One of the first questions that everyone asks about electric motorcycles is, unsurprisingly, “how far?” Zero Motorcycles offers an entire model line, and each model and variation has a different range. At present, the longest range in the lineup goes to the Zero S and Zero SR ZF13.0 + Power Tank with 197 miles in the city. However, there are a number of options with lesser ranges that offer different benefits for those who only want a motorcycle for getting around town or the city. After all, selecting an electric motorcycle is all about making the best choice for your lifestyle.
To select the motorcycle that best meets your needs, we recommend you see how far you typically ride in a day. Depending on how closely you watch your mileage, the answer may surprise you. According to the US Department of Transportation, the average ‘driver’ travels about 13,476 miles per year. That breaks down to roughly 37 miles on average per day. Once you own a Zero, 37 miles will cost you a whopping 37¢ per day. Did we mention that there’s also no routine powertrain maintenance?
Range is fundamentally dependent on the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) in the motorcycle’s power system. As you charge, you increase the kWh in the power pack and, once fully charged, can achieve the maximum range of your motorcycle. As you ride electric, you’ll find that every time you stop can be an opportunity to top up and go a bit farther. Zero offers several systems to quickly increase the potential range of each motorcycle.
The Zero FX and Zero FXS use modular power packs that allow you to add a second module to your power system that effectively doubles your potential range. You can also swap a discharged power pack for a fresh one in about sixty seconds.
Zero offers a quick charge system that cuts the charge times by as much as 75%.
The Charge Tank effectively triples the on-board charging speed by working with Level 2 charging stations on the popular J1772 standard, reducing typical charge times to 2-3 hours on 2015 and later Zero S, Zero SR, Zero DS and Zero DSR models.
Range varies in electric motorcycles similarly to how it varies in gas motorcycles. However, the big difference between electric and gas is that energy consumption is averaged over a shorter distance on an electric motorcycle. Electric motorcycles are designed for convenient daily recharges versus less frequent and less convenient trips to the gas station. As a result, the same electric motorcycle often yields different ranges from one full recharge to the next.
To generally predict how an electric motorcycle’s range will be affected, you can use the four factors:
By considering each of these factors, you can use specifications such as city, highway or combined ranges as standards to estimate what the motorcycle’s practical range will be under your particular usage case.