Driving report: Zero DS-X

Driving report: Zero DS-X

Driving report: electric bikes for road and terrain

Zero DS / X

The US manufacturer Zero puts the cards on the table and presents new, heavily revised electric bikes for road and terrain with zero emissions.

S.Imagine a motorcycle manufacturer inviting a number of journalists to a presentation and just putting down a five-liter canister of fuel – for the whole day, for everyone.

The manufacturers of electric bikes are currently facing a similar problem; energy is only available to a limited extent. One of the pioneers in this segment is the Californian manufacturer Zero, who presented new models on and on the off-road track in Grevenbroich that have been greatly improved compared to the somewhat improvised predecessor models.

What the permanent energy crisis does not solve. The road model Zero DS has an impressive, 43 kilogram lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 4 kWh on board, which is roughly equivalent to 1.5 liters of gasoline. The Americans promise a range of 60 kilometers, but in practice the propulsion sometimes decreases significantly earlier depending on the driving style. Because when the 100 km / h top speed is fully exhausted, the bars of the remaining energy display in the display crumble at a frightening pace. A few more spurts at full throttle – or rather full power – and the complex regulation of the energy balance recognizes that the driver is living beyond his means and gradually turns the juice off so that the truck does not suddenly stop.

So you lurch back with reduced power to the starting point, where the batteries need four hours of charging time before the next use. There is growing awareness that huge steps in storage technology are still required before serious routes can be discussed. E-bikes will not – probably never – achieve the combination of performance and range offered by combustion motorcycles in the foreseeable future.

The electric two-wheeler is already suitable as a short-distance means of transport. Or as a pure fun machine like the Zero X, a small crosser that allows a good quarter of an hour of off-road amusement with a 2 kWh battery. When the energy runs out, the power storage can be changed easily, unlike the permanently installed battery of the street models. Despite a nominal 23 hp power, expectations of the propulsive power should remain on the carpet, the sandy soil in Grevenbroich shows its limits. However, the approach from a standing start is quite impressive. You can drift heartily on firm ground with the little machines that whir like cordless screwdrivers. The traction and the steady thrust are phenomenal.

And there is no need to operate, couple or switch, which makes driving child’s play. There are two brake levers on the handlebars, the feet remain unemployed. So it’s fun, but the high price stands in the way of widespread use. The street model costs 10,000 euros, the Crosser costs from 7,500 euros. After all, the running costs are low: a “tank filling” costs only a few cents.

Driving report: Zero DS-X


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