Range, or just how much riding time a biker can enjoy before having to plug in, is often a reason buyers shy away from electric motorcycles. An ever-growing network of recharging stations that can quickly juice up a ride washes away that concern, opening up more roads with wider ranges.
Ironically, this network is growing through efforts focused on motorcycle’s four-wheeled cousins, the automobile. This shouldn’t be too surprising however, many of the new technologies and their benefits found on today’s motorcycles started off on the automotive production line.
The latest growth in charging stations comes from a partnership between BMW and Nissan, with both companies desperately wanting the public to buy their electric cars. The infrastructure of charging stations is a response from four-wheeled manufacturers battling the same perception of range limitations seen by car buyers which are also felt by some riders.
‘An additional 174 EVgo-networked 50kW DC Fast charging stations have been installed across 33 states to facilitate easier longer distance electric vehicle travel for Nissan LEAF and BMW i3 drivers, and all EV drivers,’ notes the automotive partnership. For the electrically uninitiated, EVgo is the nation's largest public DC Fast charging operator, currently offering nearly 670 DC Fast charging stations across the U.S.
"BMW's continuing collaborations with Nissan and EVgo, further demonstrate the company's commitment to building a robust public charging infrastructure across the country," said Robert Healey, head of EV Infrastructure for BMW of North America. "The expansion of the plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure will give more U.S. drivers the confidence to choose an electric vehicle, such as the BMW i3, as longer distance EV travel becomes increasingly commonplace."
Using fast-charging technology, riders can juice-up their electric motorcycles in the same time it takes for a bathroom break and leisurely cup of coffee, both of which are frequently needed on any road trip.
EVgo locations offer dual 50 kW DC Fast charging stations with both CHAdeMO and SAE Combo (CCS) connectors, serving owners of both Nissan LEAF and BMW i3 electric cars, as well as all EV drivers in the U.S. whose vehicles, regardless of brand, are equipped with quick-charge ports.
If a total of 668 dual-port DC Fast charging stations installed and available to all EV drivers across the United States isn’t enough to catch the electric motorcycle bug, just this partnership alone plans to add another 50 recharging stations to the growing network in 2017.
Zero Motorcycles continue to roar (albeit quietly) down electric roads - Source Zero Motorcycles
Different manufacturers already offer their own smartphone applications to find recharging stations, and this doesn’t include finding a place to juice up with other apps, including those used for navigation.
Riders wanting to get a charge out of riding a new electric motorcycle are coming close to being spoiled for choice. Although a year old, Clutch and Chrome’s article ‘Riding the Pack of Production Electric Motorcycles’ is still pretty accurate. Not only does it give a quick history and overview of electric motorcycles, the article also highlights the current marketplace choices of Zero Motorcycles, Energica and Lightning Motorcycles, all of which solely produce electric motorcycles. The recent demise of Victory will most definitely see its electric motorcycle, the Empulse TT, shift lanes over to the Indian brand.
The marketplace of electric motorcycles should only get bigger with Harley-Davidson’s current prototype, its Livewire, expected to turn into a production model in the next four years and it would be fair to assume other major manufacturers would follow suit.
With every recharging station built, reasons against leaning towards this new era of riding disappears. Chipping away at any concerns over range, a thorough charging network brings the amazing performance and thrill found in riding an electric motorcycle closer to every biker willing to take it.
“Infrastructure for all is a key strategic priority for us as we continue expanding the network of dual-port quick chargers across the country," said JeSean Hopkins, senior manager, Nissan EV Infrastructure Strategy & Business Development. "We look forward to ongoing teamwork and the continued build-out of public quick-charge stations."
An electric motorcycle of heroic proportions. Harley's Livewire was seen in the Avengers movie 'Age of Ultron'