be forced by urban governments. Years down the road higher-energy-density batteries will come, and of course more recharging stations and more rapid recharging speeds as well. But that is way out, and the urban/suburban use and need will drive the market for some time,” he explained.

The Fuell Fllow electric-assist bicycle is on the market now. [Fuell]
Diehard Buell Motorcycle fans are guaranteed to love FUELL’s bikes. “The bikes are fun, nimble and very quick-accelerating. So they have a number of attributes Buell riders enjoy. They also bristle with innovation, which appeals to these riders,” Erik said.  The Buell Motorcycles name may be back and making sports motorcycles, but Erik, in his usual maverick way, has set his sights on the future, via electric-powered motorcycles and bicycles.  Our Publisher, Paul d'Orléans, even managed a test ride on the electric-assist Fuell Flluid bicycle in New York City three years ago, courtesy Fuell CEO François-Xavier Terny, whom he met via Terny's other motorcycle projects in the past (Confederate, Vanguard, Veldt helmets, etc)

Our publisher Paul d'Orléans checking out the Fuell Fllow at their pop-up store in NYC in the Fall of 2019. [Francois-Xavier Terny]
...and Paul d'Orléans road testing the Fuell Flluid in NYC's Chinatown in 2019. "It was a blast, so to speak, and made a zippy ride through urban streets super easy and fun." [Francois-Xavier Terny]
Buells are Cool. The amazing Ronin 'Oishi Yoshio' Pikes Peak racer, a feature of our Custom Revolution exhibit at the Petersen Museum. [Ronin Motorworks]

 
 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: MicroMobility by LEF

Need a comfortable, convenient, and eco-conscious way to get around town? The LEF by EV Mobility provides a sleek solution to short trips that will surely crush the e-bike/car combination chimera. The Dutch three-wheeled product features a cocooned cockpit designed to comfortably accommodate one passenger. A clear canopy ensures the occupant is weather-protected while the three 10Ah lithium-iron battery capacity promises a maximum range of 60 miles (90 kilometers) per charge. The LEF can reach a top speed of 16 mph/25 km, making it the perfect personal mobility machine for urban dwellers.

Easy to drive plastic pods! The LEF is an update of the Sinclair C5 concept, but looks a lot more safe and weather-tight. [LEF]
The main body is made from recyclable polyethylene. Inside, the driver can keep tabs on speed, battery status, and kilometers driven via a digital display screen. There are LED lights on the front and rear, a USB port for charging smart phones, and enough storage space to fit a 50-liter bag, groceries, and other possessions. Other features include electric windshield wipers, LED turn signals, and side mirrors. The entire vehicle barely tips the scales at 198 pounds. Designer Erik Vegt was inspired to create the LEF because he wanted to provide people with a personal mobility option that used less money, energy, and resources. After three years of development, the product was approved by the RDW and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

Yes, the LEF is cool. And minimal, and un-intimidating. [LEF]
“The less is more idea brought the LEF alive. Our intention was to use less energy per kilometer than a human powered bike does while providing comfort. And we succeeded. The LEF, meaning ‘courage’ or ‘guts’ in Dutch, is a low speed, high efficiency, simple product that delivers a smooth ride. We also wanted to tackle the environmental problems we face and show what else is possible,” Erik explained. Before diving into the LEF project, Erik spent 15 years designing innovative wheelchairs for the disabled. His team has been involved with greener mobility options for many years. They were also responsible for designing and building diesel motorcycles, including the Track T-800 CDI. Since diesel engines are no longer an option in the Netherlands, the switch to electric naturally happened.

An appealing shape and proportions just might propel the LEF into general usage. [LEF]
The beautiful thing about the LEF, besides its miniscule eco footprint, is that practically anybody can operate it. The vehicle is intuitive and easy to handle. The retractable handlebars make entering and exiting the tub a breeze while the steering wheel-mounted throttle seamlessly speeds up the machine. The LEF’s starting price is €4,380 (about $5,309) and is available in seven gorgeous colors. While no driver’s license is required (at least in the Netherlands) to operate the vehicle, drivers must be at or over the age of 16. “The LEF represents a new way of thinking. We see a bright future for this vehicle,” Erik said.

