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Motorcycles: Greener Than Cars

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On: Wed, Dec 4, 2013 at 1:11PM | By: Karen Cook

Motorcycles: Greener Than Cars

The Leaf, the Volt, smart cars… the electric car industry has produced a variety of vehicles that most of us are familiar with. They reduce carbon emissions and lower your fuel bill. Automobile manufacturers are not the only ones thinking about the environment though. Of course, it’s not headline news that even a gas-powered motorcycle does the same thing as a car, on a smaller scale. However, the benefits to the atmosphere and your wallet are even greater if you can combine the two. An electric motorcycle leaves one of the smallest carbon footprints possible in the field of transportation. There are quite a few out there doing all kinds of duties. Sadly, we don’t hear much about them.

The Voxan Wattman was on display at the Paris Motorcycle Show recently and impressed viewers with its 200-hp engine that runs strictly on electricity. It’s touted as the most powerful electric cruiser on the market. The Wattman reaches 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and nearly 100 mph in just under 6 seconds. It has a hefty weight of 771.6 pounds and is made mostly of aluminum. The power comes from a 12.8 kWh battery which will carry you almost 112 miles on a full charge.

Italy’s Energica company puts out the Ego for those with sportier tastes. This bike is fitted with a permanent magnet AC motor which gives it 134 hp. The Ego has an 11.7 kWh battery which travels for 93 miles when fully charged. Its body is mostly plastic, but the heavy batteries boost its weight up to 569 pounds.

Police departments are also able to go green with Zero Motorcycle’s patrol fleet. These little babies cost a penny per mile to operate and are nearly silent, providing officers the element of surprise. They are highly maneuverable and agile in tight places and have no exhaust, so they can be operated indoors, leaving criminals nowhere to run.

There are also electric racing bikes made by a variety of companies; ecleads the pack but Honda has one too. Segway, Honda, and Yamaha produce street bikes and even Harley-Davidson is reportedly working on an electric bike. Everyone is getting in on the act. I wonder if Harley will be able to synthesize its character sound with an electric motor. We’ll have to wait and see.

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