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Chinese Startup NIU Reveals U.S-Bound Electric Motorcycle, Three-Wheeled Scooter

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by Mircea Panait from https://www.autoevolution.com

Harley-Davidson isn’t trailblazing the industry with the LiveWire electric motorcycle. Two-wheeled vehicles with e-propulsion are huge in China and a few other places around the world, but the Middle Kingdom takes the lion’s share in terms of volume.

More than 30 million units are sold in the People’s Republic each year, and this causes a little bit of chaos in the urban jungle. Major cities such as Beijing and Taiwan have banned e-scooters in 2016 along with segways, but nevertheless, business is good.

So good in fact, a startup called NIU decided to showcase two models at the CES 2020 for the U.S. market. Not to be confused with Chinese automaker NIO, the company plans to roll out the RQi-GT electric motorcycle and TQi-GT covered three-wheeler to places like San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and even Honolulu.

NIU first landed in the United States with a fleet of 1,000 mopeds in Brooklyn as part of a partnership with Revel. The mopeds in question feature 60 and 80 miles or range, respectively, Panasonic batteries, and up to 3,800 watts of get-up-and-go from the e-motor.

Billed as an urban performance motorcycle, the RQi-GT is capable of 160 km/h (100 miles per hour) from 30 kW and two removable batteries with a total capacity of 6.5 kWh. In other words, riders can expect up to 130 kilometers (80 miles) in one go. Thanks to that kind of range, the RQi-GT has the makings of an interesting commuter mobile.

Next up, the TQi-GT is a little more special because it’s the manufacturer’s first self-balancing electric three-wheeler. As if that kind of technological wizardry wasn’t enough, look forward to autonomous driving (or riding?) functionalities such as self parking.

The TQi-GT comes in second in terms of top speed (80 km/h or 50 miles per hour) but it features a similar range as the electric motorcycle. Last, but certainly not least, 5G connectivity translates to real-time vehicle diagnostics, remote start, and over-the-air updates for the two- and three-wheeler.

NIU plans to start production of the RQi-GT and TQi-GT for the U.S. sometime in the second half of 2020, and the first deliveries are scheduled a few months after that.

AI-Driven Electric Motorcycle Shows Self-Driving Tech Is About More Than Autonomous Driving

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by John Koetsier from https://www.forbes.com/

Damon Motorcycles unveiled its new electric motorcycle today at CES in Las Vegas, calling it “the world’s smartest, safest and most powerful electric motorcycle.”

My first thought: it can’t be both the most powerful and the safest.

Then I kept reading.

And I started believing it might be possible.

First off: the power. The Damon Hypersport has “over 200” horsepower, which is a lot for a motorcycle. But even more impressively, it delivers 200nm of torque at zero RPMs … the classic electric vehicle advantage. (Although how RPM means something in an electric motor is a mystery to me.) Thanks to that power, the bike has a top speed of 200 miles/hour.

Which, by the way, doesn’t sound very safe.

But the safety features are impressive.

As you’d expect in a motorcycle, they’re not about crumple zones or air bags.

Instead, they’re about intelligence. Specifically, predictive intelligence: what’s around me, where is it going and what do I need to avoid? The Hypersport will track the speed, direction and acceleration of up to 64 moving objects around the bike, Damon says.

Damon calls it the “CoPilot 360º advanced warning system.” CoPilot 360 uses cameras, radar and “other sensors” to know what’s around and alert riders to threats, the company says.

“We spent the last three years developing an AI-powered, fully connected, e-motorcycle platform that incorporates CoPilot, our proprietary 360º warning system … Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market.”
– Jay Giraud, co-founder and CEO, Damon Motorcycles

That’s not just about what’s ahead of you. The system “looks around corners,” although I’m sure it’s not bending any laws of physics, and keeps an “eye” on the rear to see what might be coming from behind.

And, it will learn your driving habits and adjust accordingly, using onboard artificial intelligence.