A herd of LEFs in warmer times: a perfect beach transport. [LEF]
The Current News keeps track of the latest developments in the two- and three-wheel EV market.

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: EV 'Bush Bikes' Protecting Wildlife

Back in December, Sweden-based EV motorcycle manufacturer, CAKE, announced that it would do its part to help combat endangered wildlife poaching in Africa with a line of silent solar-charged “bush bikes.”  A team of CAKE, Goal Zero (maker of off-grid solar-charging products), and the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC - a private college specializing in conservation education and training), have combined to put an end to rhino poaching.

The Kalk AP (Anti-Poaching) is silent and self sufficient, as it's supplied with its own solar charging station. [CAKE]
They’ve dubbed the partnership the Electrical Bush Bike Anti-Poaching Act. “It is somewhat unreal how the sun and solar power, together with the technology of these silent off-road motorbikes can serve as something of a perpetual machine that works toward the general obligation of sustainability and, in this specific instance, to serve the purpose of saving species from extinction,” CAKE’s CEO and founder, Stefan Ytterborn, commented.

Stefan Ytterborn, CAKE's founder and CEO, sending innovative and critical support from his tiny company to the much needed conservation group SAWC. [CAKE]
An estimated 30,000 species are thrust into extinction every year, with poaching being a main driver. Animals such as the black rhino, African elephant, lion, mountain gorilla, and imperial zebra are all gravely threatened by poachers. Rangers combing rural land to track and apprehend poachers mainly utilize dirt bikes for transportation. While these off-road bikes effortlessly navigate the unruly and unforgiving African terrain, their loud combustion engines can easily tip off poachers. Additionally, they need to constantly be refueled.

The Southern African Wildlife College has trained over 17,000 people across its various accredited programs and courses. This remarkable achievement was reached without any government subsidy, so support with transportation needs in their conservation efforts will make a real impact. [SAWC]
CAKE’s EV motorcycles harness the power of the sun to operate, and thus do not need helicopter support to be refueled and are completely self-sufficient. Their innovative electric engines hum at just above a whisper, enabling rangers to efficiently sneak up on and catch unsuspecting poachers. CAKE plans to present the complete bush bikes by the end of this month.

The SAWC serves the south-east corner of Africa, with a very large, multi-national preserves that are constantly under threat from poachers. [SAWC]
CAKE’s EV Food Delivery Box

Not only is CAKE working to protect endangered wildlife in Africa, but the EV motorbike manufacturer is also collaborating with Dometic to revolutionize food delivery services. Called The Dometic Food Delivery Box, the temperature-controlled electric-powered box will keep delicious meals at the perfect temperature during the “last mile” of the delivery journey. The delivery rider will also be able to keep a close eye on the food’s temperature through a connectivity feature.

Your dinner, delivered hot? [CAKE]
The box is specifically made for CAKE’s Osa EV motorcycle and connects directly to the same battery that powers the bike via an electric cord. CAKE’s Osa battery will allow both the vehicle and the food storage box to operate for up to four hours. The product is slated to launch this September.

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

The Current News: Guido Comes to America

When most folks think about electric motorcycles, a reliable, eco-friendly method of transportation typically comes to mind. An art form doesn’t. The Guido EV motorcycle concept is looking to change all of that. Inspired by the Rolls Royce 130EX concept with fully-covered fenders and named after the 17th-century Italian Baroque painter Guido Reni, the Guido puts form and aesthetics above everything else. Vlad Belyakov of Box39, a custom motorcycle workshop in Moscow, is the main designer and fabricator behind the Guido. He has drawn worldwide recognition for his heavily modified Harley-Davidsons, which feature parts milled on modern Haas 5-axis machinery. The Guido concept was originally built by request for a Haas machinery dealer located in eastern Europe, for the purpose of showcasing what the machinery can do.

