Thoughts on electric motorcycles?

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by itnithand, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    The smallest "street" bike I could find in Zero's current lineup is over 30KW. There is a curious gap currently in the market between -8KW and +30KW. 15 KW is a number I came up with by looking at the advertised power of 250cc scooters. I was looking for enough grunt to do short 55 mph stints on the highway and that is about as low as you can go.
    I would have been at more than $5K for my Franken-Scooter, using cheapest available parts, with questionable warranties and not calculating the work. Calculate your work, add higher quality parts, like top of range ESC and BMS, some bigger Lithium SDI batteries, some teething issues, and you can double that amount. That brings you almost exactly in the price range of brand new baby Zero S with 7.2 KW battery and 5 year warranty on it.

    I never got far enough to decide on a motor. Below left, similar to what I was looking at, is 8KW continuous car hub motor from Qsmotor. Up to 19KW peak. It will fit down to 14 inch car rim (check out "darksiding" :lobby). About $800 including shipping. Comes with the brake disc, so that is money saved :-). On the right is a 12KW continuous, 24KW peak 13" scooter motor from the same manufacturer.
    Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 18.12.40.png Screen Shot 2019-07-02 at 18.21.31.png

    I would have charged at work, they have nice setup there for electric vehicles. The few times I would've had to charge on-the-go I would've used regular charging station for enough juice to get there.
    #61
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  2. IndigoSwann

    IndigoSwann Been here awhile

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    I think electric conversions are a labour of love, no one is doing this because it's cheaper or they increase the value of the bike! One thing I can't seem to get an answer on with hub motors is that if they are advertised rim of 13" can I weave spokes into a rim any size larger than that? So if I have a Scooter with 17" rims can I fit any SMALLER sized hub in there by adding spokes myself? Apologies for the NOOB question! That's obviously direcled at the smaller hub motors, not the ones you have here
    #62
  3. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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  4. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    My own desire for electric bike conversion has come from high price of electric bikes and limited selection. I would be doing it because it was cheaper, although I'm sure that even if I finished it, it would not increase the value of the bike to more than the sum of the added parts. I do like the electric bike option because of less noise and maintenance. Because I do all maintenance on my bikes myself, and like to wear things out, I'd not see nearly as much profit in changing to electric as some others would.
    MJS foto got the 17 inch rim question. Another option. If you would go with the car-hub motor and go "darksiding" you can bolt practically any size cheap car wheel/tire combo that fits the bike to the hub. In that way you could play with gearing, acceleration and top speed. Once you've found the sweet spot in size, you can get some better looking and higher quality stuff for future use.
    #64
  5. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    I would like something that looks like a Honda Cub with and electric motor & swap-able battery packs for under $4k
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  6. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

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    As Steven Tyler would say, "Dream on!"

    Would be nice though for a grocery errand runner.

    Rick G
    #66
  7. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    And back & forth to work. 2 miles in the city!
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  8. wheresbaoskee

    wheresbaoskee Been here awhile

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    https://www.sh-customs.com/store/product/69

    Don't believe the battery is the swappable type, but ample range for a commute that short.

    Also kits:

    https://www.sh-customs.com/shop-kits

    Edit: Silodrome and Exif both did articles on the e-Cub a while back, should be easy to dig up.
    #68
  9. kaertner

    kaertner Long timer

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    Honda already have that in the PCX125 electric, which I believe is on trial in Asia. It has two batteries under the seat which are removable.

    https://www.electrive.com/2018/11/30/honda-launches-pcx-electric-scooter-with-battery-swapping/

    Even better than charging yourself, the plan is to have 'battery' stations like vending machines. Take out your battery, put into vending machine and then a replacement is supplied fully charged. Probably even quicker than filling a tank of gas on an ICE bike. That is the future, where the issue of range disappears. Electricity is nearly everywhere, so the battery vending machines can be virtually anywhere. No need for expensive/archaic charging points at home, they will be made redundant. Effectively, it will be the same as stopping at a gas station today but many will simply be machines by the side of the road.
    #69
  10. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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  11. kaertner