“We prioritized data-driven thinking at the epicenter of the company, employing radical innovations in sensor fusion, robotics and AI,” Dom Kwong, the co-founder and CTO of Damon Motorcycles, said in a statement. “This level of deep learning and connectivity are unprecedented, ensuring each rider a smarter, safer and connected ride; not only for individuals but for entire communities, with the goal to reduce incidents worldwide.”

To connect riders and power the bike’s AI and other advanced features, it includes 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Of course, there are two big questions:

One: will riders actually be safer with warnings about oncoming objects, or will they prioritize what they see on the screen versus watching the road? Will a flood of alerts distract them or make them safer?

And secondly: with software, the devil’s in the details. Few transportation companies that aren’t named Tesla do it well. Will this startup be able to ship these advanced technologies in a usable, friendly and safe way?

Damon says yes, citing the foundation of their software:

“By building it on BlackBerry’s best-in-class technology that is safety certified, Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycles on the market,” says CEO Giraud.

That’s BlackBerry QNX, which is built by the former mobile giant, now re-focused on software solutions.

Ultimately, we’ll know when the bike ships.

The Hypersport is available for pre-order now on the Damon website. Pricing begins at $24,995 before any applicable EV tax credits.

And the range? 200 miles on the highway, 300 miles in the city, according to the company.

Damon’s Electric Motorcycle Will Have 200-Mile Range, 200mph Speed, Safety Suite

By | General Posts

by Bill Roberson from https://www.forbes.com

2019 was a big year for the nascent electric motorcycle niche, and it looks like 2020 is going to start with another shock to the system with Vancouver B.C.-based Damon Motorcycles announcing some eye-opening performance numbers and cutting-edge safety tech for their upcoming machine, called the Hypersport. A prototype Hypersport and specifications were revealed Tuesday morning at the 2020 CES electronics expo in Las Vegas.

Damon claims the Hypersport will be be capable of some fairly hyper numbers, including 200 horsepower, a 200 mile-an-hour top speed, and 200 miles of highway range, as well as 300 miles of range in urban riding. Additionally, the Hypersport will be bristling with technology heretofore unseen on most any motorcycle, including on-the-fly adjustable ergonomics and a car-like rider safety system.

Damon had previously sent out emails ahead of the CES reveal teasing the fact that “200” was their “magic number,” so while it might have been easy to deduce those figures, they still stand out against the specs of competing bikes, which often struggle to achieve half of those performance figures.

A run of 25 premium high-spec bikes with a price of $40,000 will be the focus of an initial Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, while a more mass-market Hypersport will come in at $24,995. The crowdfunding campaign will complement additional financial backing from Round 13 Capital, Techstars, Fontinalis, Extreme Venture Partners and Pallasite Ventures.

Ahead of CES, Damon CEO Jay Jiraud told Forbes.com the Hypersport will feature their exclusive on-the-fly adjustable ergonomics package, called Shift, and an extensive rider awareness/safety system they call CoPilot. The Shift ergo system will be able to change things like seat height, handlebar height and footpeg location, changing the riding position from a tucked-in sport posture to a more standard-style sit-up arrangement for more comfortable city riding. The bike itself has the form of a sleek sports machine. And while a specific torque figure was not released, Jiraud told Forbes.com the Hypersport will make a “s**tload of torque.” Some of the features can be seen in this video from Damon:

Forbes.com was the first publication to take Damon’s two test bikes for rides this past summer, including the shape-shifting Hypersport prototype and another test machine outfitted with an array of cameras, sensors and electronics designed to give riders a digital heads up on what’s happening around them via a sensor package not unlike what many cars now feature.

Jiraud explained that his vision is to give Hypersport riders more comfort, range and utility from the bike, while also introducing pre-collision safety features that, as of now, have been largely missing from motorcycles while they have gotten ever more sophisticated in cars.