The machinery in question at the Box39 the workshop in Moscow. [Box39]
“The Guido motorcycle is a concept of design,” said Stan Pavlov from Henne Co., a Fort Lauderdale-based company that sells finished custom bikes milled on Box39’s machines and is representing them in North and South America. “This motorcycle is not about mile range. It is nothing but form. In five years, the Guido may be in a museum of art.” The Guido’s massive front wheel, which has a diameter of 30 inches, took 200 machine hours to manufacturer. This, along with the handcrafted aluminum body, is a true testament to the painstaking detail Belyakov has invested in the design.

200 hours were required to make this one-off 30" diameter wheel. [Box39]
Despite the proclamations that Guido is all about form, it is a rideable work of art, just not on the streets. Other specifications include a 17-inch front wheel tucked underneath the bodywork, a front end Girder suspension, hydraulic rear brakes, and a battery-powered motor. A unique feature about the Guido EV concept is its customizable suspension for both wheels. The rider simply straddles the bike, scans their fingerprints, and the electric motor raises its rear suspension and raises the body against the front wheels for a precise and perfect fit.

The handlebars are a masterpiece of minimalism, made a bit easier by the electric powertrain. [Box39]
According to Pavlov, Belyakov represents a new school of motorcycle customizing. Box39 has been in operation for over nine years. Pavlov is a two-wheel junky himself, being a Bonneville racer and bike and hot rod builder. “I believe that we are living in a fast-paced world,” Pavlov commented in regards to the future of e-bikes. “Information and technology are both so swift. If I say that in 10 years we’ll only be riding EV vehicles, it may happen in just five. The EV revolution era already exists. It’s just a matter of time until the world catches on. When we do have the same batteries in all of our vehicles, car and bike brands will start a design war. Modern day is not about design. However, down the road, all concerns will center around the customer’s choice for vehicle forms only. This is why the Guido concept is so revolutionary.”

It was all worked out in a sketch first, then plugged into a CAD program for the 5-axis milling machine to get to work. [Box39]
Amazingly well finished and minimalist details set Guido apart. [Box39]
The headlamp and grille, reminiscent of 1920s Art Deco automobiles. [Box39]
Guido in his elegance. A unique motorcycle design, made especially unusual in being an EV. [Box39]
 

 

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

Serial 1 E-Bike: Harley-Davidson’s Past and Present

Get your motor runnin’, err, make that charging.

A few weeks ago, Harley-Davidson’s spinoff brand, Serial 1, announced that they would be taking pre-orders for their new e-bike portfolio. According to Aaron Frank, Brand Director, the initial product offerings will be targeted toward casual recreational riders and urban commuters.  Available in four different models, the battery-powered bikes will have a price range of $3,399 to $4,999, and will be available in America and Germany next year, with additional countries to be added as they support new growth opportunities. But with an iconic name like Harley-Davidson, why would the Serial 1 brand branch off?

Ready for urban realities: the new Serial 1 Mosh has enough power for city antics [Serial 1]
“Engaging the e-bicycle market through this joint venture with a dedicated brand allows Harley-Davidson to play a key role in the e-bike mobility revolution while allowing Serial 1 the opportunity to focus exclusively on the e-bicycle space, to better understand the customer, and to deliver an unmatched riding experience rooted in the core Harley-Davidson values of freedom and adventure,” Aaron explained. While the Serial 1 collection represents the future of electric bicycles, the company is also harnessing the power of the past. Two years before Harley-Davidson was founded, 20-year-old co-founder William S. Harley drew up plans for a small motor designed to be used in a traditional pedal-bike frame.

