Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Table of contents

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
Arturo Rivas

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

9 pictures

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
Energica / Jesus Robledo Blanco

E-motorcycles, which cost well over 20,000 and 30,000 euros, are rarely purchased as pure city vehicles. The Energica Eva Ribelle costs from 27,302 euros.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
KTM / fotiemitterbauer

All current electric vehicles get their energy from lithium-ion batteries. Here the drive unit of the KTM Freeride E-XT with electric motor and battery pack.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
Ernst Naf

Ernst Naf is a late-calling, but now all the more enthusiastic motorcycle youth.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
Ernst Naf

He unwound more than 15,500 kilometers purely electrically in six months.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

The brand’s new top model: Zero SR / S.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

The naked bike variant of this is called Zero SR / F

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
MEET / University of Munster

Our interview partner Dr. Falko Schappacher is the commercial and technical director of the battery research center MEET.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
EWS Elektrizitatswerke Schonau eG

Also in the MOTORRAD interview: Sebastian Sladek, CEO of the Schonau electricity works.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility
Federal Network Agency, Grobbasis-DE / BKG 2019

There were 15-607 public charging stations, some of which had several charging points, in Germany in autumn 2020 – and the trend is rising.


traffic & business

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Report on two-wheel electromobility
Inventory and outlook

When it comes to electrification, innovative small series manufacturers have set the industry moving. And many a big guy is now also into electricity. We talk about what has happened in the development of electric two-wheelers so far and where the journey is headed.

Ralf Schneider


In this article:

  • Electric motorcycles on the market
  • Charging stations in Germany
  • State of battery technology
  • Car buyers are rewarded, bikers get almost nothing
  • 10 years of e-motorcycle development
  • Dr. Interview with Falko Schappacher from the battery research center MEET
  • Interview with the board of the electricity works Schonau
  • More than 15,500 km purely electrically in 6 months
  • Conclusion

Electric motorcycles on the market

The electric Harley concept alone is a sensation. The fact that the LiveWire is not heavier than the competition tops it all off.” Tester Fabian Dresler pays full respect to the Milwaukee e-motorcycle (see issue 13/2020). the LiveWire is Harley-Davidson’s foray into the mobility of the future – sportier than ever and electrically powered. In other words, exactly the opposite of what one would have expected from the traditional US brand. But the electric, uh, bang from Milwaukee was not that surprising. In the summer of 2014, Harley surprised experts and fans alike with an electric prototype. 40 copies were available in the USA and later in Europe for test drives in order to find out the reactions to a Harley with an electric drive. And the 2018 announcement that it would now invest $ 25 to 50 million a year in the development of electric motorcycle technology showed how serious Harley-Davidson is in reshuffling the cards in the e-bike business.

On this one There has been a lot of shouting about nothing in the market place, and you have seen a lot come and go. Six years ago, the restart of the Bultaco brand thanks to an electric motorcycle called the Rapitán was announced with great fanfare. The e-motorcycle from Barcelona is still a long time coming, as is the model that was promised at the time Sora from the Canadian manufacturer Lito Green Motion. Brammo, the promising e-brand just a few years ago, was initially launched by US group Polaris swallowed and then discontinued. To the futuristic electric cruiser Johammer J1 it has become pretty quiet too. BMW will also start production of the Electric scooter C Evolution phase out. In its six-year production period, just 8,000 copies were sold across Europe at a price of 15,000 euros. the Successor named CE 04 should go into series production in the course of 2021.

Regardless of the fact that electric motorcycles have so far hardly achieved any noteworthy sales figures, their acceptance is slowly but surely emerging even with the most upright combustion fetishists. Anyone who has tried an electric speedster is electrified by it. So were all participants of the Reader test ride Zero SR / S and SR / F impressed and enthusiastic about the new drive technology. In addition, the fan base of electric bike enthusiasts, such as the Electric Night Ride in Stuttgart a year and a half ago or the Electric Ride Schonau that started in autumn. So soon a beautiful new electric world, who likes it? Hardly, because until then there are still some thick boards to be drilled.

