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Will Electric Motorcycles Catch On?

A Guest Post from Jessica Bosari 

Electric motorcycles take advantage of the same lithium ion battery technology that is being used by several car manufacturers in electric and hybrid vehicles. The motorcycles that have hit the standard market are much lighter than their gas-powered counterparts, and they can use smaller batteries than electric cars need to use. Most of bikes can be charged at a regular 110 volt socket, and the batteries generally gain a full charge in less than 4 hours. Motorcycle purists will miss the roar of the engine, but they might find it worth the money they will save on gasoline.

Quiet Operation

The most striking thing about an electronic motorcycle is that the engine runs in almost complete silence. The quiet operation allows the rider to blend into traffic more easily and hear when cars approach. It may take a long time to get used to riding a silent bike, however. Riders who rely on the sound of their engine to help keep them visible will need to find different ways to stay safe on the road if they choose an electric motorcycle. The silent engines would be popular with people who are irritated with loud motorcycle engines on city streets, though.

Great for the Environment

Electric motorcycles don't emit any greenhouse gasses, so they don't contribute to environmental problems that can be caused by gasoline engine emissions. Running on electricity also reduces the consumption of fossil fuels that are not renewable. People who are excited about finding green alternatives for transportation will enjoy the freedom of riding a full-powered motorcycle without having to contribute to the factors that are damaging our planet today. The only environmental drawback is that the lithium ion batteries can be harmful if they are not disposed of properly.

On the Expensive Side

One thing that could slow the popularity of electric motorcycles is their cost. The new bikes are being offered at just under $10,000. That price is less than you would pay for a car, but you could probably find a comparable gasoline driven motorcycle for far less. The new technology will also be expensive to repair and maintain because the bikes will have to be taken to mechanics who understand how to work on the new technology. Electricity is not always as inexpensive as you would think, either. Plugging in a motorcycle on a daily basis could cause a sharp upturn for the monthly electric bill.

Electric cars will also be expensive to fix and therefore expensive to insurance. Motorcycle insurance companies like Progressive Auto Insurance and State Farm may overprice policies at first, until all statistical information on repairs becomes available.
Limited Performance

Another drawback for electric motorcycles is that they are not exactly high performance machines. The electronic engine operates much the same way that a power scooter engine operates. Instead of shifting gears, the rider simply pushes the throttle forward and back to rev up the engine. Electric bikes can reach speeds of 50 mph, but they take their time getting there. Slow acceleration is typical of all of the electric bikes on the market today, which could make it difficult for the bikes to become popular over the next few years. Electric bikes probably won't really take off until they offer the same get up and go that a rider gets with a traditional bike.

Jessica Bosari writes for Her articles keep consumers informed about trends in transportation and insurance. She believes that keeping consumers informed about insurance can help them save more when they compare auto insurance quotes.

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