2018 was a big year for electric motorcycle and scooter announcements. That means 2019 is the year that many of these models will first roll out to the public.
Large companies and new startups alike have been getting into the electric two-wheeler game, offering up a wide range of new electric rides. From crazy high powered electric motorcycles to sensible commuter electric scooters, here are the models to watch for next year.
2019 Harley-Davidson LiveWire
We have to begin with Harley-Davidson’s upcoming electric motorcycle because it’s probably the most hyped up and long awaited model coming in 2019.
First announced all the way back in 2014, this electric motorcycle has been in the prototyping stage for quite some time. While the long delay led to speculation about Harley-Davidson’s commitment to the project, the company shut down detractors this year when it showed off its final production prototype and confirmed a 2019 release.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the LiveWire prototypes multiple times in the flesh and each time the bike grows on me more and more. With Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, and an entire suite of rider-customizable settings, Harley-Davidson is outfitting the LiveWire as a premium motorcycle.
Despite being so close to rollout, there’s still a lot of mystery left in this ride. The pricing and specs should become public as soon as next month though.
In the meantime, Harley-Davidson has been fleshing out its dealer network in the US ahead of the 2019 rollout. The company is ensuring that each dealer carrying the bike will have a dedicated EV sales team and on-site DC fast charging facilities.
And while the LiveWire will be the only EV rolling out of Harley-Davidson dealerships in 2019, the company already announced plans for four more models in the next few years. So keep your eye on Harley-Davidson; they aren’t just your grandpa’s chromed-out cruisers anymore. They’ve finally gotten with the times and have staked their future on a series of electric motorcycles.
2019 Super SOCO TC Max
On the other end of the spectrum from the Harley-Davidson LiveWire above, the Super SOCO TC Max is positioned as an affordable everyman’s electric motorcycle. It was revealed earlier this year at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show, where we got an up-close look at the bike.
With a motor rated for a peak power output of 5 kW and a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), this isn’t the most highway-capable bike. For city and suburban use though, the Super SOCO TC Max could be an excellent commuter.
Power comes from a 72V and 45Ah lithium-ion battery. At 3.2 kWh, Super SOCO says the battery should be enough to reach 110 km (68 miles).
The battery is about as large as it gets while still being removable. I tried carrying it around and while possible, I wouldn’t want to have to carry the battery too terribly far to my apartment for charging.
As a nice added touch, the Super SOCO TC Max features high quality Brembo hydraulic brakes as well as a combined braking system (CBS). The CBS links the front and rear brakes, applying both with the pull of a single brake lever.
Production of the TC Max will begin in the first quarter of 2019, with the first deliveries in Europe occurring just a few months later. The TC Max is already homologated for EEC standards in Europe, where it will cost €4,499 ($5,100) for the aluminum wheel version. Customers can also fork over an additional €200 ($228) for spoked wheels.
The TC Max still lacks DOT approval for the US, but Super SOCO promises they are working on it. So hang on, my American friends. It’s coming!
Fly Free’s 2019 Smart Desert and Smart Classic
Here’s another option for the Americans. In March of 2019, Long Beach-based Fly Free is planning to begin sales of their 2019 Smart Desert and Smart Classic electric motorcycles.
The bikes have slightly lower specs than the TC Max above. With a maximum speed of 50 mph (80 km/h), these are definitely urban electric motorcycles.
The mid-drive motor is rated at 3 kW continuous, though likely offers nearly twice as much in peak power.
One or two removable batteries are mounted just under the faux gas tank. The company claims that a single battery is sufficient for 50 miles (80 km) of range, while adding a second battery should double the range. Also, note that the second battery is required to reach the electric motorcycle’s top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h). With just a single battery, the speed is limited to 40 mph (64 km/h).
The Smart Desert is more of a scrambler-type bike, while the Smart Classic adopts a cafe racer design. While the specs are a bit below the TC Max from Super SOCO, the price is slightly higher. Both bikes should retail for around $6,399.
2019 Arc Vector
If you want your cafe racer to be a bit more…. exotic, then look no further than the 2019 Arc Vector electric motorcycle.
Arc was founded by Mark Truman, the former head of Jaguar’s White Space (the division that comes up with all of their crazy ideas).
Truman and his team developed the electric motorcycle concept that eventually evolved into the Arc Vector.
The 95 kW Arc Vector is rated for a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h). Its 0-60 mph acceleration takes just 2.7 seconds. Range is estimated at 120 miles (193 km) on the highway or 170 miles (274 km) in the city.