Charging stations in Germany

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Federal Network Agency, Grobbasis-DE / BKG 2019

There were 15,607 public charging stations, some with multiple charging points, in Germany in autumn 2020.

There were 15,607 public charging stations, some with several charging points, in Germany in autumn 2020 – and the trend is rising. There are also a large number of charging stations, for example in shopping centers or furniture chains. The majority of all charging points have the so-called type 2 connector. It transmits alternating current, which has to be converted into direct current by the vehicle in order to charge the drive battery. With the Combined Charging System (CCS), direct current flows directly: significantly higher kilowatts per hour can be fed in, which speeds up charging enormously. Unfortunately, CCS charging stations are currently still extremely rare and difficult to find.

State of battery technology

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

KTM / fotiemitterbauer

All current electric vehicles get their energy from lithium-ion batteries. Here the drive unit of the KTM Freeride E-XT with electric motor and battery pack.

All current electric vehicles get their energy from lithium-ion batteries, of which there are in turn several variants: These differ in their chemical composition with different aging properties, capacities, their suitability for high-performance fast charging and different energy and power density. There is still a lot of potential in the lithium-ion battery. Experts estimate that reach increases of 40 to 80 percent are conceivable. This against the background that, in the opinion of experts, only ten percent of lithium-ion technology has been researched. In Germany, a lot of money has been and is being invested in research – from the establishment of chairs to the establishment of competence centers. Nevertheless, the leading battery countries China, Japan and Korea still have a lead in the series production of cells. But you have to know that, for example in China, the state pays up to 70 percent of the costs of setting up a battery production facility. This is one of the reasons why Chinese manufacturers like CATL were able to become the world’s largest cell producer within a few years. The battery world has developed massively in recent years. The competitive pressure is immense. It is about significant cost reductions, significant increases in energy density and more environmentally friendly cell production. And: In principle, the batteries must become even cheaper for the mass market.

Car buyers are rewarded, bikers get almost nothing

At the electric summit in May 2010, politics and business started to catch up in terms of electric mobility. The declared goal at the time: by 2020 there should be one million electric vehicles in Germany. It has not yet been clarified whether this only meant four-wheeled or two-wheeled e-mobiles. In order to make the purchase of a car with an electric drive more palatable, a veritable cornucopia of delicacies has been poured out over buyers since then: ten years of vehicle tax exemption and purchase premiums until the end of 2025, primarily called environmental bonuses, with 7,500 to 9,000 euros. And those who use the e-car as a company car only have to shell out a quarter of the usual tax rate. Renault Zoe, VW e-Golf and Tesla Model 3 are particularly popular, as the five-digit registration numbers show. There is no purchase premium for electric motorcycles in Germany. And the little tax exemption doesn’t make the cabbage fat either.

10 years of e-motorcycle development

Editor Ralf Schneider on ten years of developing electric motorcycles: It’s not enough … Around 2010 the stream of Stromer that MOTORRAD could drive was a thin trickle; they came 40 to 70 kilometers. Even today, the range of e-motorcycles on offer can at best be compared with a brook. Technology has made progress, but progress is slow in terms of range and charging infrastructure, says Ralf Schneider. 166 kilometers – this is the longest distance that MOTORRAD testers have covered while driving an electric motorcycle on the country road (MOTORRAD 2/2020). The machine was an Energica Eva Ribelle with a nominal battery capacity of 21.5 kWh, of which 18.9 kWh were usable. The Ribelle consumed 11.4 kWh over a distance of 100 kilometers. That is a little more than the Harley-Davidson LiveWire, which manages with 9.6 kWh in road mode on the country road. The consumption was not determined for the Zero SR / F, but because it manages 138 kilometers with 14.4 kWh nominal and 12.6 kWh effective capacity in eco mode, it should also use electricity more efficiently than the one because of its large battery Ribelle weighing 274 kilograms.

