# 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. ### mousitsasLong timer

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It is a lot more than 350w. Close to the equator it peaks at around 2kw/m^2
I live off the grid for a big part of the year and I make do with just 5m^2
But also have a wind turbine and a small diesel generator for backup (which has hardly seen any excitement for years).

Edit. You meant 350 "average" which is probably right.
2. ### T.S.ZarathustraBeen here awhile

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Just for fun I looked it up. According to Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_constant the average solar energy in space, above earth's atmosphere, is 1342 w/m2. Due to the atmosphere, including the ozone layer that absorbs 97-99% of the ultraviolet spectrum, and the fact that the earth is not flat but a globe (With full respect for people who believe otherwise), the sun reaches most of the planet at an angle. Therefore, due to the cosine effect, you get most power closer the equator, but considerably less in North America and Europe (including Greece).
Let's say that my solar panel is directly below the sun and put 1000 w/m2 in my previous algebra example. 1 m2 roof on a car for 10 hours collecting 1000 watts per hour on midsummer's day, not parked on incline or in shadow, and no clouds in sight. That equals 10 kilowatts and in the Tesla model 3 you can supposedly drive 45 miles average per day on that (This implies 100% efficiency in the BMS). We only need to double the efficiency of the car, and the solar panels, to be able to drive a car that practically never needs to be plugged in.
On the more positive side, the latest solar panels have gone over 20% efficiency.
In parting, here is a video about a guy who drives his van almost fully on solar power.

It is a bit unrefined technically, and these builds are never finished, but looks pretty good already.
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Have ever heard of anyone inventing a J plug Fast Charge modification?

Range is important, of course, but for me it would be far less so if I could get 80% charge as with an Energica over a 20 minute coffee break.
4. ### more koolaidBeen here awhile

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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...."
5. ### ctromleyLong timer

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Veering dangerously on-topic, I just saw this. (Not sure if something similar has popped up on this thread.)

https://electrek.co/2018/09/27/solar-powered-electric-bicycle-journey/

It's about one contestant's perspective on an annual solar-powered ebike competition. This year was over 12000 km and 64 days. There's no official route. This contestant went 12800 km, some 1000 km of which was on dirt roads. That's about as ADV as it gets. So if you broaden your definition of ADV to include ebikes where you are providing a significant portion of motive power, mostly on-road, and pulling a trailer with ~300 W (peak) of solar panels, electric 'adventure' travel is possible. Seems like that's a stretch for most people.

Better batteries would allow powering an EM and for farther distances, but only if it's a pretty small EM and only with batteries far advanced over what we have now. Power required will not fall much, you still have to get from location x to location y at speed z. Which means remote charging will still require lots of solar, which kind of changes the whole game.

So ADV travel as we know it today, but powered electrically, will require something like Mr. Fusion:

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J plugs are AC, so literally any fast charge modification is the same thing as an onboard switching power supply. And the charge rate is limited by the equipment, cabling, and cell limits combined.

The highest rate of AC charging on the road, per plug, in the US is 9kW from a NEMA 14-50 RV plug, or 12-18kW from a Tesla destination charger. Those are close enough to DC charge rates for motorcycle touring which tends to consume 100Wh/mi.

3-phase AC charging in Europe tends to be even better (33kW).
7. ### ctromleyLong timer

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You can get a J1772 EVSE with 18 kW output for anything, even non-Teslas:

https://emotorwerks.com/store/residential/juicebox-pro-75-smart-75-amp-evse-with-24-foot-cable

They have residential and commercial versions, not sure what the difference is. To my knowledge, only Tesla has (optional) 18 kW of onboard charging capability. (Onboard charging starts getting really pricey as the amps go up.) So this is really only pertinent for dual-charger Teslas, DIY-enhanced other brand vehicles or commercial vehicles. It must be hardwired to a 240 v, 100 A circuit. \$900 is a good price for the residential version.

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I’m taking the unusual position in this thread of sticking to the topic AND practicing the topic.

Zero’s can accommodate aftermarket chargers up to 1C charge rates, which for me right now is 15kW. So it matters what charge rate I can get beyond standard EVSE.

I know that the standard supports higher rates. I don’t care because I’m discussing what’s actually available in the field in most areas, which is what you have to plan for when charging.

