Source: press release MOTORbeurs Utrecht | Now that the electric car has become common knowledge, more and more motorcycle manufacturers are also looking for ways to reduce CO2 emissions. The electric motorcycle is in the spotlight this year at MOTORbeurs Utrecht. Visitors can experience for themselves what it’s like to drive fast and silently.
“It feels like you’re in a fighter jet,” says Ron de Graaf about the LiveWire, the first electric motorbike from Harley-Davidson. “It is fast and has enormous power: in three seconds you can accelerate from zero to one hundred kilometers per hour.” De Graaf owns the Harley-Davidson dealer in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The LiveWire has been on the market since the end of 2019: last month De Graaf supplied the first models to his Dutch customers. They are pleased with the design and the “crazy driving experience”, says De Graaf.
Of course the sound is not impressive as the rugged V-twin on a Harley. And with an electric motorcycle you can’t drive (yet) for hours without worries, because you are dependent on charging times. Yet De Graaf and his customers are not alone in their enthusiasm about the electric motorcycle. The vehicle is on the rise, according to figures from BOVAG and ACEM. In the Netherlands, the number of “Full Electric Vehicles” sold has almost quadrupled in six years. In the European Union, the number of electric motorcycles and mopeds sold increased by 63 percent in the first nine months of 2019.
New and futuristic
“We mainly see niche players coming onto the market,” says Tom Huyskens from BOVAG. Startups eagerly embark on the latest technology to develop a motorcycle that is better for the environment and at the same time these bikes have a fresh design. Zero Motorcycles and the Italian brand Energica are the best known. But traditional engine manufacturers are also venturing the new way of driving: after BMW and Harley-Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki are talking about unified standards for electric motorcycles.
“There is an increasing demand for electric motorcycles,” says Spencer Cutlan of the Finnish brand Verge Motorcycles. “Many motorcyclists are done with traditional technology. They are looking for something different and new that will make them stand out in the crowd. “Verge’s motorcycles look futuristic: they have hubless wheels and are powered by electromagnets, among other things. There is also a computer built in that automatically updates the software of the engine, such as with a mobile phone.
Advantages of an e-motorcycle
At the MOTORbeurs Utrecht (from 20 to 23 February at the Jaarbeurs Utrecht) visitors can experience how that works, such an e-motor. Different motorcycle brands present their electric models. There is the Hubless Electric Roadster from Verge, as well the range of Zero Motorcycles and the LiveWire from Harley-Davidson. “Children from the age of six can also ride an electric dirt bike on a specially designed course,” explains brand manager Martine Sterk. “With Electrocross we offer an activity for the whole family.”
An electric motorcycle is more expensive than a traditional motorcycle. For example, you pay 34 thousand euros for the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, while a “normal” Harley starts at ten thousand euros. But the maintenance costs are lower: brake oil only needs to be changed – spark plugs, air filters and valves do not apply to electric motorcycles. And you don’t lose any money on fuel. The Netherlands currently has almost 40 thousand charging stations. The distance that you can travel with an electric motor is increasing: the range is usually between 150 and 200 kilometers.
Demand will grow
Nowadays it is mainly early adaptors who purchase an e-motor: environmentally conscious motorcyclists and gadget freaks who like to feed themselves with the latest technical gadgets. But according to BOVAG, the electric motorcycle and e-scooter can become a mass product in the coming years. “The European regulations for low CO2 emissions now only apply to cars. As soon as it also applies to motorcycles, premium brands will offer more electric models,” says Tom Huyskens. “Moreover, there is currently no tax arrangement with a low tax liability specifically for electric motorcycles. If that is the case, it will become more attractive to purchase such an electric vehicle for business purposes.”
About MOTORbeurs Utrecht
MOTORbeurs Utrecht is a unique concept for motorcycle minded people. Almost everything in the field of motorcycling is present during these days. From motorcycle to motorcycle clothing, from helmet to lock, from trailer to navigation, from parts to insurance. Also everything in the travel area for the active motorcyclist, from hotel hopping in Germany to rally driving in Morocco, from a tour through Mongolia to a testdrive on the circuit. You score on MOTORbeurs Utrecht used motorbikes, but also the newest models at the importers, all in all, everything that interests the motorcyclist.