So much for the measurements from current electric motorcycles. So that a motorcyclist who has not yet tried one can better classify these values, he is asked to get one Country road tour in pursuit of minimal consumption to introduce. Which not only means that he adheres to the speed limits accurately, but also approaches the maximum speed allowed very carefully. So don’t happily give full power out of the tight bend, but pick up speed with moderate acceleration. And brakes as little as possible. If it has to be and the motorcycle is equipped accordingly, ideally with the highest recuperation level. The stated ranges can only be achieved with such a driving style.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Energica / Jesus Robledo Blanco

E-motorcycles, which cost well over 20,000 and 30,000 euros, are rarely purchased as pure city vehicles. The Energica Eva Ribelle costs from 27,302 euros.

In city traffic, all three models, currently the spearhead of two-wheeled electric mobility, can travel over 200 kilometers, the LiveWire even 242 kilometers, the Zero 228 kilometers. However, most likely electric motorcycles of this caliber will that cost between 23,730 and 33,477 euros, seldom purchased as pure city vehicles. The rural road ranges and consumption values ​​are therefore more relevant. With occasional pleasurable use of the ability to accelerate, Zero, Energica and Harley can only travel between 110 and about 130 kilometers there. The Sunday exit is either very short or time-consuming because of the reloading, because CCS fast charging stations are still rare. Only at such express charging stations can a Ribelle be recharged to 80 percent in the course of a half-hour coffee break.

In everyday operation, therefore, not only the battery capacity and the discipline of the driver are of great importance, but also the electronic management of the available resources. With a remaining charge of around 20 percent, the Ribelle sensibly only allows crawl speed, while the LiveWire allows full load to come to a standstill and, moreover, the Calculation of the remaining range with the abacus seems to undertake. Because although the tester had already driven several kilometers with full power when determining the maximum consumption, he stopped after 18 kilometers with the alleged remaining range of 40 kilometers.

The electric motorcycles still have some development needs in the Coordination of the chassis despite clearly recognizable progress. This doesn’t just apply to suspension and damping. Head tester Karsten Schwers puts it this way: “The established motorcycle manufacturers optimize their chassis by a few millimeters more or less caster or wheelbase, move engines a little further back and up, while with the electric vehicles it is still mainly about accommodating everything in a motorcycle that an electric drive needs.”

You can understand that, you can ignore it with an e-motorcycle, which is mainly used as a “commuting bike” is used in radii of a maximum of 60 kilometers because it can hardly be used otherwise according to the state of the art. When it comes to longer distances, the tester’s conclusion reads similarly to the first real test of a Zero SR in 2014: electric motorcycles are making progress, but still have a long way to go before they can cover long distances. Incidentally, this SR already managed 156 kilometers of rural roads in eco mode in 2014 with an 11.4 kWh battery. And as long as the unfavorable relationship between capacity and weight cannot be improved, in other words: the energy density of the batteries does not increase significantly, this order of magnitude will not change.

Dr. Interview with Falko Schappacher from the battery research center MEET

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

MEET / University of Munster

Dr. Falko Schappacher, commercial and technical director of the battery research center MEET. The newly established Munster Electrochemical Energy Technology (MEET), like other scientific institutions, is dedicated to industrial production research in the field of battery cell production.

Can Germany catch up on the lead of China, Japan and Korea in battery cell technology??

Germany recognized the importance of energy storage technologies for the transport and energy transition in good time and has specifically promoted research and development of energy storage systems such as lithium-ion batteries since the mid-2000s. This has resulted in Germany now taking one of the top positions in research in a global comparison. Cooperation between foreign manufacturers such as CATL from China or Northvolt from Sweden with VW or Tesla show, however, with their investments and the establishment of production sites in Germany, that it is already possible to produce battery cells in this country at a cost that covers them.

What is the biggest challenge in this?