The cockpit of the Serial 1, showing the watch-sized digital display and relatively normal ebike controls [Serial 1]
“When the company was founded in 1903, the motorcycle was the cutting edge of personal mobility,” Aaron explained. “Thus, Harley-Davidson Motor Company became a motorcycle company. I believe that there is a strong case to be made that if Harley-Davidson was formed in 2020, the pedal-assist electric bicycle could be considered the cutting edge of personal mobility, at least in urban areas. So in some ways, Serial 1 is about channeling that original entrepreneurial spirit of Harley-Davidson’s founders, and applying it to our modern context. And that’s why the company takes its name from ‘Serial Number One,’ the nickname of Harley Davidson’s oldest known motorcycle.”

The battery interfaces the pedal cranks and belt drive at the bottom of the frame. [Serial 1]
Depending upon the model, the Serial 1 e-bike can reach top speeds of 28 miles per hour. The top-tier model, the RUSH/CTY SPEED, is equipped with an airy, mid-mounted Brose TF MAG motor that churns out 66 ft.-lb. of torque. This innovative technology is seamlessly paired with the aesthetics of Harley-Davidson’s loop-frame prototype.

A step-thru version, the Rush City ladies' model, is also available. [Serial 1]
Aaron, author of The Harley-Davidson Story: Tales from the Archives, appreciates the company’s compelling history as not only a motorcycle company, but a mobility company. The Serial 1 brand will continue to carry this long lineage of mobility and adventure to a brand new target audience, while paying homage to Harley-Davidson’s past. “You can have that same spirit of adventure in the confines of your city on an electric bike. You don’t have to take two weeks and ride a motorcycle across the country. You can take two hours and discover new parts of your city that are only accessible on an e-bicycle,” Aaron stated.

The Rush City is the top tier version, an urban commuter that just might be the escape hatch Harley-Davidson needs to outgrow its own brand strength. [Serial 1]

 


The Current News: Spanish Classic Magic

Remember the iconic 1968 Bultaco Pursang 250 MKII that Peter Fonda straddled in Easy Rider? Well, wipe that bike of a bygone era clear from your mind. It has now been resurrected and revamped as an e-bike by Spanish motorcycle manufacturer, PURSANG. The bike’s rebirth is due to the tireless love and labor of Jim Palau-Ribes. According to the company’s CMO, Oriol Renart, Jim used to ride Pursang motocross bikes when he was younger and developed a deep adoration for the brand.

The new PURSANG e-bike is compact, sleek, and performanc-oriented, without being mammoth. [PURSANG]
After years of working for other well-known automotive brands all across Europe, Jim decided to leave his career to launch his own project in the form of an innovative and elegant electric motorcycle. “We started with the project two years ago and now we are introducing the motorcycles to the market,” Oriol said. “It’s a history of passion and we all really love this brand and bike.”

JimPalau-Ribes with the latest carbon-fiber electric version of his hommage to Spanish motorcycle heritage. [PURSANG]
After creating some gasoline replicas of the classic Pursang model, Jim decided to create an 100% electric scrambler. Known as the PURSANG E-Track, the carbon-fiber wrapped bike features a 11kW Bosch motor that utilizes three 48V batteries, giving it a range of 140 kilometers and a maximum speed of 120km/h (or 74.5 m/h).  The charging time for the batteries is six hours. The E-Track features three different driving modes, including Go, Cruise, and Boost. The braking system includes a 320mm front brake and a 240mm rear brake. Additional features include inverted front forks fitted with 41mm bars, an adjustable rear shock absorber, tubular chromoly frames, JJuan floating caliper hydraulic disc brakes, Morard wheels, Pirelli Scorpion tires, and a gorgeous and intuitive instrument panel boasting a color TFT screen. The bike can be effortlessly connected with the Bosch app through Bluetooth connectivity.

