The future of motor vehicles is electric. Keeping in line with this, a company named Zero Electric Motorcycles revealed a line-up of electric bikes in 2017. They are so designed that they are able to charge quickly, less than a couple of hours. At the same time, these electric bikes are so designed that they are able to hit top speeds of about more than 200 miles per hour. These are the two major concerns surrounding electric vehicles and this motorbike company has addressed both problems in one product.
Zero Electric had to face several challenges while making their electric motorbikes. Some of the problems were charging rate and speed, distance covered till the charged batteries would last, acceleration as well as designing them almost the same as other sports bikes.
Zero Motorcycles Incorporation is an American based manufacturer of electric motorcycles. The company was formerly known as Electricross. It was started in Santa Cruz by a former NASA engineer Neal Saiki in the year 2006. Presently, the company is located in Scotts Valley and makes a wide range of 100 percent electric motorcycles including the Zero S, SR, FXS (street), DS, DSR and FX (dual-sport).
Having said that, Zero Electric isn’t the only electric motorbike manufacturer in the country. There are many competitors in the electric motorbike industry. The beauty of progression and success are challenges offered by competitors. Hence, major competitors are Victory Empulse, Lightning, Energica and Alta motors.
The main challenges being faced by all-electric vehicles and their manufacturers are almost the same and inherent. Primarily these vehicles are being criticized for their lack of range coupled with slow charging rates. This makes them unsuitable for long distance use,unlike their combustion engine counterparts.
Zero Electric has tried to address both these issues and has so far been successful. In just 10 years, Zero Electric has grown into an internationally recognized and respected brand in the field of the electric motorcycle industry. The company has not only revolutionized the motorcycle industry but also gave a new perspective to electric driven motorbikes. The power train is so designed to deliver more torque than the most powerful 1000 cc sports bike. It is not just a beauty in motion but also a carrier of impressive technology.
Faster Charging System
Zero has improved the capability of their recent line-up of electric motorbikes to make them suitable for use by both consumers as well as police units. Their latest models are equipped with comparatively higher and improved ranges as well as reduced charging timings.
The improved charging rate of the recent motorbikes is credited to its 6 kilo-watt Charge Tank Accessory. This accessory can be used safely with Zero S, SR, DS and DSR motorbikes. This new accessory is able to charge the Zero S and DS ZF7.2 models in about an hour when plugged into a 110 V level 1 outlet. Whereas, around a couple of hours are used in charging the larger batteries found in SR and DSR with the help of level 2 chargers.
Furthermore, the Charge Tank uses the popular J1772 EV standard. In one hour the Charge Tank delivers up to 84 miles of city range. Plug in the standard charger in parallel to hit 103 mph of charging.Selection of charger is also an important factor which contributes to the quick or delayed charging of the motorbikes. Zero has offered a scalable “Quick Charging” system for office and home use. This system can easily double the charging speeds when properly used. The system comprises of off-board stand-alone 1 kilo-watt chargers which work in conjunction with the motorcycle’s onboard charging system.
Zero Electric uses the Z-Force battery technology on their motorbikes. This technology means more energy in lesser space. This revolutionary technology has been creating waves in the electric motorcycle industry since the first electric motorbikes from Zero Electric started pouring out into the market. These top-of-the-line lithium-ion batteries come with an advanced battery management system which results in the motorbikes to travel farther with more speed. A typical Zero S or Zero DS can travel over 200,000 miles with the batteries retaining 80% of their original maximum capacity.
In addition to more speed and distance coverage, the Z-Force battery technology does not require active cooling or routine maintenance. Thus, the Zero Electric motorbikes ensure the best ride, fuel economy and no routine maintenance costs. They are an all-around winner.
Charging the battery is easy. The motorbike can be charged with either its standard onboard charger or by using the off-board charging accessories. This is an optional feature though.
Being an electric motorbike, the recent line-up has increased their top speeds along with the overall acceleration. It is a happy news for all the bikers out there that the new models are not only energy efficient but also fast enough to compete with any sports bike.