These are likely to be the high investment costs, the relatively long amortization phases and the high demands on versatility. New developments and requirements, for example in cell chemistry, must be able to be quickly adopted into large-scale production. In addition, the manufacturers from Asia have many years of experience in large-scale production as well as established production processes that are trimmed for cost efficiency and are continuously being developed.

Which development goals are set??

The battery cell is a multi-component system and production is a highly complex process. So there are many areas in which we are continuously working to advance the battery cell system. The focus is always on safety, energy density and performance. High energy density makes it possible to accommodate as much range as possible per volume of installation space. Power is especially important for fast charging and – in relation to the motorcycle – of course in the super sports segment. The development of solid-state batteries is also one of the greatest goals for the future. This technology enables greater ranges than with lithium-ion batteries. However, before these advantages can be used in large-scale production at affordable costs, the developers still have to master a number of challenges in both cell and production technology. This represents a great opportunity for Germany as a production location.

Are there any fundamental differences between drive batteries for motorcycles and cars??

The requirements for the battery cells are basically the same. For tourers, a battery will be preferred that is designed for energy density and thus for a long range. With super athletes, on the other hand, more emphasis will be placed on high power output. These requirements and concepts also exist in the automotive sector. In cars, there is a trend towards ever larger capacities per individual battery cell. With a motorcycle, this is only possible to a limited extent due to the correspondingly large cell format. In addition, the battery system voltages differ significantly: in cars it is mostly 400 volts, with some manufacturers up to 800 volts system voltage. This is significantly lower for motorcycles.

Interview with the board of the electricity works Schonau

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

EWS Elektrizitatswerke Schonau eG

Sebastian Sladek, board member of the Schonau electricity works. Alongside Naturstrom AG and Greenpeace Energy, the Electricity Works Schonau Cooperative (EWS) is one of the most important independent green electricity providers in Germany. EWS operates nationwide and supplies electricity that is 100 percent generated from renewable energies.

Sebastian Sladek, board member of the Schonau electricity works. The Electricity Works Schonau Cooperative (EWS) is one of the most important independent green electricity providers in Germany, alongside Naturstrom AG and Greenpeace Energy. EWS operates nationwide and supplies electricity that is 100 percent generated from renewable energies.

See electric drive as the ultimate wisdom for the mobile future?

In matters “sustainable mobility” we should bet on a mix. That means, in addition to electric drive, fuel cells and hydrogen, which can play a particularly good role in local public transport. With a motorcycle, however, the electric drive has the decisive advantage that the driver can indulge in his hobby almost noiselessly.

The CO2 savings with combustion motorcycles are relatively low. Do not eat up the sometimes very CO2-intensive electricity generation again, the environmental advantage?

If you refuel with coal, it may be like that. For climate protection, however, electrification of the mobility sector only makes sense if the electricity required for this is generated from renewable sources. The construction of regenerative generation plants must therefore be stepped up significantly. But then applies “Small cattle also make crap” – quite apart from the significantly reduced driving noise.

How can motorcyclists recognize sustainably generated electricity, and where can they get it? “refuel”?

The current system is in fact still not very transparent in this regard. Basically, one can assume that green charging current will be refueled at almost every column, because only then will one receive a subsidy. At the same time, there is also a wide range of quality and usefulness with green electricity – so all that remains is to invest time in researching the respective provider. Incidentally, the EWS are currently establishing the cooperative together with other green electricity companies “Loading green” for the expansion and operation of charging infrastructure.

Does the green electricity actually arrive at the charging station??

As with the supply of household customers, the delivery of charging stations takes place on the basis of contractual agreements. The prerequisite is the feeding of the requested green electricity into the European network, which is then allocated to the charging station via commercial contracts. Because physically, the electricity always comes from the nearest generation plant, which unfortunately can still be a nuclear or coal-fired power plant. A physical green electricity refueling can be represented, for example, with your own photovoltaic system and in-house charging point. The electrician would also become a power plant operator.

Is sustainably generated electricity more expensive? If so, by how much?

