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Poll: Long range w/fast charging or short range w/swappable batteries?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by voltsxamps, Sep 18, 2020.


If you were buying an electric motorcycle, would you prefer..

  1. Long range w/fast charging

    16 vote(s)
  2. Short range w/swappable batteries?

    1 vote(s)
  1. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

    Mar 20, 2016
    +positively grounded-
    Personally I’d easily choose long range and fast recharge. I want to be able to go long distances with as few stops as needed and by the time I need to recharge, I’ll be stretching my legs, using the bathroom, getting something to eat or drink, and by the time I’m done, I’m ready to roll.

    Swappable batteries would have to be small enough to lift out and swap out and reasonable that they would be paired into groups for more or less range (parallel) though performance would be the same, unless they’d agree on running them in series for higher voltage but would would halve the range of two batteries. Best use case scenarios would be scooters and commuter motorcycles akin to a 250cc class bike.

    Hard to see swappable batteries being used on high performance bikes as lots of capacity is required for strong repeatable pulls from a high amp motor to negate voltage sag and have enough buffer on both ends to provide fast charging to 80% with minimal impact on battery health. That said, I see two classes of EM’s.. big capacity/fast charge bikes that offer a combination of range and performance and bikes that cost much less meant for urban commutes with lots of battery swap points through the grid, with the ability to top off overnight or carry batteries in to charge while at work or visiting friends and family.

    A large capacity fast charge bike has inherently higher costs, heavier as as result, but allow riders to escape their neighborhoods at much higher speeds and virtually any distance coast to coast as DC charging networks continue to span worldwide.

    Urban riders won’t have much need for such speeds or range, have the flexibility of taking their batteries indoors to charge, or to hot swap at points along the way to a further destination. Having a lower weight and cost certainly has its merits as well.

    The question of which one you have may come down to how you ride, where you ride, if you can charge without bringing the battery indoors, budget, and preference.

    Some may say both, but I don’t know many people having both a low power commuter and a high power mile eater for themselves. I’m sure there’s exceptions, but typically these two major types of bikes for two major types of needs are what the world consists of. The style of bike are just sub classes of one or the other, ie. cruiser, tourer, DS, streetfighter, standard, supersport, etc. vs. vespas, mopeds, 125/250/300’s, high powered e-bikes, cafe’s, monkey’s, etc.

    The question is, if you had to choose from one type of electric system, would it be: higher price, long range, fast charging battery with high performance.. or lower price, short range, slow charge but swappable batteries with low performance?
  2. tallpaul63

    tallpaul63 Long timer

    Jun 3, 2009
    Redwoods and salty air
    I’m pretty sure my first electric scoot will be just that- a step through scooter, 150 cc equivalent, with a rack and a big top box. I’d use it for all the little local trips, when range isn’t really a concern and speed isn’t a big priority.

    I think there will be many like this available once they make it here from the growing Asian markets. Swappable batteries for such bikes make sense.

    Still Wanting an ICE moto for road trips until range gets well past 200 miles for electrics.
  3. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

    Sep 23, 2002
    Swapping makes the most sense to me if it's like swapping propane cylinders and can be done most everywhere on the road in five minutes a la a present day fuel stop at a gas station and gives similar range
  4. Cromoth

    Cromoth fan of the magic carpet ride

    Aug 24, 2010
    Considering batteries degrade with age/use/cold & expecting more chargers to be installed- I'd prefer fast charging.
    However, I ride with a single wheel trailer so I should run some numbers. Time to swap vs time to fast charge is an advantage.
    Really price sensitive too so...
  5. Shaolin

    Shaolin Been here awhile

    Dec 9, 2013
    I have a BMW C Evolution scooter. At list price of $14k, a $4k premium over the C650 scooter. It has about 100 mile range, plus or minus 10 miles. Despite power specs, and 85mph top speed, it feels a bit quicker than a Zero S. It has built in L2 which in the real world is a better thing to have than the Zero's higher top speed and no need to pay for the ChargeTank and install. I would even venture to say that it's a better real world bike than a LiveWire because of the LiveWire's price and charging setup. Weather protection, reverse assist, traction control, ride modes, storage, L2, heated grips, TFT screen, etc. Good enough to relegate my K1600GTL to a garage queen since I got it.
  6. ultrarnr

    ultrarnr Been here awhile

    Jul 25, 2010
    Tesla had a battery swapping station several years ago but the concept never caught on. Whether it is faster than fast charging all depends on how much charge you need. If you need a full charge I am sure battery swapping is the way to go. If you only need 20 minutes of charging to make it to your next charger I doubt it is worth it. In the US motorcycles aren't used enough in the commuting/running errands mode to ever make battery swapping a profitable business. In foreign cities with a high scooter/small motorcycle use it might be practical. But even then it depends whether a rider can charge at home or not and how many miles a day they ride. Lots of variables in all of this.
  7. Spaceweasel

    Spaceweasel Adventurer

    May 26, 2019
    As long as different companies chase different battery solutions, there is no real possibility for bat swap as a national replacement for charging. Electricity is fungible, but battery size/chemistry/voltage/etc. is not.
    On a personal level, it might make sense at a track. Only carry enough for the session or race, but be able to swap to the next while it charges. But fast charging benefits all bikes, even in the above trackway scenario.