WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES?
The electric motorcycle sector is rapidly developing, and T&D is pioneering the future. Take a look back at e-motorcycle origins, and at what’s to come.
Powered two-wheeled mobility began in 1885, when Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach created the first motorcycle that was powered by a petroleum internal combustion engine (ICE), the Daimler Reitwagen.
Only a decade later, patents and prototypes of electric-powered bicycles were being submitted and presented, with batteries powering electric engines. Clearly, the demand for electrified transport had an earlier start than many today might think!
Early electric successes
A 1911 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine featured an electric motorcycle, the Electra 3 speed, which claimed a range of 75-100 miles (121-160km) – impressive even by today’s standards. Other efforts in Brussels in the 1930s and 40s saw some success for the electric motorcycles manufactured by the brand Socovel, with fuel rationing helping to boost popularity.
Significant further development has only been seen in more recent years, thanks to major advances in battery technology and charging times, and increasing demand due to efforts and policies aimed at tackling climate change.
The obstacles for electric motorcycle developers
Electric motors powered by renewable energy are an obvious step towards a sustainable future. Enabling swift and reliable charging of electric vehicles is clearly a priority to make them feasible transport options for drivers – and riders. When it comes to electric motorcycles, product developers are continuously looking to achieve the best balance of the battery’s power density, physical size and weight, and charging time. With motorcycles having less space for installing batteries than other electric vehicles, this is a key aspect to consider.
The future is looking bright
From a performance point of view, electric motorcycles have much better energy efficiency than their ICE counterparts. They can provide maximum torque at any time in the full RPM range without any clutch, and in most cases without any transmission, for maximum power efficiency.
Many electric motorcycle manufacturers have found that enhancing this inherent efficiency can be something of a pain point at the product development stage. Identifying and integrating the ideal set of components from multiple suppliers can be both time-consuming and costly.
Where T&D differ is in the manufacture and supply of the entire drive system, saving engineers many headaches! Motorcycles can be fully kitted out with the ideal combination of motor, battery, charger, HMI, and controller – all designed to be inter-compatible from the start:
- Batteries are designed to be as lightweight and power-efficient as possible.
- High-tech motors are built for nimble, powerful performance.
- Automotive-level intelligent controllers ensure swift, reliable communication between all parts.
- Bespoke chargers for each system enable optimum charging capabilities.
- Robust, clear, intuitive display screens ensure a smooth HMI experience.
Moreover, there are several systems available to suit different motorcycle types. We’re continuously listening to partners and taking note of their demands in the development of new components. This ensures that that product designers’ requirements regarding acceleration, speed, handling, and more are fully catered for.
More than innovative components and complete drive systems, T&D also offers a comprehensive end-to-end service for all our customers. Reputation is as important as reliability and rapid service, and this sets us aside – we aim to create a new industry standard for electric motorcycle drive systems.
T&D. Electric Evolution.