Skip to main content

Puzzling Choice Between Electric Car and Motorcycle

The choice with electric vehicles grows every months. So when does an electric motorcycle start to make sense?


I’m wondering if everyone is watching the Super Bowl today or are there people thinking about electric vehicles, EV? For those of you, this one’s for you. There’s no denying that both electric cars and motorcycles have a lot to offer each their own way but as the technology matures, both increasingly become more appealing for different reasons. While space might still be an issue for daily drivers, range is more than sufficiently met with most electric vehicles, EV. Lithium batteries are becoming more efficient in both cases making the ultimate choice between one or the other more difficult.

The Case For Electric Cars. The case for electric cars is pretty simple, space for at least two, if not four or more people. Range is more than sufficient today considering 80% of our daily commute can be handled with any EV on the market today. Price is the sticky point but if the 2013 trends are anything to judge by, carmakers are working very hard to bring down the prices on electric cars. Case in point, CODA offered plenty of weekend deals last year that got all their 2012 models out the door.

The Smart ForTwo EV realized car buyers saw the competing 4 seater i MiEV was only a few thousand dollars more as a better alternative. The Smart EV reduced its price to now well within reach for most starting at $25,000 minus the $7,500 Federal incentives if you are in the right tax bracket, which brings it down to an affordable $17,500. Add to this your State and in certain areas local rebates and you are looking at an EV flirting with the $15,000 bracket.

The Case For Electric Motorcycles. While motorcycles normally only have one seat and can sometimes accommodate two people, unless you decide to add a sidecar, motorcycles aren’t for everyone. However, motorcycles are still the most efficient way to get around locally, especially on electricity. Electric motorcycles offer a lot of bang for your buck. Consider the entry-level Zero Motorcycles XU starting at about $7,700 and you have a bike you can drive around town for 40 miles, that’s a few days of driving without worrying about charging. The cost to travel a mile is also much cheaper than for an electric car.

Of course, the added incentive is whether you have had the insight to install an alternative energy production system bringing down your return on investments (ROI). Add to this how alternative energy solution providers fight for your business with the possibility to lease arrays and you can realize a profit faster than you could imagine.

As time goes by, I find myself considering an electric motorcycle increasingly. Of course I live in California where the weather lends itself to this but I also know many German motorcycle guys who ride almost all year round. In the end, electric motorcycles will be crucial for the mass adoption of EVs, simply enough because motorcycles guys are a tight enthusiastic bunch. As we weigh the pros and cons of electric motorcycles and cars, we shouldn’t discard electric motorcycles.


Tre Deuce (not verified)    February 4, 2013 - 4:17PM

Now that Pic makes sense...COL!

The "Brammo' cycles are built near me here in Southern Oregon, they are a fine machine and have pushed the development of EV cycles, even racing them at the Isle of Mann.

Some 'Best Buys', offer EV motor cycles, bikes, and scooters, and sometimes you can test ride them. An EV cycle would make sense for about 85% of my trips, especially those that I make on my bike, and, though I would lose the health benefits of a peddle bike, it could be a lot safer, given the A--holes who like to crowd you and honk at your for riding a bike, not too mention, just not seeing you.

Google ... > Brammo

Nicolas Zart    February 4, 2013 - 4:30PM

In reply to by Tre Deuce (not verified)

Yes, Brammo was one of the first ones out there and I was very impressed at the unveiling of its Impulse at the LA event. I had an interesting talk with the fellow who represented the Italian company that manufacturers the gear box for it.

Living in a crowded California city, I agree that most cars are oblivious to motorcycles and the only place where you can more or less safely drive one is inside a city, avoiding fast avenues. It's too bad.