The power pack of ZF7.2is able to provide about 11 percent more torque in the rear wheel as compared to the previous versions, whereas those of ZF13.0 Zero S and Zero DS provide more than 30 percent of the power and torque.
No more Fluids
The best thing about these motorbikes is they are free of all fluids. Zero’s philosophy is to add nothing to the machine unless it enhances the experience. The Z-Force motor is featuring a single moving part without any messy fluid making it a unique machine. Over and above, there is no clutch and transmission in the system thereby making it completely fluid free. All you need is to charge it 100 percent and be on the go.
Zero Electric believes in sophistication and simplicity of technology. The motors used in Zero’s motorbikes provide instant and impressive torque and incredible efficiency. An important factor while designing motorbikes is their weight. This factor was kept in mind while designing Zero’s motorbikes.
Increased weight due to added accessories loads the motors of the bike. So the motors for Zero’s bikes were redesigned for optimum efficiency, power,and size. The Z-Force motors were made which nearly have the same weight and volume as that of brushless motors but produce up to 130 percent more power and 150 percent more torque.
At the base of the design of these motors is the Interior Permanent Magnet or IPM. With this technology, the motorbikes are capable to achieve improved performance during hard ridings as well as allow riders to sustain top speeds. More impressively, these motors do not require any liquid or forced air cooling. They are low maintenance motors and do not require routine maintenance.
The batteries installed in these motorbikes when coupled with its lightweight motors deliver extremely amazing horsepower along with mind-blowing acceleration. The 100 percent torque provided by these motors from a standstill is simply incredible. Quick response to the instantaneous throttle gives an off-the-line performance.
Though these motors are so designed to integrate simplicity with sophistication, at the same time all surplus parts which add to the maintenance concerns, as well as increased weight, have been removed. This helps the driver to focus on owning such an incredible motorcycle instead of extra stuff.
In the recent models of Zero Motorbikes, the Z-Force Power Tank adds an additional battery storage capacity of about 3.6-kilowatt hour. This feature can also be provided to the earlier models. It is compatible with Zero S, Zero SR, Zero DS or Zero DSR models.
This Power Tank can be added to your bike even after the motorbike has been purchased. If you have already purchased the Zero SR ZF14.4, you can easily upgrade its power tank to 18 kilowatt-hours of battery capacity, if theadditional increased rangeisdesired. With this additional power tank capacity, the bike will be able to travel about 223 miles within the city and approximately 112 miles when on the highway.
Since this Power Tank comes with complete necessary hardware along with a battery module, therefore it is suggested that the motorbike should be taken to anauthorized Zero Motorcycle dealerfor installation. Authorized dealers will provide exact fitment and connections, thereby reducing the risk of wrong connections and awkward mounting and loading of the system.
When installation and connection of this new Power Tankare completed, the new body works include a completely new tank section of these motorbikes giving it a finished look. This Power Tank generally occupies the area where integrated tank bag would normally be fitted. It is pertinent to mention here that this Power Tank is not compatible with those motorcycles which are equipped with the Charge Tank.
Zero’s motorbikes come with an app. The motorbike can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This app works on both iOS and Android phones. The utility of this app is that through a single touch on your smartphone, you can find out the charge left, charging time, speed, and complete performance of the bike.
Through this app, the rider can get real-time information on the ride with just a touch. The motorbike’s firmware can be updated using the app. This saves the user’s money and time as well as service tips.
What makes a successful product is when along with performance, it can boast of using industry best practices as well. Zero Electric is a winner on that front as well.
The company uses fully recyclable lithium-ion batteries following industry best practices. These batteries are air cooled and thus require no additional cooling systems. They can work in wide range of conditions. The Z-Force batteries are the latest in battery technology which provides more speed, power, and range covered by the vehicle. This is achieved by a more precise cell monitoring system used by these batteries.