However, the CoPilot system will differ from the automotive systems in that it won’t have the ability to take over operation of the motorcycle; it only gives warning cues about possible dangers around the rider. The reason for the non-intervention is that a motorcycle is an inherently unstable platform, unlike a car, and unexpectedly taking control of the bike away from the rider in any way could result in a crash. Instead, the CoPilot system uses video screens, a rear-facing camera, multiple radar units and position sensors, small LED lights and handlebar vibrations to let the rider know what is happening around the motorcycle. Again, CoPilot does not activate the brakes or affect steering, although Jiraud did not rule out those features in some iteration much farther down the line as A.I. systems, vehicle interconnectivity and other technologies improve.

During a test ride of the system several months ago, I found the tech to be innovative and effective. While it does add some input to the rider while in operation, I found that even after a few miles, it became second nature to see, feel and understand the warning system’s cues.

Likewise, riding the sleek electric bike with the adjustable ergos was also interesting. While some modern bikes allow owners to tailor things like seat height, handlebar rise and footpeg placement, those adjustments typically have to be made with tools while the bike is stopped, and once made, riders are essentially stuck with them until they can be changed again with tools.

Damon’s Shift system works more like your car’s interior. Using a bar-mounted controller, the seat can rise and fall, the bars can move up and down and the footpegs will lift or lower. While the test bike had only two positions for the ergos, Jiraud said future versions would be more adjustable for a true custom fit. Best of all, the Shift system is adjustable while riding.

BlackBerry On Board

Damon CEO Jay Giraud has made some key moves to bring his vision of an electric bike with all the elements of the two test bikes rolled into one battery-powered package. A key development in the quest to get the data-hungry CoPilot system up to par performance-wise was a partnership with BlackBerry and implementation of the BlackBerry QNX suite to power and talk to the numerous sensors, radars and other tech involved in CoPilot. There will also be 4G cellular connectivity.

Once famous for their cellphones, BlackBerry has largely transitioned to a company that makes control systems that work behind the curtain in numerous data systems, with a focus on cars and medical equipment. The QNX system has been installed in over 150 million vehicles and is used by almost all top automakers worldwide, so it’s quite a coup for Damon to have them dip into the electric motorcycle world at this early stage.

Alta Influence

Clearly, this is not Jay Jiraud’s first tech rodeo. While the Damon team was spooling up the Hypersport, Jiraud also added a key player in Derek Dorresteyn, from now-defunct but long-time electric motorcycle maker Alta Motors. Dorresteyn signed on as COO at Damon, which will need his expertise to tease out the promised performance figures for the Hypersport models. Even though both are legacy technologies, batteries and electric motors are two parts of a rapidly developing tech frontier that is seeing huge investments by both corporate and even state-sponsored players.

Jiraud told Forbes.com that Dorresteyn was in the midst of working on a “completely new” electric superbike powertrain system at Alta when the company closed up shop, and he brings a wealth of expertise to Damon. Among the bike’s tech features Jiraud talked about with Forbes ahead of CES was a 700-plus volt, liquid-cooled 20kWh battery pack for the Hypersport, which would be quite large for a motorcycle, but Jiraud says the Hypersports’ architecture can handle the battery pack and that the battery will not be the typical rectangular lump found in many current electric bikes. For comparison, the largest battery available on the class-leading Zero SR-F is just over 16kWh (the standard battery is 14.4kWh), with the bike tipping the scales at a tick over 500 pounds. Meanwhile, the Harley-Davidson LiveWire uses a 15.5kWh pack. Jiraud says he is planning on keeping the weight of the Hypersport under 500 pounds through design and weight-saving measures.

A Challenging Future

The transition of the motorcycle industry from gas to electric has lagged (with some exceptions) behind that of cars due to the challenges of design as well as the space and weight-sensitive platform a motorcycle presents, but battery and motor advances in the bike industry can also represent opportunities to the EV industry as a whole. With the addition of Dorresteyn from Alta, Blackberry’s QNX handling the tech and a clutch of investors, Damon may be in position to lead in terms of range, safety and power once the Hypersport arrives. But things can change fast in the EV world, so stay tuned.

The Damon Hypersport prototype bike can be seen at BlackBerry’s booth at CES 2020. Deliveries are slated for 2021.