And to be clear, I know the EMotorWerks people who make the JuiceBox because they’re nearby and we’re involved in the first aftermarket 1C charging solution for Zero (which did not work out for quality reasons but they still make fine EVSE units).
9. ### istadniyIvan the Quite OK

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There are far more convenient tools for this that take into account Earth surface tilt, Sun height over horizon, etc, etc. http://globalsolaratlas.info, poke into the map at a place of your choosing, GHI for somewhere in Holland is about 1000 kWh/m2 per year. Which, at 100% efficiency to battery would be enough to charge the 50kWh battery 20 times per year (or to go 7000km per year). Assuming the 20% efficiency figure is true, that'll be 1400 km per year.
10. ### T.S.ZarathustraBeen here awhile

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Nice webpage. 1400 km per year is only four km per day.
I decided to approach the dilemma from the other side and looked at the power output of a random hit from Google search for solar panels. An commercially available 270W (128 Euros) polycrystalline solar cell is 1640x992 mm or 1.62 m2. That gives 167 W/m2. I put that number into the 10 hour sunshine period and get 1.67 Kwh per day. Tesla Model Three is again the base of calculations with 354 km for 50 Kwh. That is 7 Km per Kwh or almost 12 km per day. (Fully charging, if not used, would take about one month.)
Polycrystalline solar cell efficiency is typically around 15% so more energy can theoretically be harvested, but at higher cost, polycrystalline is cheap to make.
11. ### Bloodmousehoping to get lost

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Forgive me if someone already touched on this idea, but perhaps there is no single solution but a combination of many technologies . If the goal is to merely extend range, not to ride perpetually, then perhaps using a combination of recharging methods could provide enough range extension. Additional solar panel surfaces, including rider apparel and small, low-drag wind generators placed around the bike, along with regenerative devices on the wheels. Perhaps all these combined could combat storage losses enough to at least push ranges out another 100 miles? Maybe not, maybe I'm just full of shit. Just throwing ideas out there.

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The whole sub thread on this is such classic bullshit. Windmills and solar cells aren’t compact and high power enough to help.

Focus on one statistic: energy consumed per mile.

On a stock electric motorcycle, 100 Watt-hours per mile (Wh/mi) is a typical figure one can achieve at 55mph. (This figure rises with speed, which I’ll discuss separately.)

Compute any electric plug or generator against that:
- the kW rating yields kWh per hour which recovers range at a certain “mph” because of the efficiency figure above.
- the mass and bulk of any portable generator is a penalty against efficiency while riding, often 20% or more for a trailered load.

You’ll need 20 square feet of solar cells for 1kW of charging which is 10mph range recovery... you’ll travel 100 miles per day at best. 200 if the wind howls all night on your 1kW (unlikely) windmill.

The typical J1772 station is one 220V AC plug limited to 30A yielding 6.6kW. This yields 60mph of range recovery rate, and roughly 400 miles per day of travel.

A single 30A plug is far better than portable solar or wind generators, and a diesel generator doesn’t exist yet that fits motorcycle performance parameters.

So, for the current generation of electric motorcycles, it is far more effective to travel by legs between AC sources.

Your trip leg length is energy divided by efficiency, so my Zero DSR:
- has at least 14kWh of energy in its batteries
- consumes 100Wh/mi at highway speeds
- therefore, 140 miles of trip leg range.

You just iterate on trip legs to make a trip, seeking out the highest rate of AC charging available that connects dots no farther than 140 miles per leg.

That’s electric motorcycle travel in a nutshell. If you change this equation, it’s by accommodating higher recharge rates or a wider variety of inputs, or by improving travel efficiency with fairings.

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If the trip leg is unsatisfactory, use lower speeds or fairings to increase your efficiency and range.

On my bike’s battery:
- 25 mph yields a range of at least 250 miles (projected).
- 45 mph yields a range of around 150-200 miles (tested, depends on wind speed and direction).

If designed and applied well, efficiency gains are available from streamlining upgrades:
- A good windscreen on a stock naked electric motorcycle can net a 15% efficiency improvement.
- Forward fairings can net 25% efficiency improvement.
- Large tail fairings can gain a further 50% efficiency improvement.

Efficiency improvements mean longer trip legs, reduced sensitivity to headwinds, and increase the effectiveness of any recharge method.

This is why, after charging equipment, aerodynamic improvements are the best investment for motorcycle travel.
14. ### Bloodmousehoping to get lost

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Ok. Just throwing thoughts out. I'll go back to the Thumpers forum since I don't ride an EV anyway.
15. ### T.S.ZarathustraBeen here awhile

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The main issue is that solar panels give very low output (anything that fits on a bike will be too small to give you practical extra range). Wind driven power generators will increase drag (you need more energy to maintain speed with the increased drag than the generator can make. Same with any device on the wheels).
The best range extender is decreased drag. Aerodynamics (fairings, lower speed), mechanical and electrical drag (low resistance tires and all rotating parts, plus motor, battery and Battery Management System) and weight (go on that diet I've been thinking about "for some time").

PS. There is a German car, apparently on the way, that can travel using only solar power. https://inhabitat.com/sono-motors-unveils-the-14000-sion-solar-powered-car/ "18 miles using nothing but energy from the sun".
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16. ### davenowherejonesshort guy

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Electric pickup trucks???