Any guesses on when it will be possible to take an Electric motorcycle on adventure travel?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by ridego, May 28, 2018.

  1. ex250mike

    ex250mike Long timer

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    [​IMG]

    cut in in half and you have TWO solar powered adv bikes!
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  2. BrianTRice

    BrianTRice Nerdy adventurer

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    I am currently working on improving my highway range on my Zero DSR from 130 miles to 150 miles or more. The issue with adventure touring will be getting a 200 mile range or more, which is easy by going slowly since energy wasted is nil at slow speeds. Turning off the headlamp by day adds a few miles or so to a 25mph leg in case of a stretch need.

    When you have that with good cargo capacity, 15A charging off of 220V AC should allow connecting a lot of areas worldwide on a ride, and even covering 300-400 miles per day.
    #62
  3. ridego

    ridego Adventurer

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    How might future releases of adventure-capable electric motorcycles affect the resale value of a new combustion engined bike bought today? A viable alternative to, say, a 690 or 701 still seems years away, but when it's here it's likely many will switch and the sale of new combustion engined bikes will be banned.

    Slightly OT: how reliable are electric engines/batteries for adventure travel compared to current engines? Less likely to break but harder to repair if they do?
    #63
  4. BrianTRice

    BrianTRice Nerdy adventurer

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    This idea of banning or market effect is some kind of fantasy. What you’re speculating on can’t happen realistically in any timeframe politically yet.

    Modern PMAC motors used in current electric motorcycles have exactly one moving part and are very reliable.

    The belt drive on a stock Zero isn’t that robust off-road but is easy to swap, or the chain conversion is available.

    The batteries on all new models are submersion rated and armored, but the wiring between components around the bike deserves occasional electric insulation greasing and cleaning to avoid issues.

    The powertrain components so far seem reliable but yes harder to repair roadside when they do, partly just from dealer network sparsity.
    #64
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  5. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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  6. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    I'm thinking ICE fanatics will never really have to give them up, though it will be more difficult to keep them as time goes by. When smog was the big environmental concern, older cars without controls were still allowed, and some of those still live today as 'classics'. It's not worth regulating or banning them because there aren't enough left to worry about. So if you really like your ICE, you can probably keep it. (Finding gas might be the bigger problem, but if there are ICE vehicles on the road there should be gas to fuel them.) Just pick your vehicles well, because at some point it'll be the last you'll get.
    Generally true, but it's a constantly moving target. There's more happening in battery tech than just about any tech out there. With BMS getting more mature, battery longevity will become a non-issue, kind of like the first sketchy fuel injection computers gave way to ECUs that no one thinks about any more. That is, unless some other new battery chemistry gets big that doesn't need it, but then there will be other things to deal with before it matures, only to be replaced, etc....
    WAY off base. I know of no modern EV pack that has or had a design life of 5 years. Early Leafs had some unexpected problems in hot climates, but they fixed that. When a manufacturer says a pack has an 8 year life, that is a very fuzzy number and it's generally very conservative. Today OEMs know that if you set the BMS to limit discharging below a certain percentage and charging above a certain percentage, and limit max current draw (no need for the driver to limit power, the BMS is way ahead of you), pack life is dramatically improved.

    FWIW, my i-miEV originally had a factory warranty on the pack for 8 years. (Again, very conservative, because they really don't want to replace packs.) And then later they increased that to 10 years because field data said they could. They also made it retroactive for all i-miEVs. Mine is a 2012 and appears to have lost zero capacity. I fully expect that it will still be peachy well past its warranty expiration 4 years from now. (I monitor individual cell voltages occasionally, and they all track together just fine. Reduced capacity is typically a single stinker cell, sometimes nothing more than a corroded connection.)

    Is anyone out there still riding an early Zero? Anything to report on how well capacity has held up?
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  7. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    not to forget: the "old" batteries are still good for powering land-based use-cases like your home. And once they finally bite the dust the goodies inside are recyclable into other products. This in contrast to burning fuel: there is nothing left to recycle after you have used it.
    #67
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  8. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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  9. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Hmmm. The needle on my BS detector is twitching. I've never heard of Qnovo, but at the top of that page they say their business is in mitigating battery capacity issues in mobile devices. So they have an incentive to emphasize risks in battery life. I've been watching this stuff for quite a while now, and this is the first time I've ever seen anyone suggest that capacity drops off a cliff shortly after 80%. I am NOT an expert in batteries by any stretch, but this smells. If the rapid drop-off was really as bad as they suggest, that would mean all the talk we've heard about moving EV batteries to stationary grid storage was unworkable.

