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It seems the Tesla-equivalent in the motorcycle world is Zero (by looking at other questions), so I'll focus on this brand for this question (but feel free to correct me here).

Can I charge a Zero motorcycle by just connecting the battery to an AC socket independently?

The motivation of this question is because if you live in a city, it may be hard to find a place to live where you can store the motorbike next to an AC socket whose power can be billed to you properly.

Most of the motorbike owners in my city just let it sleep outside, not even inside a garage. That's a no-no for electric motorbikes, which normally require a night time worth-of-charge. If I could just remove the battery, take it to my apartment, charge it, and come back later, then I could let it sleep in the street as well.

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As expected, my research shows that the Zero has an on-board charging device. This is common in the electric vehicle industry.

I discovered that the Zero web site sells what they call off-board charging modules. This is likely a duplicate of the electronics contained within the motorcycle, allowing one to charge the battery pack when the battery pack is removed from the motorcycle.

off board charger

I'm not surprised to see that it is US$600 for this unit. EV battery chargers are usually pricey. I suspect this is due to the high capacity and high safety requirements of these devices.

EDIT: Follow up "research" found an owner's manual for the Zero class of motorcycles, in which a reference is made to the off-board charger, but that it connects to the motorcycle, not to an external (removed) battery. The manual has no reference to removing the battery for off-board charging.

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    and can the batteries be removed in all models I guess? – knocte May 4 '18 at 10:01
  • @knocte yes, no and with difficulty... – Solar Mike May 4 '18 at 11:16
  • yes, and no?? – knocte May 4 '18 at 11:26
  • @knocte some models of bike yes easy, some no as in not at all and some with difficulty etc... – Solar Mike May 4 '18 at 11:35
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Only the Zero FX and FXS have removable batteries. The battery packs in the larger bikes are not removable, and they'd be way too heavy to carry even if you could remove them. If you want to be able to take the battery with you and charge it indoors, the FX or FXS fit the bill.

It's worth noting that you don't have to charge every night. I own a Zero S 12.5 and I also don't have an AC socket in my shared carport. The battery is big enough that I can drive ~80 miles without needing to charge. I have a 3rd-party fast charger installed, so I can leave it at a nearby EV charging station for an hour or so and charge it up when needed. It's not as convenient as charging in my garage, but it works.

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