Clean enough to live with: with no oil drips or gas fumes, complaints about motorcycles in the living room are muted. [PURSANG]
The appealing aesthetics of the e-bike are heavily influenced by the motorcycles of the flat track oval. With high handlebars, a stripped down body, a minimalistic tail, and two superior finishes, fans of dirt track racing are sure to appreciate the streamlined and subtle look. The PURSANG E-Track is priced at €13,700, or $15,000. “We have created 24 units for the first launch. However, over the next year we expect to sell over 4,000 units all over Europe,” Oriol said. “In Europe, the politics are steering us away from combustion engines. We love to ride gas motorcycles, but the future is clearly electric.”

With crossover styling, the PURSANG design hits the middle ground design-wise, with a familiar silhouette. [PURSANG]

 
 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

Elektrafuture 2020

A First-of-Its-Kind Electric Motocross Race Series in Saint Tropez, France

In early September, motorcycle connoisseurs Oliver Le Quellec and Vincent Prat (founder of Wheels and Waves), hosted a world-premiere motocross race for electric bikes in the heart of Saint Tropez, France featuring the motorcycles of Swedish company CAKE.

Past future Perfect by Sebastien Zanella

The chic coastal town nestled on the banks of the French Riviera first became famous in the 1950’s with the release of the iconic film God Created Woman, featuring the smoldering Brigitte Bardot. Saint Tropez has long been a mecca for the international “jet set” crowd. Still widely acclaimed for its pristine beaches and bustling nightlife, Saint Tropez doesn’t seem like the typical place where one would host the electric equivalent of Formula 1. However, due to Prat’s and Le Quellec’s unique vision and the zero pollution and absolute silence that electric bikes offer, the world’s very first electric motocross championship took place amidst bars, restaurants, shops, and hotels in the center of the village.

The track was tight, the action fast and quick. [Fabio Afuso]
“The silence of the motorcycles made it possible to hold the competition in the heart of the city without creating the slightest nuisance, noise, or odor,” Prat explained.

More than 1,700 tons of local soil was moved to create the track. Prat enlisted the help of a local architect to ensure it was the best possible track for the riders.

1700 tons of dirt in an empty lot in the center of Saint Tropez - instant motocross! [Fabio Afuso]
“The track, halfway between a BMX and a motocross track, promised to provide a fast and spectacular spectacle,” he stated.

The ephemeral track’s main advantage was its total visibility, enabling the audience to follow the duels in detail and to fully appreciate the piloting efficiency of the riders.

The competition brought together more than 100 riders with widely varying levels of experience and backgrounds. Motocross world champions such as Mickael Maschio shared the track with pilots who only participated in the sport recreationally. All riders operated the CAKE Kalk, a 67kg electric machine that delivered the power and torque comparable to a 200cc thermic motocross bike.

The CAKE Kalk racers and roadsters in various liveries: a winner of design awards all over Europe for its clean, Dieter Rams styling. [Fabio Afuso]
After a day of qualifying, 48 pilots who achieved the best lap times in their respective categories were selected and divided into three series of 16, including the Swallows, Cuckoos, and Eagles, to participate in one-to-one races with direct elimination.

“The Swallows opened the competition,” Prat explained. “The 16 pilots of a very good level offered a quality show and the victory went to Amaury Mobius.  Then came the Cuckoos category. The winner was Sebastien Jondeau, who perfectly mastered his competition. The Eagles category, made up of pros, delivered a breathtaking performance with virtuosos showcasing the gestural art of the pilot becoming one with his machine.”

A gopher's eye view of the action! The riders could really throw the 63kg bikes around. [Sebastien Zanella]
For 2021, the race is slated to be added to the Urban Motocross circuit and include a trials and an endurance event.

“The objective is to create a real testing laboratory for new mobility in Saint Tropez. Additionally, the promoters are working in collaboration with the Federation to create a real national and international championship,” said Prat.