    Also, EVs are not hand-held mobile devices. Your smart phone likely gets a deep discharge every time before you charge it. (Who tops off when it's only down to 70%?) But an EV with a 200+ mile range that gets plugged in every day or so is only getting shallow discharges for the most part, which greatly extends cycle life. Probably the biggest difference between mobile devices and EVs is that an EV BMS typically limits the pack's operating range to between around 25% and 85% of real capacity, which has a BIG effect on life. Mobile devices generally can't afford to do that.

    What makes this all hard to nail down is that there are so many factors affecting lithium battery life. You can't be much more precise than 'pretty fuzzy'. What I do know, and what makes common sense, is that no one claims a life of 5 years for an EV battery. Who would buy it? 8 years is common, but there's a pretty fat factor of safety in that, if for no other reason than OEMs really want to avoid being on the hook for replacing packs. Not adding that factor of safety would be very expensively stupid.
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  10. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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  11. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    I’ve posted this graph for a Tesla Model S as a reference:

    [​IMG]

    Capacity remains between 90 and 95 percent, on average, at 150,000 km or 93,000 miles.

    How many miles a person drives varies of course and the DOT has compiled averages for different age groups, sex, etc.

    5DFD7926-20CA-4CDA-87AB-19AF1B7E36FB.jpeg

    Let’s just say, for simplicity’s sake, the average US driver logs in 12,000 miles annually. Using averages, dividing 93,000 miles by 12,000 is 7.75 years with 90-95% original battery capacity.

    C0B557C6-F506-4665-B99F-13FC0AD9F44D.jpeg

    EV’s will use different chemistries, methods to maintain temperature, BMS to keep packs balanced, etc. so results will vary, but if Tesla’s Model S’s example is to be used, I feel that 8 years is a conservative time frame.

    [​IMG]

    The US govt. data from 2014 shows that 100% electric vehicles were closer to 9,600 miles annually, giving us a higher estimate of 9.7 years.

    Considering that a Tesla Model S has farther range than any other EV and has far greater access to rapid charging, it’s plausible that Model S owners travel more miles annually compared to other EV owners. Combining the annual miles driven averages of a Model S and other leading EV’s using data points above results in 8.7 years average use with battery tech from 2012-2015

    Battery lifespans have likely improved since, as we know that Tesla had improved battery density with the 2nd gen Model S (& X) Nov 2015 & again with the Model 3 in 2018 and Nissan and other mfrs have significantly improved their battery chemistries and battery management since 2015 and will again this November as 2019 models.

    Not too long from now, we’ll have data from EV’s 2015-2018 to compare just how much further battery tech has improved, in both efficiency and lifespan. With efficiency and range improvements, coupled with an ever expanding rapid charging infrastructure, annual miles driven for EV’s will soon be on par with its gas counterparts. Even so, batteries in EV’s manufactured 2015-2018 should maintain 85-90% of thier original capacity for 8-10 years, depending on climate, owner’s charging habits, miles driven annually, and variances in different chemistries/BMS.
    #71
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  12. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Excellent points made by both T.S.Zarathustra and voltsxamps. I just learned something new from each. So what can we now conclude? What information do we know now that we can bank on?

    Welcome to the world of batteries. I know of no other technology where we can know so much and so little at the same time. The best predictions of performance you can get have lots of scatter in the data, meaning you can't really predict anything for any individual. You can only speak in broad generalities, and the best you can hope for is that an equal number of people are going to get surprisingly better and worse performance than you predict.

    Predictions are likely to get harder as new chemistries and structures become commercially available, each with their own steep learning curves. I fully expect that we'll see some newcomer light up the stage and then be eclipsed by something newer, before the first one even gets genuine field data on life in the wild.

    Simultaneously heady and frustrating times.
    #72
  13. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Zero, energica, & BMW’s C evolution, like most EV’s, use NMC cells; thermally stable with energy densities that range from 89-157 Wh/kg.