Only 355 units will be produced, pushing the price to an extreme £90,000 ($117,000). The Arc Vector definitely isn’t an everyman’s electric motorcycle – it’s for millionaires that value the uniqueness and sustainability that the Arc Vector represents.
Tarform electric motorcycle
The Tarform is currently expected to ship with a battery pack rated for 90 mi (145 km) in the city and 50 mi (80 km) on the highway, or 75 mi (121 km) combined.
Charging time is expected to be just under 4 hours for a complete charge, or around 2 hours and 50 minutes for an 80% charge.
Tarform’s new electric motorcycle also incorporates a number of “smart features”, a growing practice in many new electric motorcycles and scooters. Tarform’s digitally integrated smart system will optimize the riding experience by monitoring the health of the bike. If any maintenance issues are detected, the rider will be alerted via their smartphone and if needed, can reserve an appointment directly from the app.
Tarform is now accepting pre-orders on their website, with production expected to begin in late 2019. However, there will be a limited run of Collector Edition motorcycles available for order that will be delivered in early 2019. The price of the Collector’s Edition bikes has not yet been announced, but the standard models will retail for $18,000 (subject to change).
Zero Motorcycle’s new 2019 lineup
The DS model has been Zero’s entry-level dual sport electric motorcycle. For 2019, the dual sport lineup is getting a speed and power bump.
The dual sport bikes will be 8% faster and come with an additional 35% motor power. The battery on the DS ZF7.2 remains the same size to preserve its lower weight and price. The 2019 longer-range Zero DS ZF14.4 will be upgraded to the same battery as the premium DSR. That should give it a range increase of 10%, with a city range of 204 miles (328 km) and a highway range of 97 miles (158 km).
While the Zero Motorcycles dual sport bikes received impressive upgrades, the sport bikes get their own performance bumps as well.
The entry-price Zero S ZF7.2 sport bike also received a 35% power increase over the previous year’s model. The longer range Zero S ZF14.4 now comes with 10% more range than the 2018 model. The new 2019 Zero S ZF14.4 is rated for 223 city miles (359 km) or 112 highway miles (180 km).
Last year, Zero Motorcycles unveiled their new Charge Tank accessory, which added an inverter to the longer range bikes. That allowed the bikes to charge at a Level 2 charger. The company claims the Charge Tank can allow charging up to six times faster than a standard wall charger.
Now Zero has announced that the new Charge Tank will be backwards compatible with all of their Zero S, SR, DS and DSR electric motorcycles from 2015 and later.
The Charge Tank can recharge a Zero S or DS ZF7.2 to 95% in just one hour.
2019 CSC City Slicker
This cute little mini-motorcycle is the answer to the question “What would happen if you took a Honda Grom and electrified it?”
With a top speed of 46 mph (74 km/h), don’t expect to break any speed records on the City Slicker. But at an ultra-affordable $2,495, most will probably let the top speed slide. Besides, this is absolutely a city bike anyways, where most riders won’t ever need to go over 46 mph.
A 3 kW peak swingarm mounted motor and belt drive make this mini-electric motorcycle almost silent. The 2.1 kWh battery is sufficient for around 30 miles of range at top speed, or 60 miles range if you drop your speed to 20 mph.
I’ve actually gotten my hands on one of these bikes already and have been riding it around for about a week now. I’ll be posting a full review soon, but so far I’m loving this little electric motorcycle. It feels a bit more like a scooter than a motorcycle at times, but it sure is fun and nimble! Check out my first thoughts on the bike below. And check back soon for the full review here on Electrek.
2019 Etergo AppScooter
Don’t forget about the scooters! There are a pile of new electric scooters coming out in 2019, each with their own unique features.
The AppScooter by Dutch company Etergo is one of my favorites due to its combination of connected smart-features, giant 60L storage area and 240 km (150 mi) range.
The normally a scooter can have either long range or lots of storage – not both. But the AppScooter manages to have it all by using cleverly engineered banana-shaped batteries that slide down under the floorboard and make use of otherwise wasted space. That leaves the entire cargo area free for jamming full with your stuff.
The AppScooter will begin deliveries in much of Western Europe in early 2019, but likely won’t make it over to the US until 2020 at the earliest. The final price of the AppScooter will start at €3,399 (approximately US $3,800). Production is set to begin soon, after Etergo recently secured a €10M investment round and has narrowed down production partners to a short list of three.
