E-bikes have long been popular means of transport in Europe and Asia, but in recent years there have saw sales skyrocket in the United States. As Americans embrace these convenient personal electric vehicles with open arms, could an upcoming wave of new lightweight electric motorcycles be the next step for Americans eager to reduce their dependence on the pump?
Electric bikes were already a booming industry before the COVID-19 pandemic. But since then, e-bike sales have been given an adrenaline rush with no signs of slowing down in sight.
Take for example Rad Electric Bikesthe largest e-bike company in North America, which now alone sells hundreds of thousands of e-bikes a year.
On the other hand, even relatively young e-bike startups like Phoenix-based Lectric Ebikes exceeded one hundred thousand e-bike sales in just two years. With its immense popularity Electric XP 2.0 priced under $1,000, the company was a smash hit.
Many more companies have also seen huge growth, which should come as no surprise. Serving as a fun way to avoid traffic jams and high gas prices, e-bikes have proven to be an economical and efficient alternative form of transportation.
Just a few years ago, many adults in the United States might have scoffed at the idea of commuting to work on a standing scooter or bike. But now e-scooters and e-bikes have completely turned the tables.
And just in time to capitalize on the shifting transportation paradigm, a new trend emerging in the industry could up the ante yet again: a wave of lightweight electric motorcycles.
But a 500-pound motorcycle with a 100-hp engine that can haul it to 100 mph in seconds is more than most daily commuters are looking for.
But what about a smaller option, something more like a supercharged e-bike? Believe it or not, Americans are about to have many of these options. A slew of new lightweight electric motorcycles are heading to American shores.
Electric motorcycles like the SONDORS Metacyclewhich is currently on track for US deliveries towards the end of the second quarter of this year, offers speeds of 80 mph (130 km/h) and manageable power levels in the 20 hp range. This level of bike is becoming increasingly attractive as a commuter-style electric motorcycle.
While e-bikes are great for the city, e-motorcycles can help commuters take on wider roads and travel longer distances while providing the same gas-saving and traffic-reducing benefits as electric bikes. Cheaper (and often free) parking and lower costs than cars are also big incentives for lightweight electric motorcycles.
The $6,000 SONDORS metacycle is just one of many new options for the United States. Just last week, E-bike company SUPER73 unveiled its C1X electric motorcycle prototypesupposed to reach 75 mph (120 km/h) and offer a range of 100 miles (160 km/h).
The SUPER73 C1X is probably over a year and a half out of production, but there are alternatives available today.
the Electric motorcycle Kollter ES1 can exceed 70 mph (112 km/h), allowing you to take just about any road or highway you might find on your route.
The lightweight electric motorcycle also comes with an option for one or two removable batteries for a range of 40 to 80 miles (64 to 128 km) in the city, or about 2/3 of that range at higher speeds.
And with a starting price of US$5,999, the ES1 costs less than some e-bikes we have covered.
Leading smart electric scooter manufacturer NIU is also getting into the lightweight electric motorcycle game with the NIU RQi.
This lightweight electric motorcycle will come in two models with performance ranging from 62 to 100 mph (100 to 160 km/h) depending on the model.
Compared to some high power electric bikes that often exceed e-bike regulatory laws without offering a fully street-legal option, this new wave of true lightweight electric motorcycles combines affordability with street-legal rating.
For commuters who have already started adopting bigger and faster e-bikes that flirt with the lightweight power levels of electric motorcycles, the North American market now seems poised to deliver the real deal. Such electric motorcycles can now slash the price of major players like Zero or Harley by up to 50% or more, while still offering specs that are powerful enough for highway riding and true practicality for commuters.
Could this new wave of lightweight electric motorcycles reshape the landscape of personal electric vehicles in the United States? What do you think? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
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