Ever since I’ve heard about a Belgian rider Trui Hanoulle riding an electric Zero bike from Belgium to Turkey and back, I was intrigued about electric bikes and their potential for long-distance adventure riding. Then, I saw a video of a guy who traveled to Ushuaia on an electric bike.
Undoubtedly, there are others out there, like these Dutch guys who built their own e-bike and rode it around the world:
An electric bike for a RTW is sounding more and more plausible as companies improve battery range and bike weight.
Right now, the range is still the main concern, as most electric bikes can only do about 200 kilometers before requiring a charge. Weight is another worry, as the big Zero bikes weigh over 250kg without luggage. Cake seems to be making cool little enduro bikes:
But the range is just 80km, and it’s hard to imagine riding around the world on a Kalk.
Still, electric bikes are the future, and I’m dying to get one to replace my weary DR650. I’m already planning to chase the Africa Eco Race in January 2020, then carry on around Africa from Senegal, and doing it on an electric bike would be beyond amazing. But, even if the range and weight were improved, electric bikes still have another major con: price. $20,000 for a new bike sounds way too much for me, and at this point, it doesn’t look like the electric bikes are going to get any cheaper any time soon. Finally, my primary reason for wanting an electric bike is the fact that it’s so environmentally friendly – but there still needs to be a long and transparent conversation about where the lithium for the batteries comes from.
All in all, an electric bike for a RTW seems like an impossibility right now. On the other hand, technology is moving forward so fast that today’s impossibility might become tomorrow’s norm.
I’ll keep my eyes peeled.
Featured image: Zero DSR