In contrast to car manufacturers, most motorcycle manufacturers have so far been strangers to e-mobility. In the meantime, however, some established and young brands are going on the electric offensive, as can be seen from some new e-projects.
While electrically powered scooters and cars have long since established themselves on the streets, electric motorcycles have so far remained the exception. Only newcomers like Zero or Energica have been offering bikes for a few years, while the established manufacturers, apart from a few exceptions like Harley-Davidson, have long given this topic a wide berth. But meanwhile the number of big names in the two-wheeler world is growing with one or the other electric dart in their quiver. Here are five exciting projects for the near future.
The British manufacturer Triumph gave a first concrete glimpse of a future electric model this year with the TE-1 prototype. A corresponding series version could probably be launched from 2025. The key performance data of the mobile TE-1 sound good: the 130 kW/177 hp engine accelerates the 220 kg Streetfighter model from a standing start to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds. However, the maximum is only 160 km/h and a range of 161 kilometers.
Even if it is purely a competition machine, it should pave the way into the e-future for Ducati, because the declared goal of the Italians is to bring a fun e-motorcycle with road approval to the market in a few years.
Kawasaki is one of the major two-wheeler brands with tangible prospects of an e-future. In 2019, the Japanese presented their first purely battery-electric two-wheeler, which received the official project name Endeavor in 2020. Visually, the bike resembles a sporty mid-range model. With 20 kW/27 hp, the performance should be slightly lower. The special features include a four-speed manual transmission and an engine brake, which can be used to recover electricity via recuperation. Around 100 kilometers should be possible. Maybe next year Kawasaki could introduce a production model derived from the Endeavor project.
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) is already more concrete in terms of design and market launch. From 2024, the Canadians want to offer motorcycles again under the Can-Am brand. As in the 1980s, the emission-free Can-Am bikes are powered by Rotax machines, which, however, do their propulsion work purely electrically. The North Americans unveiled Can-Am's first two e-models, the naked bike Pulse and the Enduro Origin, in early August. These are sleek and slightly futuristic motorcycles, for which technical details will be published in summer 2023. For 2024, Can-Am plans to launch the Pulse. It is the pioneer of an entire e-family that is to grow to a total of four models.
Anyone who prefers to switch to an e-motorcycle soon and not in a few years should perhaps take a look at the newly expanded range from the e-pioneer Energica. With the Experia, the Italians are launching the first all-electric travel enduro on the market this fall. At first glance, the model, which costs more than 30,000 euros, looks like a conventionally powered heavyweight for long tours, but the hybrid frame made of tubes and plates houses a huge battery and an electric motor with an output of up to 75 kW/101 hp. The Experia can travel up to 180 km/h and a range of up to 420 kilometers. However, the maximum range will only be achieved in city traffic, in touring mode it is a good 200 kilometers less.