Tesla motors made the Roadster and Model S, a small sports car and a sedan respectively, both of which are fully battery powered. They're now working on the Model X, a fully battery-powered SUV. The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are other examples of electric cars.

But those are all cars. Is anyone working on a battery-powered motorcycle? (a real one, highway capable, similar carry weight, etc.) Is there something about motorcycles that make this more challenging than with cars?


3 Answers 3


Yes, there are a few

Zero Motorcycles have quite a few models that are available for purchase right now. They are up to 67HP and a 197 mile range.

Harley Davidson has a model that should be released soon. They are touring the country with them and allowing people to test drive them at the moment while they further develop their technology.

I would imagine that the increased difficulty, if any, would revolve around smaller components packed into a tighter package. As well, I would imagine that cooling would be a simpler task. The Tesla batteries are buried in the undercarriage whereas motorcycles are more exposed thus allowing for a simpler cooling solutions with fins for cooling the batteries and electric motor more exposed to the environment.

Here is an image of the Harley Davidson electric motorcycle

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Here is an image of the Zero Model S electric motorcycle

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Both are viable vehicles. I have ridden the Zero S at Laguna Seca when they attended an event to promote their vehicle. It was very quick and handled quite well. It even emulated engine braking with electromagnetic resistance used for regenerative braking.

  • 1
    It even emulated engine breaking with electromagnetic resistance. So it has regenerative braking? Sounds like its fully equipped.
    – DrZ214
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 0:18
  • @DrZ214 That is correct. On Zero MC's at least. I've updated the response for clarity on the regenerative breaking. Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 0:31
  • +1 - but regenerative braking is pretty much the most important feature for a battery electric vehicle, no surprise here.
    – Agent_L
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 7:56
  • Agreed. It's essential. Ty for the reminder. Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 7:57

In addition to Zero and Harley there's Brammo. Due to their light weight electric motorcycles compare better as far as range their Internal combustion counterparts than electric cars do. Most will do >100 miles per charge, conventional bikes usually do 100 to 200 miles. Electric motorcycles have managed a 100 mph lap of the 37.75 mile Isle of Man course.


Yes, Zero Motorcycle for one. They had several at the last Harley Davidson show up in Phoenix Arizona.
These things are fast!
Great acceleration.
And very good range.
Just do not make the sound of a Harley.
They told us at the demo, that there are a few actually used by a couple of police departments.

  • I am hoping to make there electric demo days on the 16th up in Scottsdale Arizona. Maybe get to ride one. Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 0:16

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