Check out this classic electric motorcycle. Hope range improves faster the next 35 years than the last 35
This Auranthetic "Charger" electric motorcycle is one of very few running units left on the road today. It has a top speed of 30mph & will travel about 30 to 35 miles on a charge. It uses 2 RV/Marine type 12volt batteries.
Since the thread's already been raised from the dead..
Sadly the youtube videos linked above are long since gone. Ted Dillard @ EVMC2 wrote up a short article
about the Auranthetic Charger, including a link to an owner page
and the owner manual
. The bike used two 12V lead acid batteries, described in the owner manual alternately as "2-90 Amp. Electric Vehicle Deep Cycle" and as flooded lead acid. These are probably not dissimilar to a modern flooded lead-acid deep cycle battery, such as the US Battery 24DC XC2
; 85 Ah at a 20 hour discharge rate.
Weighing in at 51 pounds each, wet, two 24DC XC2 batteries represent about half of the Charger vehicle weight. Lead acid offers huge variability in available discharge energy based upon discharge rate; at the ~2 hour discharge rate that these batteries are likely being operated in, the 24DC XC2 is rated at about 55 Ah. So in light EV use the vehicle will have somewhere around 1.2 kWh of total energy, and to maximize battery longevity the user should probably keep the discharge level as shallow as possible.
Zero offers a good comparison point since they've improved range on their S streetbike every year since 2010.
In 2010 Zero tested their S in several different riding scenarios
. The most favorable was the sustained 25 mph test, which resulted in 49 miles of range. This is probably similar or slightly faster than the riding conditions for the Charger bike's range specification. Zero officially claimed
"up to 50 miles" of range.
In 2011 Zero increased pack capacity by 10%, among numerous other improvements. Maximum range
is now reported at 58 miles, and for the first time Zero also reports range under the EPA UDDS city riding test at 43 miles.
In 2012 Zero introduced major upgrades to the drivetrain design, including a much larger high capacity battery. They abandoned the maximum range metric and reported 114 miles of range
in the EPA UDDS test.
In 2013 Zero again switched battery manufacturers and increased the pack voltage and performance. Maximum range for the largest capacity bike now stands at 137 miles
, again with the EPA UDDS.
In 2014 Zero did not change the drivetrain substantially for the S bikes, though they introduced an optional Power Tank upgrade which added a fifth module and increased capacity by 25%. With the Power Tank upgrade, EPA UDDS range now stands at 171 miles
In 2015 Zero switched to higher capacity cells for the main battery monolith, as well as making numerous non-powertrain upgrades. Again with the optional Power Tank, EPA UDDS range now stands at 185 miles
Since the 2011 is the only bike that reports both a "maximum" range metric of around sustained 25 mph and the EPA UDDS test, let's normalize range in units of "11S". For example, the 2015 S ZF12.5 + Power Tank has 4.3x as much range as the 2011S on the EPA UDDS test (185/43), so 4.3 11S.
|Model||Nominal Capacity||Range||Proportional to 2011 S Range|
|1973 Aurathentic Charger||~1 kWh||30 to 35 miles||0.56|
|2010 Zero S||3.6 kWh||50 miles max||0.87|
|2011 Zero S||3.9 kWh||58 miles max, 43 miles UDDS||1.00|
|2012 Zero S ZF9||7.9 kWh||114 miles UDDS||2.65|
|2013 Zero S ZF11.4||10.0 kWh||5137 miles UDDS||3.19|
|2014 Zero S ZF11.4 + PT||12.5 kWh||171 miles UDDS||3.98|
|2015 Zero S ZF12.5 + PT||13.5 kWh||185 miles UDDS||4.30|
The range improvements since 2010 have largely come by virtue of increasing the battery pack size, though even with the additional weight the 2015 bikes offer about 30% more range per unit energy than the 2010 bikes. And while the 2010 Zero only offered about 50% more range than the claim for the Aurathentic bike, the highest capacity 2015 S offers more than 8x the range.