Electric and battery powered cars and motorcycle myths exposed!

ZERO Motorcycles SR

There are very few manufacturers of electric motorcycles and cars. In terms of car manufacturers Mitsubishi, Nissan and Tesla are the majors. (Toyota does not make a pure electric car) For motorcycles only two come to mind, being ZERO and VOXON.

Whether it’s the main stream papers and internet press that don’t cover in particular this class of motorcycle or perhaps there is very little demand for pure electric motorcycles? At least cars have some coverage every so often. Even less impressive is the so called reputable automotive sites clearly not stating the obvious about the benefits of electric vehicles or various writers do not have enough experience or historically knowledge about these things? Hence we are reading lots of rubbish from the media about electric and battery power motorcycles and cars. 

First of all I’d like to point out to the misguided public and oft repeated by the small minded comment trolls that making electric motorcycles or electric cars are more resource intensive than petrol cars and use more exotic resources. In reality making and running an electric car or motorcycle does not really consume any more exotic resources than a regular car.

Electric cars and motorcycles use the same technology as any other modern car or motorcycle except that they use more resources in terms of batteries. The killer point to silence the same critics are that electric cars motorcycles do not need all the exotic materials for making the engine and ancillary parts, pollution and emission controls especially the catalytic converter and engine oil that it more than balances out the battery vs internal combustion engine! The process of making petrol is also quite a pollution generator its self and equally toxic. You don’t need to change the battery every year unlike cars that require regular oil and fluid changes. 

The batteries currently used in most electric cars and motorcycles are less exotic than those in any of the latest mobile phones on sale for the last 5 years. Once again since they are electric they use existing power from power stations, but the power station’s pollution can be controlled since it is a central source unlike the billions of engines in regular cars and motorcycles on the road. 

Technology does improve and this demand will make battery manufacturers develop even more efficient and less resource intensive battery construction since their goal is to minimize cost. As per wikipedia and global source of information forthe small minded, petrol engines only achieve around  30% energy from petrol  where as the electric motor is closer to 90%. Yep out of every dollar you spend on petrol you only get thirty cents of use – ignoring the tax and productions costs and so forth.

In regards to modern diesel engines, they have so much pollution controls that the exhaust they emit are even more deadly to humans, since their particles are so small that they penetrate our cells and have a possibility of creating cellular contamination hence mutation and cancer.

Hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and GM Volt are the first step to pure electric to cater for those with ‘range anxiety’ since the pure electric cars currently have relatively poor driving distance range. Hybrid cars do use more resources to make but again these are the first steps. Fully electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla are the next step so it is a matter of time before they do become mainstream.

That said there is something about the noise and smell of the internal combustion engine that will be missed when it finally superseded, with the whatever the future fuel is. Electric or battery power is only one possibility. 

Note: I’m considering getting a electric motorcycle and this may well be the first of a string of BLOG entries on the ownership experience!