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Poll

Hybrids or no?

Hybrids are a good idea!
- 3 (27.3%)
Skip the hybrids, just keep improving all electric!
- 8 (72.7%)

Total Members Voted: 11


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Author Topic: A call for hybrids  (Read 1604 times)

evinstitute

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A call for hybrids
« on: April 18, 2013, 03:50:52 AM »

Hello

I'm new to the forum. I work for an ev consulting company. I don't have a electric motorcycle. Can't afford one. Anyways i thought this forum would be a good opportunity to get some feedback on a blog post i did for the company. It's a comprehensive history of the electric motorcycle and a call for hybrid electric motorcycles. As enthusiasts i figure the people here might have something to say about it.

Here's the link:

http://evinstitute.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/electric-motorcycles/
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Richard230

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 04:13:09 AM »

The Italian scooter company Piaggio (the parent company of Vespa) makes a 3-wheel scooter that was introduced in Europe last year with a 50cc IC engine and a small electric motor.  It is very slow, costs a lot and its range is poor.  It would seem that hybrid motorcycles and scooters, give you the worst of both the IC and EV worlds.  They tend to be heavy, very expensive and poor performers, mostly due to the inability to package all of the parts into a reasonably small and lightweight package.  Hybrid technology may work well for automobiles, but I believe it is a dead end when used in two-wheeled vehicles due to cost, packaging and having a lot more things to go wrong.  You just get the worst of both technologies.
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Richard's motorcycle collection:  2014 14.2 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

protomech

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 04:35:03 AM »

Hi Luke (assuming per byline),

Welcome to the forums. That is a nicely researched piece, and the first mention of the Socovel electric bike I've seen. VisforVoltage posted a contemporary review of the Socovel from a 1936 copy of "The Motor Cycle" magazine, very interesting read. The introduction, drawbacks and conclusion section read like a contemporary electric bike review!

The Socovel electric bike had a maximum speed of 20 mph and 27.5 miles of real-world range at 16-20 mph. Additionally, the electric bike was much heavier, longer and wider than its gas counterparts .. the opposite of a modern Zero motorcycle. Amusingly, while under the same conditions I would expect to see 150+ mile range from a ZF11.4 bike, under 40-70 mph riding conditions the Zero lasts for 1-2 hours (70-100 miles) .. or about the same time riding as the Socovel.

I'll second Richard230 in that hybrid bikes are difficult case. Light motorcycles and scooters already get excellent fuel economy in the city due to light weight. Going with Piaggio's claims of 140 mpg vs 70 mpg with their hybrid MP3 would save ~7 gallons per month ($20) when riding 1000 miles/month. Beyond the packaging difficulties, hybrid bikes (big gas little electric) in city operation are up against electric motorcycles and scooters at their very strongest. A Zero XU offers 74 miles of city riding range, or typically 2-4 hours of operation. Quick-charging the batteries or swappable batteries can extend this out to all-day city operation if needed.

IMO pure electrics with a modular gas range extender make more sense (little gas big electric). A 10-12 kW gas genset would be sufficient for 70 mph freeway travel .. and could perhaps be packaged into a large tailbox.
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evinstitute

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 04:48:00 AM »

I didn't think about packaging. Makes sense though. That article about Socovel is fascinating.
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protomech

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 04:57:05 AM »

Piaggio MP3 Hybrid pricing (Germany) €9.390
http://www.de.piaggio.com/de_DE/listino_prezzi/configurator_step1.aspx

Zero XU ZF5.7 pricing (Germany) €10.495,00
http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/de/zero-xu-specs

It's possible that significant development of the hybrid powertrain could reduce the volume, much as we've seen occur in cars over time .. but between scooters that are "good enough" in city operation and rapidly improving full electrics, I feel like hybrid technologies in scooters will be pinched from two sides.

Hybrid electric pedal bikes make a ton of sense; significant improvements vs a standard pedal bike in comfort, acceleration, and top speed (thereby expanding operation onto some streets where traffic flows too briskly to operate a conventional pedal bike) carve out a new niche, even if the cost is currently fairly high. Huge adoption in developing nations that don't always look at motorized transport as the default option show that under the right conditions this sort of hybrid vehicle is very compelling.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 05:02:48 AM by protomech »
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BrianTRice

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 05:03:23 AM »

Personally, I think that a large-framed bike could accommodate a very simple series-hybrid system if one started with the modern Zero power train and layout, rather than involve any traditional motorcycle production assumptions. A small air-cooled diesel motor and fuel reservoir running a very specialized and lightweight generator mounted in the "tank area" would serve to recharge the battery at speed, which might work for long-distance travel. It would be "an electric with something extra" rather than a modified ICE motorcycle.

That said, a hybrid motorcycle in that touring purpose might have the same problem that an electric/hybrid aircraft would: its only real purpose would be to run *at rated load* instead of a varying load, and would not enhance the commuter experience at all. Also, the packaging question is critical - the weight to benefit ratio would have to be carefully managed to pay off - plus, it would need emissions testing! Now I'm thinking about the exhaust weight requirements and suddenly a Zero becomes a 500+lb bike. But that's not a true beast in the touring bike sense.
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BrianTRice

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 05:06:55 AM »

Hybrid electric pedal bikes make a ton of sense; significant improvements vs a standard pedal bike in comfort, acceleration, and top speed (thereby expanding operation onto some streets where traffic flows too briskly to operate a conventional pedal bike) carve out a new niche, even if the cost is currently fairly high. Huge adoption in developing nations that don't always look at motorized transport as the default option show that under the right conditions this sort of hybrid vehicle is very compelling.


It's too bad that the E-Rockit is still in the stratospheric price range. For commuting, I had seriously considered it over the Zero but ruled it out when I realized that the price wouldn't come down any time soon (and that Zero would take panniers as well).
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protomech

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 05:22:55 AM »

There's very little market for 13k euro hybrid electric bicycles. The bikes so popular in China are dirt-cheap lead-acid versions.

Quote
From http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-19/china-s-e-bike-market-seen-by-chr-s-roberts-starting-to-plateau.html:
Two- and three-wheeler e-bikes account for more than half of all lead consumption in China and about 20 percent of global demand, Huw Roberts, a founder of CHR Metals, said at a Metal Bulletin conference in Istanbul today.

I wonder how much of that lead is recyclable. Lithium-manganese or lithion-iron-phosphate chemistries should have a much cheaper overall cost of operation; but when you can buy two bikes that will last two years apiece (or three that will last one year) for the price of one bike that will last 5-10 years..

Quote
From http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-06/20/content_12731933.htm:
"We can sell about 100 a month on average," seller Chen Han said. "The majority of customers are office workers and students.

"Except old people, no one worries about high speed. Only an idiot will spend a lot of money on an electric bicycle that drives like an ordinary bicycle."

The most popular model in Chen's store costs 2,500 yuan [straight translation: $405], with the highest driving speed of 35 to 40 km/h and a weight of 50 kg.

Chen said that each electric bicycle has a speed governor. Customers can tear it down after purchase.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 05:30:05 AM by protomech »
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kingcharles

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Re: A call for hybrids
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 02:27:47 AM »

Why no mention of Vectrix?

Some highlights that spring to mind:
First highway capable EV bike/scooter
Developed working fuel cell EV hybrid prototype
First two wheeled EV to circle the globe
Three wheeled full EV model a la MP3
Announced EV Superbike in 2009 (never developed due to chapter 11)
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