Gas2 Week in Review, October 22: Electric Motorcycles and EV Myths

Electric motorcycles took center stage this week on Gas2. In the news-while-it-is-news electric motorcycles category, Yamaha’s Motoroid is ready for reveal in Tokyo as a company mission to create “new experiences” for its consumer base. Zero Motorcycles, that Santa Cruz-based company, is introducing the compact and lighter weight ZF7.2 power pack, which will offer 11% more rear wheel torque. The annual Gas2 list of the most fuel efficient motorcycles is out — wait ’til you see which ones “stir the soul.” And Selle Royal’s new gel filled saddle has been specifically designed for the needs of electric bike riders, making that daily commute with the built-in exercise all the more comfortable.

Oh, yeah. Because they’re so much fun, we threw in a couple of stories from the EV rumor mill. We looked at the Top 10 myths about EVs and also just had to analyze some conspiracy theories about Tesla’s recent firings. Just had to!

Here are those stories and more on this week’s edition of the “Gas2 Week in Review.”

electric motorcycles

Yamaha Teases Motoroid Electric Motorcycle AI for Tokyo

Yamaha’s all-electric, two-wheeled ecosystem is finally ready for a public preview. The PES1, a lightweight bike platform designed to compete in the 125-250cc range, is about to have an electric reinvention: the Motoroid. Yamaha says that its electric motorcycles fulfill an innate desire in its audience to find “new experiences.”

The experimental machine employs artificial intelligence and explores the feasibility of concepts that, according to a Yamaha statement, create “new forms of personal mobility in which the rider resonates harmoniously with machine.” But having the capability of “recognizing its owner and interacting in other capacities like a living creature” may be a bit of grand marketing, don’t you think? Well, the Gas2 article does have lots of pictures, which we in the visual era really like, and, who knows? The Motoroid just might inspire a self-to-machine symbiosis. Certainly, Yamaha is starting to meet the needs of and create new value for its customers who crave being part of the EV set.

Zero Motorcycles Launches 2018 Lineup — Quicker, Longer, Harder!

Zero Motorcycles prides itself on being the next step in motorcycle evolution through producing high performance electric motorcycles that are lightweight, efficient, fast off-the-line, and fun to ride. Each Zero motorcycle is optimized through a specially designed electric powertrain and  a rigid, aircraft-grade aluminum frame to minimize weight.

News this week from the company that began in a Santa Cruz, California garage is that Zero motorcycles with the compact and lighter weight ZF7.2 power pack will offer 11% more rear wheel torque. That means riders can thrust ahead ahead of cars and fellow motorcyclists, building momentum through new gearing and holding performance through a higher maximum motor rpm. Zero has fine-tuned the powertrains of the ZF13.0 Zero S and Zero DS to deliver up to 30% more power and torque to amp up acceleration at highway speeds. Although, as Zero’s slogan states, some things are better experienced than explained, this article is a good read about a company that’s working diligently toward a transformational line of electric motorcycles.

Gas2’s 10 Best Fuel Efficient Motorcycles for 2018

Tuh duh! The annual Gas2 list of the best fuel efficient motorcycles for 2018 is here. Now you can see which is the winner for “hugging trees” or “burning rubber,” as well as “ultralight bikes with surprisingly good build quality” and cruisers that ” stir the soul.”

Which bike ended up with the nomination for Best Fuel Efficient Moped? Best Fuel Efficient Small Scooter? Best Fuel Efficient Large / Maxi Scooter? Best Fuel Efficient Automatic Motorcycle? Best Fuel Efficient Standard / Commuter / City Bike? Best Fuel Efficient Touring Bike? Best Fuel Efficient Supermoto / DP? Best Fuel Efficient Trike? Best Race Bike? Click through to the full article to find out…

New Seat From Selle Royal Targets Electric Bicycle Riders

Yes, it’s true: traditional bicyclists curl their noses upward when talk of even a little bit of motorized bike assist enters the conversation. Purists aside, the electric bicycle market is only getting bigger, stronger, and more varied as new audiences discover the pluses that an electric bike offers, including research-based health benefits.

Selle Royal has taken note of a consistent consumer desire for comfort to motivate the switch to a commuter electric bike, and they’ve designed a special gel-filled saddle with an upward twist. That slight elevation near the back helps riders to resist a slide to the rear under acceleration when the electric motor cuts in. The gel-filled seat also has a spiffy handle placed underneath, which is quite handy to help maneuver the bike when it’s stopped.

10 Myths About Electric Cars. Are Any Of Them True?

Which ones of the following statements are true, and which ones are false? More CO2 is emitted during production of electric cars than regular cars. Electric car batteries are a ticking environmental bomb. Electric cars create more particulates than conventional cars. Electric cars cause people to stop using public transportation. Electric cars cause people to stop using public transportation. Making electric car batteries harms the environment. Electric car batteries have a short life span and are expensive to replace. Electric cars will put excessive strain on the electrical grid. Electric cars don’t lower pollution, they move it from one place to another. Electric car owners don’t pay their fair share to maintain roads.

Read on, McElectric, to find out the facts behind EV myths.

What’s Behind The Mass Firings At Tesla?

Every week, there seems to be a new Tesla story that grabs headlines. Often, the company is announcing a revolutionary approach to all-electric transportation. This week, however, results from annual employee performance reviews came in, and hundreds of workers were out as a result. The firings come at a time of massive growth as Tesla ramps up production for the newest car in its catalog, the Model 3.

Could some terminations have been the result of employee activism toward a Fremont factory unionization in association with the United Auto Workers? Some people think so. Or what about whistle blowers who raised safety issues? Yet again, if the rumors are true that some of those individuals fired were “generally the highest paid in their position,” are the terminations actually financially-based lay-offs?

Tesla is being quite closed-mouthed about the rationale behind the firings, but it does seem certain that performance reviews were delayed by several months. A significant number of the terminated employees are asking that their records be made public. Stay tuned.

Photo credit: Haifeez via / CC BY

Carolyn Fortuna

Carolyn grew up in Stafford Springs, CT, home of the half-mile tar racetrack. She's an avid Formula One fan (this year's trip to the Monza race was memorable). With a Ph.D. from URI, she draws upon digital media literacy and learning to spread the word about sustainability issues. Please follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Google+