The price range for charging stations of around 30 to 70 cents / kWh is enormous, but the purchase of high-quality green electricity is of no consequence. Instead, the main drivers are the costs of hardware, IT processes and a high-performance network connection, although economies of scale can be expected for the first two in the future. With regard to network connection costs, e-bikers, but also every household customer, can only expect an improvement from a reform of taxes, surcharges and fees. An excursus into the depths of the energy industry is certainly going too far at this point.

More than 15,500 km purely electrically in 6 months

Ernst Naf (57) describes the experiences with his Zero SR / F Premium from the personal kilometer marathon from spring to autumn 2020. With a lot of fun driving, but without producing CO2 and noise.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Ernst Naf

The Swiss Ernst Naf (57) rides an electric motorcycle out of conviction. How this came about is a very unusual story.

Prehistory: My younger brother Willi has been riding a motorcycle for decades, currently a BMW R 1200 RT. Occasionally he asked if that wasn’t something for me too. Although it would have appealed to me, I wanted to avoid polluting the environment just for fun. Nevertheless, I wondered whether there might not be a fundamental solution to the problem. I then saw on the Internet that there really are fully-fledged electric motorcycles. But oha, at these prices I closed the chapter for the time being. A few months later, the interest in electric bikes lured me back to network research.

In November 2019 I went to Milan to the EICMA to see my dream motorcycle, a Zero SR / F, and to get a taste of the motorcycle world in general. A month later I found one at a dealer in Frauenfeld a demonstration model at a significantly reduced price of 17,300 euros with 3,700 kilometers on the speedometer – and struck. At the end of March 2020, the dealer delivered the machine to me shortly before the Corona lockdown from Frauenfeld to Basel. I took quite a risk: Because without ever having ridden a motorcycle myself, I didn’t know if I would have fun with it. In addition to the high acquisition costs, there were also expenses for all the protective equipment and a lot more.

And of course I had to learn to ride a motorcycle first. This is how it works in Switzerland: If you have a driver’s license and are over 25 years of age, you only need to show an eye test, to get a learner’s license with it. This allowed me to drive the SR / F directly in traffic without any further requirements. However, within four months you have to complete twelve hours of the basic course. Thanks to the basic course, the validity of the learner’s license was extended by another year. During this time I had to pass a so-called maneuver test (alone) and a road test with an expert as a pillion passenger. At the end of May 2020, I completed the twelve-hour basic course, and on August 4th I passed the road test straight away. By then I had already driven almost exactly 10,000 kilometers.

Inventory outlook for two-wheeled electromobility

Ernst Naf

This is how it works in Switzerland: If you have a driver’s license and are over 25 years of age, you only need to show an eye test to get a learner’s license.

What kind of experience did Ernst Naf gain? Read it yourself: The Zero SR / F Premium has a subsequently built-in Rapid Charger, which allows a maximum charging power of 12 kW; in practice it is about 11.6 kW. The drive battery has a maximum output of 82 kW for a certain period of time, the continuous output is 40 kW. I would have bought a less motorized machine, but wanted ABS, cornering ABS and traction control for safety reasons. So I am now equipped with so much power, which is not a disadvantage. I usually drive in eco mode. That’s enough, the torque is still excellent. On passes, when I have a lame duck in front of me, I switch to street mode in order to be able to overtake really quickly.

Most of the 15,500 kilometers that I have driven since the end of March 2020 have been covered in my free time. In between, however, I also ride my motorbike – that’s what we Swiss like to call a motorcycle – from Basel to Olten to work. I have to cross the Jura, for example over the Hauensteinpass. On the way back, I like to do great things “Detours” over the hilly Basel area (canton Baselland). Until I got my driver’s license at the beginning of August 2020, I was only allowed to drive in Switzerland. In the meantime I’ve discovered the Black Forest for myself, where I’ve already driven around 2,000 kilometers. I have not yet ridden multi-day tours. The longest excursion was 390 kilometers and lasted about ten hours, with stops in between, of course. I’ve completed a number of smaller passes several times, and the Klausen Pass was the first “right one” Alpine pass. But I’ve only just started.