 

Damon Motorcycles and BlackBerry QNX Revolutionize Motorcycling with the Introduction of Hypersport Pro Electric Superbike

By | General Posts

– Damon to unveil flagship motorcycle, the ‘Hypersport Pro at CES 2020 in BlackBerry Limited’s (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) booth #7515, North Hall.

– #FutureOfMotorcycling Interactive Experience will be open to all CES attendees in the BlackBerry booth from January 7 – 10, 2020

VANCOUVER, British Columbia and WATERLOO, Ontario, Jan. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Damon Motorcycles announced today that its CoPilot™ advanced warning system will be powered by BlackBerry QNX technology across its entire line-up of advanced electric motorcycles.

As part of the agreement, Damon has licensed BlackBerry QNX technology, including its industry-leading real-time operating system to serve as the safe and secure foundation for the Damon CoPilot warning system on its new flagship electric motorcycle.

Damon will unveil this disruptive, limited edition superbike, the Hypersport Pro™, and open reservations to the public online and at CES at 10:00am PST, January 7th. In BlackBerry’s booth, attendees will also be able to experience Damon’s next generation motorcycle first-hand in the #FutureOfMotorcycling Interactive Experience, a rideable, leaning stationary motorcycle that uses virtual reality to showcase the motorcycle’s unique features on the show floor.These features include its powerful all-electric performance, its CoPilot advanced warning system, and Shift™, its patented rider ergonomics that lets riders electronically adjust the Hypersport’s riding position while in motion. CoPilot uses radar, cameras and non-visual sensors to track the speed, direction and velocity of moving objects around the motorcycle. Attendees can book a time slot to experience it at CES by visiting damonmotorcycles.com/VR.

“We’re on a mission to unleash the full potential of personal mobility for the world’s commuters,” said Jay Giraud, Chief Executive Officer of Damon Motorcycles. “To address this, we spent the last three years developing an AI-powered, fully connected, e-motorcycle platform that incorporates CoPilot, our proprietary 360º warning system. By building it on BlackBerry’s best-in-class technology that is safety certified, Damon motorcycles will be the safest, most advanced electric motorcycle in the market.”

“With its advanced collision warning system, Damon’s new Hypersport Pro is a game-changing model for the motorcycle industry,” said Grant Courville, VP, Product Management and Strategy, BlackBerry QNX. “We’re absolutely thrilled to have them in our booth and look forward to showing off the highly-secure software that delivers enhanced situational awareness and increased peace of mind for riders. BlackBerry QNX is leading the way in next-generation mobility systems by providing a safe and secure platform for connected vehicles and beyond and we’re proud to work with Damon on this exciting advancement.”

BlackBerry QNX is a leader in delivering trusted embedded operating systems and development tools to companies for which failure is not an option. Committed to the highest safety, reliability and security standards, BlackBerry QNX has developed a portfolio of software and services with a proven record of helping developers deliver complex and connected next generation products. BlackBerry QNX technology is trusted in over 150 million vehicles and millions of embedded systems, including medical, industrial automation, robotics, energy, defense and aerospace applications. For more information on BlackBerry QNX, please visit blackberry.qnx.com.

With performance specs to be released at CES 2020, Damon’s industry-leading advanced prototypes are set to hit the roads in mid-2020 to the world’s largest mobility segment well overdue for a safer, smarter, zero emission solution. For more information on Damon Motorcycles, please visit damonmotorcycles.com.

LIVALL Launches and Debuts New Smartphone-Connected Cycling Safety Helmet at 2020 International CES

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With smart lighting, hands-free operation, fall detection, voice navigation, SOS alarm, and more, the breakthrough new LIVALL BH51M Neo helmet is a quantum leap forward in safety and protection for cyclists

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CES (#44513, Hall D, Sands)LIVALL, a pioneer in smart and safe helmets for cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts, today announced the U.S. product launch and debut of the BH51M Neo to their current line of award-winning smart and safe helmets at the 2020 International CES. In booth #44513, Hall D, Sands LIVALL will demo and showcase their entire line of helmets during the duration of CES from January 7–10, 2020.

