Thursday, November 26, 2009

More on Electric Bikes

The Voltra is a concept electric motorcycle, in the café racer style, by design student Dan Anderson of Sydney, Australia.

Faster and Faster, in an interview with Anderson, reports that ‘The bike is the result of extensive research into motorcycling history, society and culture as well as technology, materials and manufacturing.'

The Voltra is powered by Li-Ion batteries. An AC induction motor (with a programmable controller), provides 129Nm of torque and has projected top speed of more than 200km/h. The Voltra weighs 200 kilos with batteries. Anderson states the bike can be ridden for more than 90 minutes in one charge. A full recharge takes two hours.

Having such compact engines and no need for any of the piping and tubing that goes with conventional combustion engines means that electric motorcycles can have very clean lines and there is a lot of scope for rethinking the layout and appearance. Electric motorcycles must be a young designer's dream.

The limitation is still battery technology, though this is rapidly changing. Batteries are heavy and have to be large in order to give the bike a reasonable range. In this case using the carbon fiber battery box as a monocoque, connecting the steering head to the engine, is a clever idea. I also like the idea of the open triangulated tubing sub-frame and the matching design of the headlight clamp.

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