In my experience, the range at fairly warm temperatures (around 22 degrees) corresponds pretty well to the manufacturer’s information. Higher speeds gnaw at the range because of the exponentially growing air resistance. As a complete beginner, I am cautious at the beginning, in other words: rather slowly driven, which was evident in the range. Even over land in the hilly Basel area with many narrow roads, I have extrapolated several times to achieve a range of 250 km. Extrapolated, because you normally recharge before the battery is completely empty.

Now, with faster driving or on wider roads – even if they are winding like in the Black Forest – the range is a little smaller. but There is a very well developed charging network in the Black Forest in particular. You can feel colder temperatures around ten degrees, which reduce the range. It takes some experience to be able to assess that. If you drive off on a cool morning in summer and look at the predicted range, you can see that this increases with increasing air warming or solar radiation on the battery. Of course I would like to have even more range. But when I bought my Zero, I knew what I was getting myself into.

I consciously accepted that the loading would have to be planned and would take a while. I have never had serious difficulties finding a charging station before. So at the beginning of a tour I had to carefully clarify the situation and was somewhat limited in my spontaneity. A few weeks ago, however, I managed to feed the important (tens of thousands) charging options into my navigation system as POIs. Basically, finding a charging station is one thing. The second question then is whether it is accessible to the user. I now have five different charging network cards, to be able to activate charging stations. Thanks to mutual roaming, I am currently well covered in Germany and Switzerland.

When it was wet there were no problems – not even during and after a prolonged heavy thunderstorm on the motorway, where I drove 120 km / h in between, so that the risk of water penetration was increased. The fact that there were no cooling problems is probably due to my driving style, which at most really challenges the engine for a very short time. Ambitious “Electric racer” are more likely to buy an Energica, because it has an active cooling system that can handle long-term high performance better than the purely passive air cooling of a Zero. The advantage of my Zero, on the other hand, is that there is less risk of breakage and there is no need to service the cooling.

As the mileage increased, I did not notice any changes in charging capacity, duration or range. I wouldn’t expect a reduced charging capacity at all, since Zero gives a five-year guarantee with unlimited kilometers or charging cycles. When I charge at home, the electricity comes from Industrielle Werken Basel (IWB), whose electricity comes 100 percent from renewable energy sources. I have installed a bicycle bell on my Zero SR / F in addition to the existing loud horn. I can use it to draw the attention of pedestrians, but especially cyclists, who cannot hear me when I come from behind, to me in a not too abrupt way.

Part of the high acquisition costs are offset by the lower electricity costs compared to petrol and also partly by lower service costs. The SR / F only has the two brake fluids that need to be changed and an extremely durable electric motor.

My conclusion: The big risk was worth it! I enjoy motorcycling a lot. Drive off quietly in my residential street early in the morning, do not startle any game or annoy the residents when I cruise through the Black Forest and really give it power when exiting a curve. The fact that water or solar energy allows me to move forward makes this fun possible at all. At least for me. But I don’t want to say anything against drivers of conventional motorcycles and I also like to do a little tour with representatives of the combustion community. No problem.

opinion poll

Which electric concept on two wheels is the right one for you?

Voted 9061 times

If so, then only a powerful electric motorcycle.

I can imagine an electric scooter for commuting and city traffic.

A small, agile electric moped is definitely fun.

None at all.


It has to be turned down vigorously on the price screw. In terms of equal treatment between four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles, a purchase bonus for electric motorcycles would only be fair – why is that possible in Austria and not in this country? And there is still room for improvement in terms of range and charging infrastructure. Last but not least: The production processes for traction batteries must be optimized. Starting with the sometimes unacceptable extraction of raw materials, very high water and energy requirements and high CO2 emissions during production. And the electricity from the socket must of course be generated sustainably.

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