    Alta is tight lipped about its packs chemistry, but with an energy density of 180 Wh/kg, it’s no surprise they’re backed financially by Tesla co-founders Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard.

    Tesla uses NCA cathode chemistry for its low cost, high energy density (265 Wh/kg) and better tolerance to fast charging, though a more sophisticated BMS is required to manage balance and prevent thermal runaway.





    In-house mass production has allowed Tesla to achieve ~ $100/kWh, down from $1000/kWh just 8 years ago, and decreasing costs at a rate of 6-8%/year.

    Sadly, Elon stated Tesla will not be producing a motorcycle, though it’d be great if they’d partner with an existing motorcycle company and provide pack/bms tech along with their engineering prowess. Until better tech like solid state emerges, the lower cost, high battery density, and fast charge capabilities of NCA could pave the way for electric adventure motorcycles.
    #73
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  14. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    True. Your point adds still more fuzz to an already fuzzy topic. Here's some more: Lithium has a calendar life as well as a cycle life. Probably varies with chemistry and temperature (and maybe alignment of the stars), and before anyone can figure it out we'll be using something different.

    More knowledge is always better; just be careful about thinking you understand.
    #74
  15. JPBark

    JPBark n00b

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    This is all really a moot discussion. The power grid will not support all the electric vehicles which will be extant within just a few years. Unless we go to nuclear power, which we should have done 30 years ago, and should continue doing, there will be no way to supply enough power to charge all this nation’s vehicles or even a small fraction of them. Good luck guys! Truth be told, the only fuel which is practical for such vehicles, if technology advances, is natural gas, to which there is no visible end. Rechargeable freaks take a sleeping pill and go to bed!
    #75
  16. JPBark

    JPBark n00b

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    Yes, but maybe the panels would not be flexible enough to bend, in which case they would actually be straight jackets
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  17. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Sorry, that idea has been debunked by a wide variety of reliable sources. Here's something I posted that shows two of many:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-...320-mpg-gas-bike.1288237/page-2#post-34568677

    They're utility industry projections that concluded EVs would have essentially no effect on the grid. If anyone is going to get all hysterical about the horrible things EVs will do to the grid it should be the utilities. What they're finding is that they severely underestimated the increased capacity from renewables and the reduciton in demand due to improved efficiency (reduced consumption). In fact they are partnering with EV manufacturers to encourage EV use with incentives for charging equipment to help prop up demand. They're not worried about EVs breaking the grid, actually quite the opposite.

    To bolster that with my own single-example experience, I realize my electric bill must have increased since I do all my charging at home, but it's so little it gets lost in the noise of month-to-month variations.

    I'll be getting to sleep just fine without pharmaceutical assistance, but thanks for your concern. :-)
    #77
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  18. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    There are already flexible panels under development, perhaps even commercially available. Some have suggested using them to conform to the curved surfaces of a car body. I doubt that's practical. They can't really do compound curves so you'd lose the organic shapes that make up most car bodies. And I have to wonder what they would do to the cost of a fender-bender....

    There is already a small-but-growing market niche of wearable solar panels, and even experimental examples of solar cells that can literally be sewn into fabric. I wouldn't be banking on any serious kW output from any of these quite yet, but it tells us that shock-flex-and-vibration-tolerant solar cells are in fact coming.
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  19. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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  20. ctromley

    ctromley Long timer

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    Well sure, if you're going to put all those numbers in there I guess it does sound kind of silly....

    Earlier in the thread I suggested that carrying your own solar panels, in whatever form, still doesn't make sense for what most people call adventure touring. Maybe nomadic camping:

    https://advrider.com/f/threads/any-...adventure-travel.1317509/page-3#post-35405000

    If you are OK with riding to a spot and staying there for a few days you might have something. That situation will not change unless and until a lot of evolution happens in our current form of solar panels, or there is some revolutionary new approach that dramatically increases efficiency. Wearables, vehicle-mounted panels, etc. only make sense for low power mobile devices. The only vehicle I ever saw that got away with something like that was a campus runabout golf cart with a solar panel covered roof. Never had to be plugged in, but also never went more than a couple miles or so in a day, and never over about 10 mph. And it was probably in Arizona.

    P.S. Your avatar is my hero too.
    #80
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