    kaertner Long timer

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    With regards to those questioning the 'carbon' footprint of electric vehicles, that's simply fear of change and being very uniformed. Instead of hundreds of millions of ICE engines out in the environment generating their own power from fossil fuels, a few hundred big power stations supplemented by solar, wind, sea etc in MUCH better from an environmental perspective. Emissions can be controlled with the latest technology very easily in a few hundred locations and upgrading with new technology much easier compared to private ICE technology as millions of vehicles will be kept on the streets with old technology as we see now. Contrast that to the hundreds of millions of individual ICE power plants in cars, trucks, bikes etc, many of which will be old, out of tune, home maintained, have their diesel particulate filters removed (illegally), Euro 4 (and upcoming Euro 5) emissions equipment removed (just read how many do this on the bike forums here with charcoal cannisters SAS systems etc), badly tuned with aftermarket parts, millions of large commercial vehicles having to deliver gasoline/diesel to the millions of gas stations etc. With electric, all of that goes away, no badly tuned or illegally emissions modified vehicles, no need for millions of fuel deliver trucks as fuel (electricity) can be delivered silently 24x7 to virtually everywhere using a simple cable cutting out millions of delivery journeys each day, no millions of idling gasoline/diesel engines burning millions of gallons of fuel every second of the day while standing still in chronic traffic congestion, etc, etc. Cities with clean air and a fraction of the noise would be amazing.
    #71
  12. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    Hmmm. You started by mentioning the carbon footprint of EVs, then switched to the old use of the word 'emissions' as it refers to pollutants like unburned hydrocarbons, NOx, particulates etc. Those kinds of emissions are pretty low now, but as you say there are plenty who increase them either by neglect or on purpose. The area where EVs offer by far their biggest environmental advantage is the recently-recognized pollutant, CO2.

    Deniers and the uneducated will scream (and there does seem to be an inordinate amount of screaming about this) that CO2 is NOT a pollutant, it's been a crucial part of our atmosphere since forever. That is a half-truth, used to lead to a false conclusion, which makes it a lie.

    Everyone knows how the water cycle works on this planet. Water in the oceans evaporates, wind blows it around, temperature/pressure changes make it precipitate as rain back to Earth, it flows back to the ocean. (Oh - and on the way, it makes all of life possible.) It's important to understand because there is so little of it that's in a condition we can survive on. (If you scale the Earth down to the size of a bowling ball and then breathe on it to build up a nice layer of condensation on the surface, that layer will be deeper than the deepest ocean. So yeah, it's a small and finite amount, so keeping it in fairly good condition is important.)

    There are other cycles on Earth too, and the carbon cycle is a pretty important one these days. Or rather, how we're screwing it up. Plants 'inhale' CO2 and release oxygen. Oxygen supports animal life, which consumes other life forms. When the life forms are killed or die naturally they decompose (are consumed by much smaller life forms), enriching the soil, and CO2 is released, supporting the plant life that needs it and the cycle starts over. A nice, tidy, stable closed-loop system. That is, until we humans came along and started digging up buried stores of eons-old carbon previously not involved in that closed-loop system, burning it and releasing it as CO2 into today's carbon cycle on the surface.

    Relentlessly. At huge and ever-increasing rates. For centuries.

    No longer in equilibrium, the carbon cycle has been shifted in ways that look pretty bad for us. It continues to get worse every day. So now carbon is legitimately a pollutant, because our ignorant actions turned it into one.

    That's why knowing the carbon footprint of our activities is so important.

    So the pollutant we need to concentrate on today is CO2. EVs help us with that, because they are around 4X more efficient at turning energy into motion than ICEVs, so they only need 1/4 as much energy. Over 80% of the energy consumed by an ICEV gets shed from the radiator and blown out the tailpipe as heat and noise. Only about 20% is lost by an EV. That's why running an EV, even when it's powered by the nastiest uncontrolled coal plant, is STILL better than burning gasoline or diesel. (A fact proven over and over in dozens of studies, but which the ignorant (lying?) deniers try to 'debunk' by saying 'the power has to come from somewhere' - as if that somehow explained it away, as if relative quantities didn't matter.) And it gets even better as the grid gets greener, better still if you opt for 100% renewables from your energy provider.

    To be fair, it needs to be said that EVs will not save the planet (meaning humanity by extension) on their own. EVs plus a lot of other things will. (The most effective thing we could do right now is to plant lots of trees.)

    Of course if you actually try to lay all this stuff out logically the deniers get their panties in a twist and the debate turns ugly fast. So it's often better to just talk up how much better an experience driving/riding an EV is compared to ICE, which is certainly true. Anyone hating on EVs needs to ride/drive one. It really is that much better, in a way that only experience can drive home. Get the haters into/onto an EV as a second vehicle. (Because they still complain about range, which is a problem for some, but in many cases disappears if we're talking about a second vehicle.) Once they see for themselves they generally become converts. As with anything new and better there will always be some holdouts, but not enough of them to matter.