Organizers Vincent Prat and Olivier Le Quellec take a well-deserved break from organizing a pioneering race event. [Fabio Afuso]
[We are watching the future of motocross competition unfold before our eyes, right in the heart of the most unlikely of places: a major tourist destination on the French Riviera.  Amazingly, a parking lot was filled with dirt, the course shaped, the riders arrived, the race was run, and everyone was pleased, in one of the most moto-bureaucratic countries on earth.  If it can happen in Saint Tropez, it can happen anywhere.  Sadly, although invited over a year ago, The Vintagent team was unable to attend/race at Elektrafuture in person, due to the worldwide travel ban on American citizens for our failure to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 within our own borders. - ed.]

 

Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

 


The Current News: Concept Z

Toby Roberts’s Concept Z Delivers Ludicrous Acceleration and a Stripped Down, Flat Track Style

There are very few journeys more tantalizing that those fulfilled on an electric motorcycle. Mating all of the vigor of a gas-powered machine with a sustainable alternative, electric motorcycles are bound to take over the market as easily as they eat up the road.

The Concept Z in real life: huge battery and motor, ultralight flat track style chassis, minimal design. [Ed Motorcycles]
Ed Motorcycle’s Concept Z by Tony Roberts is the newest electric motorcycle to hit the market. The almost naked bike’s design is heavily inspired by flat track motorcycles. With a minimal yet durable frame, the large air-cooled, radical flux, interior permanent magnet brushless Zero 75-7R motor and battery are set at the center of the vehicle. A solo seat and two LED headlights complete the machine, and that’s basically it. It’s a completely nominal machine that ignores all of the bells and whistles and can reach top speeds of up to 93 mph with current gearing.

Growing up playing with buggies and bikes at his parents’ service station, Roberts discovered the world of electric vehicles in 2007. “I was building off-road dune buggies when I saw The White Zombie, a Datsun 1200 electric car that was involved in drag racing. That caught my attention and I thought that I could convert one of the buggies over to electric.”

The semi-monocoque chassis of the Concept Z uses aluminum boxes for strength, and the battery box as a stressed member of the frame. [Ed Motorcycles]
After trying his hand at developing the buggies and e-bicycles, Toby set his sights on the motorcycling realm with his Concept Z electric motorcycle, a totally self-funded solo project. “I chose the flat track style because it has an aggressive stance,” he explained. “I was inspired by the original tubular framed Zaeta 530 flat track bike. I loved that motorcycle. From there, I wanted to make the concept accelerate as fast as I could while still being usable.”

One of the most notable features of the Concept Z is that the gearing has been carefully calculated to full maximize the torque curve. The wheel RPM and motor RPM have been aligned so that max torque is provided. This equates to 850nm of torque at the rear axle.  While that sounds tremendous, it does equate to around 70hp at the rear wheel, and an expected sub-3 second 0-60mph time: Roberts is looking for a professional rider to establish actual figures - any volunteers?

Looking purposeful from any angle, the Concept Z is an attempt to balance traditional design cues with new technology, and creates an aggressive vibe. [Ed Motorcycles]
“The big advantage with the electric drivetrain is how the motor delivers torque. Unlike a gas bike where the torque is constantly changing with engine RPM (think of a bell curve graph), the electric motor has maximum torque from zero RPM and the delivery is very linear (flat line on a graph). This translates to great acceleration as the torque which turns your wheel is at a constant level as speed increases and the rider can always get this maximum torque instantly by simply twisting the throttle. There is no gear down changing to increase the available torque at the rear wheel as needed with a gas bike,” Toby explained.

The Concept Z provides a unique riding experience unlike that of a gas motorcycle. It has no gears, no clutch, and no exhaust. While some would argue that the electric motor removes a lot of what makes bikes appealing, for those who adore acceleration over everything else, the Concept Z will deliver.

The motor is co-axial with the swingarm pivot, meaning no alterations in chain tension as the swingarm moves over bumps. [Ed Motorcycles]
Stephanie Weaver is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she's not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.



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