LIVALL’s helmets combine visibility with connectivity for commuter and leisure cyclists. The company’s newest smartphone-connected helmet specifically addresses the needs of E-Bike, E-scooter and Electric motorcycle riders. LIVALL’s RS1 helmet is a smart helmet specifically designed for skiing, snowboarding, and other outdoor winter activities.

Debuting in the U.S. at CES, the new BH51M Neo, is a robust, waterproof, fashionable smart helmet that is simple-to-use, comfortable, and packed full of genuinely useful smart tech, including all the existing features of its multi-award-winning predecessor, the BH51M.

“We are delighted to debut this game-changing new connected smart helmet at CES 2020; a show that has evolved to become the perfect fusion of technology and mobility in recent years,” said Bryan Zheng, Founder and CEO, of LIVALL. “In all facets of transportation safety is the preeminent concern, and this is especially true for cyclists who are exposed and constantly in harm’s way. LIVALL aims to create a safe cycling ecosystem; for us, safety is the ultimate luxury. The new BH51M Neo represents a quantum leap forward in safety and protection for the everyday cyclist, and all of us at LIVALL are proud to bring this breakthrough new safety innovation to the cycling and urban mobility community.”

New Features – exclusive to the BH51M Neo:

Front and Brake Warning Lights
The front warning lights work together with the 270° taillights, to protect the user’s security in all directions. When the built-in gravity acceleration sensor detects a significant deceleration, the front and taillights will be highlighted for eight seconds to draw front and rear vehicles’ and pedestrians’ attention.

Auto-Off and Anti-Loss Alarm
Auto-off ensures maximum battery longevity, turning off automatically when the helmet is disconnected from the phone and inactive for 15 minutes.  Anti-loss alarm is activated when the helmet is connected to your phone and the distance between helmet and phone exceeds 15m, both the helmet and phone will alarm.

Key Features of the BH51M Neo include:

  • Smart Lighting (Automatic Sensor Lighting / Wireless Turn Signals) – Smart lighting integrates adaptive technology to ensure your visibility in dark conditions. Operate wireless LED turn signals via handlebar remote control to alert traffic of turning direction for enhanced visibility and rider safety.
  • Fall Detection – In the event of an accident, the emergency system will kick in automatically and send your GPS location to your emergency contacts.
  • Press for SOS   – If in distress, press the red button on the remote for five seconds and your emergency contacts will receive an alert message with your GPS location.
  • One-Click Answer   – Answer phone calls using the remote control and enjoy clear sound both ways with the helmet’s built-in Bluetooth speakers and wind-proof microphone.
  • PTT Walkie-Talkie – Easily communicate with your fellow cyclists using the Walkie-Talkie function when riding in a group.
  • Voice Navigation – Listen to GPS voice navigation via the built-in speaker with your connected smartphone.
  • Stereo speakers – Quality music, audiobook and podcast playback is delivered through Bluetooth stereo speakers strategically placed above the ears, allowing you to stay alert to surrounding traffic.
  • Compatible with Strava, iHealth and Siri through the LIVALL Riding app.

The BH51M Neo will retail with an MSRP of $169.00 USD on Amazon.com and is available in graphite black or sandstone grey.

Meetings/Demos At CES:
Members of the media and industry contacts wishing to book a specific date/time for demo and briefing can contact Megan Kathman, Skyya PR at megan@skyya.com and 651-785-3212. Those seeking images, B-Roll, and additional information, can also access the LIVALL press kit.

About LIVALL:
Located in Shenzhen, LIVALL Tech Co., Ltd. is adept at developing, designing and manufacturing fashionable and multifunctional patented helmetphones to maximize riders’ safety. With more than 170 patents and advanced equipment, LIVALL has strict standards and massive production capacity to meet the huge market demand. With a primary focus on product innovation and product experience, this firm has received recognition and trust from the industry and the users. Furthermore, it obtained more than 30 awards and over 10 international certifications including CPSC1203, EN1078, CE, FCC, NCC, ROHS, BQB, etc.

