If you’re reading bikerMetric, you’re probably a petrol-head. I get it, I am too. You might have even had gas spilled on yourself last night. I get it, I did too. You definitely love something about your internal combution engine: maybe the way it looks, maybe the way it sounds. I get it, I do too. But hear me out: There are some upsides to the gradual transition to electric vehicles that we’re starting to see. It’s gonna happen, and I’m here to tell you that it’s not all bad.
Here are 5 reasons to get an electric motorcycle or hybrid/electric car… written by a guy who loves burning gas.
1) Your neighbors will love you.
The EPA limit on motorcycle noise is about 80 decibels, but how many of us are still running stock pipes? I’m running an 1,100cc V-Twin with aftermarket exhausts, and my neighbors know it. Don’t get me wrong, I push my bike to the end of the driveway when I’m leaving, and a kill the engine and coast down to the garage when I come in… but I know they can hear me coming and going, early or late.
But electric vehicles for the most part are super quiet. Sure, there are some exceptions (Harley-Davidson’s Project LiveWire is a screamer), but mostly, electric cars and motorcycles are silent and smooth. The internal combustion engine produces a lot of noise, the electric or hybrid electric engine? Not so much. Is losing the V-Twin rumble, the big single thump, or the four cylinder buzz worth keeping your neighbors happy? Probably not on it’s own, so let’s see what the other benefits are.
2) It’s clean – zero emissions
This one’s gonna mean a lot to the treehuggers and general do-good’ers of the world. Obviously an electric vehicle has zero gas emissions, but did you know that many electric vehicles also incorporate environmentally-friendly aspects into their production? Ford’s electric Focus uses recycled materials, and the padding comes from biologically-based materials. Nissan’s Leaf uses recycled materials from plastics to car parts and home appliances.
One less thing, when it comes to charging, electricity is much cheaper than gas, and you can further reduce your carbon footprint by installing some solar panels on your garage roof and charging your car from the sun alone!
3) It’s super efficient and economical
On a clear day, you can use free sunlight to power your vehicle, but that’s not always an option. Don’t feel bad about plugging in your vehicle to the grid though. The cost of on-the-grid charging of an electric car is still only one third the cost of gas for the same distance.
Better still, there’s a lot less to break. Sure, most vehicle components won’t be very different, but the motors are definitely different. Electric vehicles simply have a lot less moving parts than those equipped with internal combustion engines. This means no need to service or maintain radiators, starter motors, exhaust systems, fuel injectors, and more.
Sidebar: Sure, you might pay more for an electric vehicle initially, but there are also some serious government subsidies to look into depending on where you live.
4) They’re stupid fast.
Let’s forget electric motorcycles for a second. Even a fully electric Prius can smoke most motorcycles from a stand-still. That’s going to bruise a lot of insecure biker egos, but it’s the truth. That’s because electric vehicles operate more like a light switch, than a traditional combustion motor. You flip the switch on, and you have 100% of your power immediately available to you. There is no working up the power band, upshifting, working up the power band, upshifting again, etc. until you reach peak horsepower. You just turn it on, and if you twist the throttle all the way back, you’ll get every kilowatt of power available.
Even a fully electric car can be startlingly quick, so imagine what an electric motorcycle can do? Not just stupid fast, spooky fast!
5) You don’t *have to* plug them in.
Some vehicles are a hybrid. They use both internal combustion engines and battery electric motors. Think of the Lexus RX400h. The car knows when to use the electric motor (stop and go traffic), versus the combustion engine (highway driving). You get the best of both worlds: the fuel economy and green-friendly feel good of an electric vehicle, combined with the highway legs and long distance capacity of an internal combustion engine vehicle.
There’s some really weird stuff happening in the hybrid motorcycle space right now. From Wikipedia:
Honda has developed an experimental internal combustion/electric hybrid scooter. Yamaha has also developed a hybrid concept motorcycle called Gen-Ryu. … Piaggio MP3 Hybrid uses a 125cc engine and an additional 2.4 kW motor.
It’s going to be really amazing to see where electric tech takes us. Personally, I will cry the day that the internal combustion engine is taken out back like Ol’ Yeller… but hopefully, with what motorcycle and car manufacturers are doing with Hybrid vehicles, we can get the best of both worlds for a couple more decades. Don’t say good bye to your po-ta-to po-ta-to, thump thump, or brraaaaaaapp, just yet!
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