2019 Vespa Elettrica
Piaggio took their sweet time, but has finally begun production of the first electric Vespa.
The Vespa Elettrica has similar performance to a standard 50cc scooter, reaching a top speed of just around 30 mph (50 km/h). The Elettrica also features a brushless DC motor rated for 2 kW (2.7 hp) continuous and 4 kW (5.4 hp) peak power. The motor should be plenty peppy, with a torque rating of over 200 Nm (148 ft-lbs).
The lithium battery is designed to be sufficient for 100 km (62 mi) and can be recharged in 4 hours. It should also last for 1,000 charge cycles, which the company says will translate to around 50,000-70,000 km (31,000-43,000 mi) of real world riding, or around 10 years for most riders.
For now, the Vespa Elettrica is only available for pre-order on a dedicated site by customers in Eurozone countries. Piaggio priced the Vespa Elettrica at €6,390 (approximately $7,360).
While the scooter is definitely a looker, that’s a hefty price tag for a scooter with middle-of-the-pack tech specs.
2019 Zapp i300
With an electronically limited top speed of 60 mph (96 km/h), the Zapp i300 is one of the fastest electric scooters on the market.
That high-end top speed comes from a powerful motor rated at 14 kW or 18.7 hp. For comparison, most standard electric scooters have motors in the 2-4 kW range.
The Zapp i300’s motor also has an unheard of 587 Nm (433 ft-lbs). That’s even more torque than the crazy powerful Curtiss Zeus electric motorcycle, which registers at 393 Nm (290 ft-lbs) of torque. The high torque is possible thanks to a two-stage belt reduction, gearing down a high-speed electric motor to create massive torque.
The Zapp i300 has a 0-30 mph (48 km/h) time of 2.35 seconds, and a 0-45 mph (72 km/h) of 4.1 seconds.
The Zapp i300 houses two 48V batteries each rated at 1.25 kWh for a combined 2.5 kWh of capacity. The batteries are removable to allow for remote charging. At 5 kg (11 lbs) each, the batteries should be fairly easy to lug into your house or up to your apartment.
While the speed and power are both quite impressive, they take a combined toll on the range. At just 37 mi (60 km) of range, the Zapp i300 isn’t going to take you very far between cities. And keep in mind that if you’re going full speed, you’ll get even less range than the advertised figure.
NIU M+ and NGT electric scooters
NIU is sitting pretty, fresh off an IPO on the NYSE and a successful pre-sale of their new M+ and NGT electric scooters.
The NIU M+ is the more entry-level scooter among the offerings due to its electronically limited top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph).
However, it still packs some impressive specs. The internal battery, built from Panasonic battery cells, is 48 V and 42 Ah for a total capacity of 2 kWh. That’s enough for 100 km (62 mi) of range. When you’re ready to recharge, the battery is removable and can be fast charged in just 3.5 hours. The battery is a bit hefty, at 11 kg (24 lbs), but it’s certainly easier to carry the battery up to your apartment for charging than the entire scooter.
The NIU M+ features a 1.2 kW rear hub motor made by Bosch. Braking is accomplished through both regenerative braking and disc brakes with an anti-lock braking feature.
The retail price of the NIU M+ will be €2,599.
For those looking for more speed and power, the NIU NGT is for you. The NGT reaches a top speed of 70 km/h (44 mph).
Those higher speeds are reachable due to a combination of a higher voltage battery and more powerful Bosch motor.
The NIU NGT features two battery packs also made with Panasonic cells. The 14 kg (31 lb) batteries are each 60 V and 35 Ah (2.1 kWh). That results in a total capacity of 4.2 kWh, which is relatively high for electric scooters.
Range for the NGT is 100 km (62 mi) with both battery packs or 50 km (31 mi) with a single battery.
The rear hub motor is a 3 kW Bosch motor, which also features regenerative braking to compliment the NGT’s disc brake controlled braking system (CBS).
The price of the NIU NGT after the pre-order period will be €4,499.
Both should start deliveries in Europe next month, and NIU plans to enter the US market later in 2019.
Exciting times for electric scooter and motorcycles
While electric scooters and motorcycles have been popular in Asia for years, Europe and even North America are now getting a number of their own exciting options.
As more companies join the fold, expect to see the variety increase and prices decrease. 2019 should be a very interesting year for two-wheeled electric vehicles.