Segway tries to be sexy at CES, presents new electric motorcycle

By | General Posts

 

by Chris Matyszczyk from https://www.zdnet.com/

Will this be the great victor at CES? Oh, please let that happen.

Admit it, you’ve pitied them.

The tourists, the mailpersons, the mall cops, the aging techies who now resent the future, they’re all regularly seen on Segways. Some, perhaps in a vain attempt to salvage their image, even wear a crash helmet while they ride the much-derided machine.

In recent times, though, Segway was bought by China’s Ninebot. It’s started to develop robots. Well, robotic heads that ride on Segways.

Now, though the company wants to make you drool and not because you’re laughing so much. It wants every attendee at CES 2020 to be talking about nothing other than the enormous strides Segway has made toward being alluring.

Just before Christmas it released a (possibly) dynamic video of its new Apex.

This is an electric motorbike, one that you can ride on a track. Yes, with no one else there but a camera crew.

Some may be moved that there is only one wheel at the front and one at the back.

More may be excited by the idea that this seems like a bike they’d actually be happy to be seen on, even beyond an enclosed track. It is alleged to be capable of going of going from 0-60 in 2.9 seconds and reaching 125 mph.

Some bike aficionados may, however, endure qualms. The Apex sounds less like a bike and more like a one-person metalwork factory. Moreover, the rider in the video doesn’t make it look quite like the muscly monsters that occasionally overtake me on the freeway going 100 mph. (I’m going 65, honest.) He doesn’t lean over very far, does he?

Perhaps, though, it’s a fine bike for our precarious times, one that melds dynamism and sanctimony in one glorious ride.

Naturally, this is being billed as a concept vehicle. But when excitement builds at CES, the momentum can become uncontrollable. As was witnessed last year with the award, unaward and award again of a truly innovative — so I’m reliably informed — sex toy.

Soon, we might be living in a world where Segway Apex’s are disturbing Tesla drivers on the freeway.

What could be more beautiful than that?

 

BMW Could Be Building Electric Motorcycles In Five Years

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by Brad Anderson from https://www.carscoops.com/

It’s not just electric cars that have started to pop up with increased frequency in recent years as all-electric motorcycles are also becoming more commonplace. BMW Motorrad doesn’t appear to be in a rush to bring electric bikes of its own to the market, however.

While recently speaking with Cycle World, head of BMW Motorrad Dr. Markus Schramm said that electric motorcycles may make sense in urban environments, but that could be it.

“As the Vision DC Roadster concept shows, we see this as a power portfolio of the future,” he said. “In the urban environment, it is possible that there will be an electric BMW motorcycle in five years. In the touring, off-road, and sport segments, I am not sure that we will see them.”

The BMW Vision DC Roadster was introduced at the company’s #NEXTGen event back in June as an all-electric model featuring a battery pack with metallic cooling ribs and two fans. Sending power through the rear wheels is a cylinder-shaped electric motor. The bike has an exterior design unlike any other BMW motorcycle and is not expected to find its way into the production line.

“I am convinced that the motorcycle as a product becomes more and more important—not about commuting, but as leisure product,” Schramm added during the interview. “Electric mobility will be important for motorcycles in urban areas within five years.”

If electric power becomes more common on motorcycles focused on urban commuting, it seems inevitable that more enthusiast-oriented motorcycles will retain their high-revving internal combustion engines for years to come.

Going electric could help revive the motorcycle industry

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by Peter Valdes-Dapena from https://edition.cnn.com/

Motorcycle sales, particularly in the United States, have been struggling ever since the Great Recession. As older riders lose interest, or simply become unable to ride any longer, the younger generation hasn’t been showing the same kind of enthusiasm.

But the industry is hoping that electric motorcycles — with a quieter, simpler experience — might be the key to attracting new riders.

