The electrification of transportation is picking up with Tesla leading the charge. The U.S. company has seen its share price rocket in recent days as it managed to ramp up electric vehicle deliveries.
Tesla fans that expect the car-builder to venture out in electric motorcycles have been disappointed by Tesla CEO Musk himself. Musk said that his company will just stick to producing cars, and that his company would never do a two-wheeler.
While many see this as a missed opportunity for Tesla, other companies are jumping into the gap and promise mind-blowing specs for upcoming models.
One of those companies is Zero motorcycles.
The California-based company, started by former NASA engineer Neal Saiki, is about to launch its newest model on the 24th of February. Zero has dropped very little hints about its newest bike, but we can conclude that the SR/S looks like a Urban/Streetfighter bike, and is likely to be faster, more powerful while yielding a better range than the SR/F model that the company launched last year.
It’s perhaps remarkable that Zero decided to develop yet another large motorcycle, as the market for electric motorcycles is mostly focusing on smaller, short-distance city bikes, which are by far the best selling bikes in the world’s largest electric two-wheeler market, China. Tesla, however, took the same approach: it developed the Roadster, a small sportscar with a, back then, unprecedented range of 245mi (394km), creating a more exclusive and ‘cool’ brand.
Since its inception in 2006, Zero has worked hard to quickly extend its lineup, and has squeezed out, a light city bike, a Supermoto, a dragster, an Enduro and an adventure bike.
Despite the quick advancements in technology and the extensive lineup, the company has so far not managed to capture a large chunk of the U.S. market. A market in which it will have to compete with Harley Davidson, Indian Motorcycles, Lightning Motorcycles and even with bigger brands such as BMW, KTM and Yamaha.
One of the main reasons for the limited success of electric motorcycles is range anxiety. The company gives some interesting tips to extend the range of the bike, but 112 miles on the highway isn’t going to cut it if you’re making a coast-to-coast roadtrip with your friends on gasoline-powered motorcycles.
For shorter trips, or for drag races within the city, the SR/F and the new SR/S could however be the ideal electric motorcycles. Their limited weight, incredible torque (190 Nm on the SR/F) and good looks sure make them a head-turner at the traffic lights.