Published on May 14th, 2017 | by Carolyn Fortuna
Gas2 Week in Review, May 14: Electric Motorcycle Stories and Much More
Electric motorcycle stories made the top reader hit list this week on Gas2, followed quickly by articles that focused on a claim of a revolutionary new electric car battery and oil company disruptions. Harley Davidson is always a popular topic with Gas2 fans, especially with 100 new models as planned additions to their catalog, including an electric motorcycle– Harley says that the e-bike will have a distinctive Harley sound, performance, and feel. Also, the stunning backdrop of the Isle of Man caught many readers’ attention, as Sarolea has released a new electric motorcycle for this year’s race. An Israeli company that claims it can produce an electric car battery with a 300 mile range and quick recharge was quite an eye-catching story. So, too, was the vision of a prominent futurist, in which he described how autonomous electric transit will replace the current auto industry and lead to the demise of reliance on fossil fuels.
Here are those stories and more on our “Gas2 Week in Review.”
Acknowledging that it has a shrinking customer base, Harley Davidson will introduce 100 new models in ten years, with at least one electric model in their line. The electric Livewire prototype, which doesn’t have a 45-degree, push rod twin cylinder engine, should have the performance expected from a Harley Davidson, according to the vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum, Bill Davidson. They’ll be conscious that the sound, performance, and feel of the electric bike will be as important as with their more traditional bikes. To accomplish the sound equivalent, for example, Harley is researching various technologies that play into that their quintessential look and sound formulas.
The Isle of Man TT has a class for the electric motorcycle, and Sarolea will field an all new electric motorcycle for rider Dean Harrison. Even with significant improvements to the SP7, the Sarolea is heavier than a conventional bike and quite physically demanding for Harrison, but he’s still aiming for a podium. The Belgium company has raced an electric bike at the Isle of Man TT since 2014. The 2017 entry features a carbon fiber chassis as well as a new brushless 3 phase DC motor. Cloaked in an all-encompassing cafe racer front fairing, this year’s entry is reminiscent of classic racers from the Isle of Man course in decades past.
Range anxiety, driven by a tension between confidence and convenience, may become obsolete if the Israeli company, StoreDot, fulfills its claims of a new battery that achieve 300 miles on a charge and then can be replenished in only five minutes. Car consumers are holding their collective breaths for just such a revolution, but most are skeptical. StoreDot demonstrated its new battery to the public at the CUBE Tech Fair in Berlin last week via video simulation. According to the company, it uses “proprietary organic compounds” and no graphite. It claims the electrolyte is non-flammable.
Futurist Tony Seba forecasts that, by 2030, 95% of people won’t own a private car, as transport services will be comprised of strictly autonomous electric vehicles. This will disrupt and virtually dismantle the automobile and oil industries. The move will be driven by the economics of autonomous electric vehicles, with fewer cars traveling more miles. Seba argues that these transport services will become financially appealing, driven down by higher utilization rates, electric vehicle lifetimes that exceed 500,000 miles, as well as lower maintenance, energy, finance, and insurance costs.
Trolls who delight in interrupting point-of-view news articles are bombarding progressive websites. While that’s not news, the battle between the good forces of alternative energy like decentralized electric and the bad forces of fossil fuels have taken a new turn. A group of dedicated Elon Musk supporters has created a satirical website that lampoons the oil barons of the world — they learn that their trusted inner social circle of family members, business associates, and even revered family physicians have abandoned combustion engines and ordered a Tesla Model 3. It’s cute, and the video is included in the article.