12 Comments

Summary:

While the market for electric vehicles will take years to go mainstream, electric scooters, motorcycles and bikes are being sold at a break-neck pace, in part thanks to China’s booming market. Here’s 10 electric 2-wheelers you can buy.

Green Overdrive: We Ride Brammo's Electric Motorcycle!

While it will take many years for electric cars to reach the mainstream market, electric scooters, bicycles and motorcycles are already starting to be sold at a breakneck pace, thanks to a booming market in China. According to Pike Research, electric bike and scooter batteries will grow from being a $6.4 billion market in 2010 to a $10.9 billion market in 2015 (11 percent growth).

Last week’s Paris Motor Show saw the debut of electric scooters — from BMW’s Mini, and Daimler’s Smart — and we’ve already test driven three of these rockin’ electric two-wheelers, from Brammo, Zero Motorcycles and the Ultra Motors (see videos below). Jay Leno has a whole grip of these in his green garage. Here are 10 electric scooters, bikes and motorcycles available to buy now, or coming to a storefront near you soon:

1). Brammo’s Enertia. The Enertia is more motorcycle than scooter. It costs roughly $8,000 (with subsidies it can get down to $6,000), has a max speed of 60 to 70 miles per hour; the average travel range is about 40 miles; and a fully depleted battery will take 4 hours to charge. You can buy the Enertia at participating Best Buys.

2). Brammo’s Empulse. The higher end model from Brammo, the Empulse can drive at 100 MPH, delivers an average range of 60 miles per charge, is set to roll out in 2011, and will have an estimated starting price of $9,995. Versions of the bike with larger battery packs will go for $11,995 (for 80 miles per charge) and $13,995 (100 miles). The Empulse’s battery pack and power management system employ a water-cooled motor (a first for electric motorcycles, according to Brammo).

3). Zero Motorcycle’s Zero S. Zero Motorcycles sells street, dirt and dual versions of its electric motorcycle. Earlier this year, we tested out the Zero S, which costs around $10,000 (before subsidies), uses a lithium-ion battery, has a range of up to 50 miles, and can fully charge in 4 hours.

4). Ultra Motor’s A2B Electric Bikes. Targeted largely at the commuter who wants to bike to work, but with the aid of a motor, Ultra Motors sells versions of its A2B electric bike: the Metro, the Hybrid and the Velociti. The bikes have between 20 and 40 miles of range, can drive at speeds between 20 and 40 mph, and will cost you between $2200 and $2700.

5). Fortune Hanebrink’s Off-Road Electric Bikes. The Fortune Hanebrink crew have brought the world the first electric off-roading vehicle with super fat tires that can ride of sand, snow and rocky terrain with ease. It’ll cost you around $5,500 for the first custom-built models.

6). Mission Motor’s Mission One. In 2009, Mission Motors unveiled a crazy fast, eerily quiet, and expensive ($68,000) superbike called the Mission One. Famed designer Yves Behar worked on the design. Interim CEO Jit Bhattacharya told us earlier this year that the company would deliver a limited run of 50 Mission One bikes to customer hands next year, with deliveries beginning in the second quarter of 2011. Mission Motors also wants to develop a lower cost, more mainstream electric motorcycle.

7). The Smart E-Scooter and the MINI Electric Scooter. Developed by Daimler and BMW, the Smart e-scooter and the Mini Electric scooter are two-wheelers from the makers of the compact cars. These are just concept vehicles right now, but the companies say that they will judge the reactions the vehicles got at the Paris Auto Show and determine if they will produce these or not.

8). Vectrix VX-1. While Vectrix went bankrupt last year after a decade of not making a profit, the company has relaunched with new capital from China-based GP Batteries. Vectrix offers the high-end, $11,000, Poland-made VX-1 scooter, and the company also plans to build “two lower-end models costing as little as $5,100.”

9). Zap’s 2-wheelers: ZAP, one of the oldest EV makers, which has also faced a lot of hurdles, makes its Zapino and Zappy lines. The Zapino goes 30 mph, with a range of 30 miles, while the Zappy scooters are more like electric larks, aimed at the commercial industry. Here’s a video of me looking like a dork on a Zappy.

10). E-Tracer. California-based AC Propulsion and Swiss firm Peraves say they will produce a limited amount (100) of the E-Tracer, the electric motorcycle that won the Auto X-Prize. It’s an enclosed motorcycle and will set you back a whopping $108,000!

For more on vehicles and IT check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

Related stories

  1. For those of you who aren’t motorcycle enthusiasts, there are countless electric bicycles that will take you to 20mph, many without even requiring that you pedal (which is well more than enough for short commutes).

    They also have the advantages of being legal in bike lanes, rideable without a license, and less likely than a motorcycle to kill you:

    http://www.good.is/post/choosing-the-right-electric-bicycle/

    Share
  2. Katie, “10 Electric 2-Wheelers You Can Buy” when????
    You can’t buy a Brammo Empulse right now, you can’t buy a Mission One right now, or a Vectrix either now or ever.
    The only manufacturer building a bike anything like the above mentioned that you can buy right now is the Roehr which you failed to even mention.

    Share
  3. http://www.roehrmotorcycles.com/
    Don’t forget the Roehr E- Superbike.
    You can buy it now at Hollywood Electrics!!!!!!!!!!!

    Share
  4. Thanks Chris, for sharing ‘Choosing the Right Electric Bicycle’.

    Share
  5. in my opinion, one of the big issue most people have with EV is the price tag… hence the Zepii V60 Retro Electric Scooter at £1,149 is fab. cost me £5 pcm to run approx 200+ miles pcm £55 P.A. the new mini electric scooter rrp is £4-£5K

    Share
  6. @Mark, It’s true you have to wait til next year to get some of these like the Empulse and the Mission One, but you can preorder them now. That’s why I didn’t title it, “buy right now.”

    Share
  7. Or you could have titled the article “10 of the least desirable motor vehicles ever created.” The Vectrix was Robrady Design capital-draining design exercise (they once quoted me $450k for a little $20k design project), the Brammo is far from ready, the Roehr is a garage project, the Zero has caused injury with frame failures, etc., etc..

    An electric motorcycle? Yes. When Honda makes one.

    But now? From the current line-up of possibly-dangerous crap? Only for people who really need some type of self-certification.

    Share
    1. @mike:
      I guess we will all be riding the future while you sit on your ass waiting for Honda.

      Share
  8. This article missed several of the best ones for the price: The electric motorcycles and scooters (Native Z1, Native Z6) manufactured by Electric Motorsport (Native Motorcycles?) and sold by Hollywood Electrics, among others.

    The Electric Motorsport bikes/e-cycles have been around the longest, and this is a grassroots company that has not received rounds of funding from Wall Street and/or Big Government.

    Share
  9. Thanks for mentioning the Zapino, this is a great option for 2-wheelers at $3,495. Very powerful.

    Share
  10. I have an electric bike put on mountain bike frame, goes over 20mph saves on gas, and great for the environment : )

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post