Electric motorcycles are gaining momentum


This year, electric motorcycle momentum has been hot! Electric motorcycle companies have been reporting an increase in sales. For example, Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer Energica shared that in the first two months of 2020, they sold more electric motorcycles than in the year prior. 

LiveWire 2018

There is also a new streaming series focused on electric motorcycles. Actor Ewan McGregor and his friend, Charley Boorman, premiered “Long Way Up,” which follows them riding from Argentina to Los Angeles on electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire motorcycles. Yes, you heard correctly: Harley-Davidson has gone electric! 

Why should I consider an electric motorcycle? 

Like electric cars, electric motorcycles are extremely fun to ride! Plug In America Co-Founder Paul Scott’s current ride is the Zero SR/S.

“I have a lot of fun at 68 besting the young guys on their loud Ducatis and such,” says Scott.  “I’ll just say no one has ever beaten me off the line and I’ve given them many opportunities.” 

Not to mention electric motorcycles are comfortable and quiet. They don’t vibrate or make a loud noise when you ride. There is no need to sacrifice power and performance. Scott says  he has 110 horsepower and 140 foot-pounds of torque. “This is more power than my Nissan Leaf had!”  

With their smaller size, electric motorcycles are even more efficient and convenient than an electric car.  For example, when zipping across town, you can travel with less machinery and find parking more easily. “Riding a cool looking bike that is literally the quickest vehicle around (with the exception of the Premium Tesla Model S) makes me very happy.”

With fewer moving parts, electric motorcycles also have very low fuel and maintenance costs. The economic savings associated with individual ownership of a Zero electric motorcycle can be $360 per year. 

“Just as Tesla did in the car world, Zero, Energica, and even Harley-Davidson have extremely powerful electric motorcycles all the hard-core riders have learned to respect as we readily beat their bikes,” said Scott. “I allow some riders to take my bike out just so they understand what it’s like. They always come back with a huge grin. For many, their next bike will be electric. Once the big moto manufacturers get involved, the ICE bikes will quickly become a thing of the past.

What incentives are available? 

Federal tax credit: Tax credit for the purchase of a new two-wheeled plug-in electric drive motor vehicle. Credit amount: up to $2,500

Many states offer incentives for the purchase or lease of an electric motorcycle, including California, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Also, local governments and utility companies offer rebates. Visit PlugStar.com to search for incentives in your area.

The push for electrification adoption in all aspects of transportation

The growth of electric motorcycles is also leading to advancements in other forms of electric transportation. Zero Motorcycles has partnered with Polaris to provide powertrains for electric versions of their off-road platforms, like all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. 

E-bikes have also seen an increase in sales this year! Next month, we’ll explore e-bikes in more detail. Subscribe to our newsletter for this and other updates!

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