All about the electric motorcycle


Is your knowledge of electric motorcycles as high as the noise it emits? No problem, MJ brings you his insight, so that you are a little more plugged into the question.

1. How it works ?

An electric motor works on the principle of a magnet. The movement is rotary, forward or backward depending on the polarity. It suffices to install an axis on the rotor to recover this mechanical energy and transmit it, via a chain or belt, to the rear wheel. A very simple principle – much more than a heat engine – but a very sophisticated realization!

2. What are the different electric drives?

There are two main families of electric motors, so-called “brushed” (with brushes) and “brushless” (brushless) motors. This second type is more generally used because the absence of brushes limits friction, thus increasing efficiency while limiting maintenance. The engine is assisted by a controller (the equivalent of the thermal injection system) which manages power, acceleration, engine braking and energy recovery. As on the most technological thermal motorcycles, various electronic mappings can be proposed, privileging the performance or the autonomy.

3. What types of batteries?

Currently, the vast majority of electric motorcycles use Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Polymer type batteries, which offer the best capacity / weight / cost / longevity ratio. They are under the control of a management system (BMS, Battery Manager System ) which optimally manages the charges and discharges in order to optimize the life of the battery.

4. What is the lifespan of a battery?

Some time ! For example, at Zero, the theoretical lifespan of a battery (ie up to 80% of its original capacity) varies from 290,000 to 730,000 km depending on the model. That is probably more than the lifespan of the motorcycle. BMW, for its C-evolution scooter, announces at least 80% of the original performance of the batteries after 5 years of use. The problem therefore arises (ra) more on the second-hand market than on new, especially since the cost of replacing a battery is sometimes close to half the value of the vehicle …

5. Are the autonomy data reliable?

The range data provided by manufacturers rarely reflects reality, even if a European standard (EU 134/2014) is now imposed for electric vehicles. Autonomy depends mainly on the type of route and the type of driving, see climatic conditions and, the differences can go from simple to double! Note that an electric motorcycle consumes less energy in town than on the road.

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