    No need to beat the environmental drum. That (weirdly) turns some people into enemies. Just emphasize what the EV does to improve the owners' lives. Everybody wins. Now go out and plant some trees.
    #72
  13. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    It would be so nice if we were there. Unfortunately there are few holes in these arguments.
    1. Most fossil fuel power stations use coal. Coal is high carbon fuel. Meaning it gives out lot of greenhouse gases for energy created. Most coal fired power stations use the Rankine thermodynamic cycle. Average efficiency 36%. Which is better than most ICE engines, but the Mercedes F1 ICE engine has reached better than 50% efficiency on the dyno.
    2. There are power losses every step of the way. From coal mines, to power station, to electric energy, to charge station, to batteries, to motor, to kinetic energy.
    If we start with 40% coal to electricity efficiency and and say that every other step is 90% efficient, and CO2 is double, we get. 0.9x0.4x0.9x0.9x0.9x0.9/2=0.12 or 12% power to CO2 ratio. I think that is about even with ICE, plus or minus few percent.
    3. There is more pollution caused when building electric vehicles than ICE.
    4. Windmills, solar cells, and batteries are already causing recycling issues.
    Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 19.53.03.png

    Power generation and storage is changing day by day, so we might get great solution soon. But it's not here yet.
    #73
  14. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    In the US natural gas is the #1 source, with coal a close second. (Our grid continues to shift more toward natural gas because it's cheaper.) Natural gas produces roughly half the carbon per BTU. Renewables continue to rise in market share.

    You also forgot the enormous carbon footprint of exploration, extraction, transportation, refining and transportation (yes, again) before the 1000s of gallons of gasoline used in a typical ICE's lifetime get burned in the vehicle. Your points about mining, the power losses at every conversion for coal-fueled electric power and the extra "pollution" caused by building EVs (which has been shown to be less than an ICE when full life cycles are compared) are incomplete without that counterpoint.

    The fact is that you're right, we ARE getting better this. Not having a perfect solution should not stand in the way of switching to a better solution than what we've used before. Especially when that better solution gets even better immediately when the grid gets greener, instead of having to wait until an ICE dies before it's replaced with something cleaner. Like an EV.
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  15. Rick G

    Rick G Ranger Rick Supporter

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    I have a cousin who is a higher up engineer for one of the big gas companies. He lives in Western PA. He has told me that the natural gas reserves in the tri state area of PA, WV and OH exceeds the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. We have all the energy we need, we just have to figure out how to extract and ship efficiently. I was busting on him for all of the fracking and pipeline digging going on ripping up our roads.

    Rick G
    #75
  16. timblanch

    timblanch Adventurer

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    Can someone please comment on the electrical transmission loss factor of 2.8? So for every one kWh used in a building are 2.8 kWh lost in transmission? Thats a lot of waste. Thanks, tim
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  17. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

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    This can be argued all day long. How long is a piece of string, comes to mind. Electrical transmission loss factor can be 2.8, or more, or less. It depends on how you calculate. Do you calculate from the transformer outside of the wall of power station to the transformer outside of the wall of the user. Then it is usually lower. Or do you calculate it from when the coal burned, to the energy your toaster puts out. Then it is higher.
    If you are right next to power plant, electrical transmission loss factor is less than if nearest power plant is very far away.
    #77
  18. MJSfoto1956

    MJSfoto1956 Been here awhile

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    ...and poisoning our shared water aquifers -- an externality that the taxpayer will have to foot the bill long after the party is over.
    #78
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  19. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    Well that certainly set my BS detector a-clangin'!! If that was true, I would think the incentive to develop on-site, off-grid power would have every home powered that way by now. I would also think that would be Very Hard on transmission equipment, so there would be an incentive for power companies to improve it.

    The first hit on a quick search is here: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=105&t=3

    They say 5% on average for transmission and distribution losses combined. That's a lot better than the 74% your numbers give, and makes a lot more sense. Keep in mind you're carrying AC, not DC which loses a lot in long-distance transmission. And it's at Very High voltage, which means the current is kept low, which makes it easier to keep losses down. I'm sure there's some variation for different circumstances, but seriously - 74%? This smells like some anti-environmentalist picked an example where there was something very, very wrong and reported it as being representative.
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  20. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

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    Yes. Americans love capitalism, but the version we practice here is so warped it can hardly be called that any more. It's all about hiding the true costs to society, meaning the purchase price frequently has very little connection to the true cost vs. benefit relationship that the buyer needs to decide the product's real value. Truth is the enemy of the goal here, which is profits at any cost. When you start looking for these hidden costs, you find them everywhere.

    In fact there are many so-called "socialist" countries that actually do a better job at capitalism than we do, because they prevent hiding real costs. Providers of goods are legally required to mitigate the environmental and social costs of their products. So those costs ARE reflected in the purchase price, meaning buyers can make the crucial informed decisions they need to make about real value, that allow capitalism work.

    It would appear Americans say they love capitalism, but what they really mean is that they prefer dishonesty if it gets bigger profits, so screw the consequences - that's someone else's problem.

    Try some honesty. We're supposed to be the good guys.
    #80
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