For one thing, electric motorcycles are easier to ride. With an electric motor, there’s no need to shift gears. To experienced riders, that’s no big deal, but most Americans today have become accustomed to automatic transmissions and don’t know how to shift gears.

“It’s just a lot easier learning curve,” said Susan Carpenter, a writer and radio host specializing in motorcycles. “You just hop on and twist the throttle. If you can balance, you can go.”

Another benefit is that electric motorcycles are much less noisy than gasoline-powered motorcycles. To many veteran riders, the roar of the engine is part of the excitement. But a lot of other people would prefer to enjoy their surroundings much more peacefully. The bikes also don’t have hot engines and exhaust pipes that can become burn hazards, especially when parked around kids.

Electric motorcycles also qualify for federal and state tax credits, similar to those for electric cars, although in smaller amounts.

There are tradeoffs, of course. Electric motorcycles have the same disadvantages as electric cars, namely cost and range. Motorcycles can only accommodate small batteries so they have a lot less range than gas-powered bikes. And that range diminishes greatly during high-speed highway riding because the bike’s electric motor has to compensate for increased wind resistance pressing against the rider’s not-so-aerodynamic body.

Hoping to get the attention of a new generation of riders, Harley-Davidson introduced the LiveWire electric motorcycle earlier this year.

But with a starting price of nearly $30,000 — more than three times the cost of an entry level motorcycle — it’s unlikely to attract many novice riders. With its extreme performance capabilities — it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds — the LiveWire doesn’t appear to be for first-time riders. (The bike does have selectable performance modes so it can be set up for less aggressive riding.)

“LiveWire sets the stage and sets the tone and is designed and priced to be a halo vehicle,” said Harley-Davidson spokesman Paul James, explaining that the LiveWire is aimed at establishing an image for the brand’s electric offerings rather than being a big seller. “And we’ll quickly follow that up with other form factors and other electric two-wheelers that will be in various price points and aimed at different customers.”

Harley-Davidson (HOG) wanted this bike to get people used to the idea of a motorcycle that doesn’t have the brand’s signature engine burble, said James. The LiveWire does make its own distinct sound, though. It comes from the gears that carry power from the electric motor to the belt that spins the back wheel. Harley-Davidson engineers spent time specifically tuning the naturally occurring whirring sound, much as they would the rumble of a gasoline engine.

For the real novices, Harley-Davidson offers the IronE, which targets tiny riders aged three to seven. The teeny off-road bike is powered by a small detachable battery similar to ones used for electric power tools and starts at around $650. Harley-Davidson has also shown pedaled e-bikes and scooters as concepts.

California-based Zero offers electric motorcycles like the Zero FX ZF3.6 for around $9,000. That bike has an estimated 27 miles of riding range from a small battery that can be easily changed for a fully charged one when it runs low on power. For about twice that amount, or around $20,000, bikes like the Zero SR/F can get about 123 miles in combined city and highway riding. (That compares to the 95 miles Harley-Davidson estimates for the LiveWire.) Buyers can also add battery power using a “Power Tank” accessory.

Zero’s bikes are used in a program called Discover the Ride, which introduces novice riders to motorcycle riding and takes place at Progressive International Motorcycle Shows across the United States. Riders demonstrate their basic two-wheeler skills on an electrically-assisted bicycle, then they are offered a ride on a Zero electric motorcycle.

Cake, a Swedish company, has models starting at a slightly more affordable $8,500. For that price, a buyer can get Cake’s ultra-minimalist Ösa+ model. Its design was inspired by a workbench and it looks like it. With detachable clamps, the owner can quickly customize the bike with cargo racks or an additional seat. The Ösa+ has a top speed of just 60 miles an hour. It’s intended as an urban workhorse.

Cake also makes the slightly faster and pricier Kalk& with a more traditional, but still distinctively spare, design.

With their emphasis on light weight and simplicity, Cake bikes take the idea that electric motorcycling should be different from riding a gas-powered bike to an extreme. The models are particularly popular with new riders, according to a company spokesman. After being available in the US for a little over a year, there’s a three-month waiting list for the bikes, Cake claims.

