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e-bikes, Electric Motorcycles, To Become Cheaper

20
April
2012
  Posted at 02:00:00 PM
  File under  Electrical Ecology
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Travelling

It's kind of a headline that is so obvious, that I might have said "Next year, there will be taxes", or "the sun will rise tomorrow morning". The real question is BY HOW MUCH?

The reason electric motorcycle, also known as e-bikes, are going to drop in price is not because they are selling like hot cakes, or croissants in my part of the world. Because they are not. The amounts sold as a whole is still less than the smallest "normal" motorcycle manufacturer. And maybe that is because they are still expensive, so seen more as a toy than a normal vehicle.

The reason electric motorcycles are dropping in price is because the most expensive element of the bike, the battery, is dropping in price. An estimated 25% or more of the price of an e-bike is the battery.

KLD Battery
KLD Battery
The lithium-ion battery prices fell by 14% last year, and over the last 3 years, dropped a considerable 30%. Battery price is measured in per kilowatt hour (i.e. how many kilowatts used per hour, the more kilowatts, the more power, the more usage). Last year, a kWh cost US$800, this year, it's US$689.

According to the experts (see the Via: below), the price will need to keep dropping to make electric vehicles competitive, in fact, they need to drop to US$150 per kWh. Plus you'll need to add to that, the range of the vehicles, but again, over time, the price will drop, and the range increased.

One way to make the range and performance increase dramatically, is having the electric motorcycle races. If the FIM Open link in a new window e-Power category would become a real competition, with many teams and manufacturers, money will be poured into the development of the bikes. But for that, money (FIM subsidies, government subsidies and more importantly, corporate sponsorship) is needed. Badly.

Let's be realistic here. Whether you hate or love electric motorcycles, or you couldn't care less, one thing is for sure. Riding a gas guzzling motorcycle will stop eventually. And the "eventually" is not too far away; it'll be in our lifetime. The US$200 per barrel will be reached by the end of this year, so gas prices will increase exponentially over the next 3-5 years. And then, there will be no more gasoline. Or what's left will go to the airplanes, trucks and armies. If we then start developing electric motorcycles (and cars), it'll be too late. The development, the racing, and the acquisition of electric bikes needs to start now. The purchase of an electric motorcycle should become common, with a good selection.

Electric motorcycle vending machine

So... big companies... get your wallets out. Start helping this fledging industry. Sponsor a team. Invest in an electric motorcycle manufacturer. Buy a fleet of electric bikes for your mail deliveries, or pizza deliveries.

Via: Green Autoblog



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