Alternet Systems Highlights African $4 Billion Motorcycle Ride Hail Market

By | General Posts

DALLAS, Dec. 31, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via OTC PR WIRE — Alternet Systems, Inc. (USOTC: ALYI) today highlighted Africa’s $4 billion motorcycle ride hail market featured in a recent TechCrunch article emphasizing the anticipated explosive growth in Africa over the next decade.  ALYI management sees ALYI as well positioned leader prepared to capture the wave of investment and growth coming to Africa in 2020 and beyond.

ALYI is currently developing $300 million in electric vehicle projects in Africa targeting the shared-ride market, leading with electric motorcycles for the shared-ride market.  The company has signed orders for electric motorcycles with a side car to be produced in Kenya for shared ride providers in Kenya.  ALYI has also recently announced a $100 million cryptocurrency investment strategy targeted at expanding beyond the company’s existing $300 million in electric vehicle projects in Africa.

ALYI has secured institutional commitment to support an annual African electric mobility technology conference and symposium to advance the deployment of electric powered transportation solutions specific to Africa.  The focus includes environmental sustainability but also overall transportation efficiency applicable to the African transportation infrastructure, economy, and consumer.  ALYI CEO, Dr. Randell Torno, contends that the immediate opportunity for electric powered transportation growth in Africa by far exceeds the electric powered transportation opportunity anywhere else in the world and that the electric mobility technology innovations that will be developed for Africa will ultimately form the foundation of commercial electric powered transportation everywhere.  In short, Africa is the global proving ground for electric powered transportation. Dr. Torno just concluded meetings in London last week where he secured institutional brand name commitment that will serve as the anchor event and attraction at the annual African electric mobility technology conference and symposium.  The planed conference and symposium location is Nairobi, Kenya.

For more information, please visit: http://www.alternetsystemsinc.com

Panasonic-Equipped Vehicles At CES 2020 Include Harleys

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by Jim Henry from https://www.forbes.com

Panasonic-Equipped Vehicles At CES 2020 Include Harleys And Even A Battery Powered Fire Truck

Panasonic Automotive branches out at the upcoming CES 2020, adding motorcycles from Harley-Davidson and compact, “right-sized” electric trucks for commercial use from Tropos Technologies Inc., to the Panasonic stand at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show.

“We’re doing a lot of collaboration,” Andrew Poliak, Panasonic Automotive CTO, said in a phone interview. CES 2020 runs Jan. 7 through Jan. 10 in Las Vegas. Media previews begin Jan. 5.

Panasonic is a world leader in automotive batteries, automotive infotainment, and vehicle connectivity solutions. At CES 2019 a year ago, Panasonic and Harley jointly unveiled the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle, the first battery powered Harley built by the manufacturer.

Besides the electric powertrain, the LiveWire was introduced along with a suite of connected features Harley calls H-D Connect. Some functions, used in conjunction with the H-D smartphone app, are aimed specifically at the electric motorcycle, like searching for recharging stations and the ability to check remotely how much the battery is charged.

This year, starting with the 2020 model year that began in August 2019, Harley is rolling out connected features for many of its bikes with internal combustion engines, too. For instance, owners can check fuel level remotely instead of battery charge. Other features work for either electric or traditional powertrains, such as service reminders and tamper alerts. There’s also a stolen vehicle tracking service.

Meanwhile in May 2019, Panasonic and Tropos announced a partnership to produce battery powered commercial vehicles. According to Poliak, those include a small “fire response vehicle,” and small delivery trucks aimed at fulfilling the “last mile” requirement for fast delivery.

John R. Bautista III, Tropos CEO and founder, said in a video on the Tropos web site that his company’s fire response vehicle typically would cost around $50,000, vs. around $500,000 for a traditional, fullsize pumper truck. “The cost is so low, a private fleet can position a small fire response vehicle on site, full time, without having to spend a lot of money,” he said.