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200-hp Voxan Wattman is world's most powerful electric cruiser

12/03/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, On Two Wheels, Europe/EU

Voxan Wattman electric motorcycle

Ever since Venturi principal Gildo Pallanca Pastor scooped up the French motorcycle marque Voxan a few years back, we've wondered how Sacha Lakic - the go-to designer for the Monégasque businessman - would fuse the past products of the brand with its future-oriented electric drivetrain. We now have our answer. The Voxman Wattman has just been revealed at the Paris Motorcycle Show (le Salon de la Moto, for you sophisticated types), and it appears he decided to start from a fresh, clean, mostly-aluminum sheet.

Billed as the world's most powerful electric motorcycle, this muscular cruiser backs that boast with 200 horsepower.

Billed as the world's most powerful electric motorcycle, this muscular cruiser backs up that boast with 200 horsepower which, along with 147.5 pound-feet of torque, is said to accelerate this bulky beast up to 100 km/h (62 miles per hour) in a scant 3.4 seconds. It can hit 160 kph (99.42 mph) in as little as 5.9 seconds. We imagine it hits its 170-kph (105.6-mph) top speed quite soon after that. Considering its hefty 350 kg (771.6) curb weight, that is indeed impressive.

The Wattman isn't all about acceleration, though. Forward motion of it's 18-inch carbon fiber wheels ought to be halted quite quickly, given its Beringer 4D System quadruple disc system up front. The rear suspension also promises to help keep the experience quite civilized and features dual swingarms - each with its own shock - that create a "parallelogram-shaped four-link suspension."

Within the exoskeletal aluminum chassis rests a 12.8-kWh lithium battery, good for journeys of up to 180 kilometers (111.8 miles). That's respectable by today's standards, but its real party trick is its ability to charge to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes when hooked up to a fast charger using a DC Combo II connector, which is the "European quick charge standard," according to Voxam.

The Voxan Wattman will be hand-built at the company's French manufacturing facility on an as-ordered basis. The price has not been disclosed but we would venture that if you can't afford to fly over to Monaco for a test ride and maybe while away a few hours at a Monte Carlo blackjack table, you probably can't afford this either. Further details await in the official press release below, accompanied by video featuring messieurs Pastor and Lakic effusing (in French) about their creation on the show floor.

Continue reading 200-hp Voxan Wattman is world's most powerful electric cruiser

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Mission Motorcycles announces all-electric limited edition RS and R sportbikes

06/04/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: EV/Plug-in, On Two Wheels

Ever since Mission Motors first showed off its electric motorcycle technology demonstrator, the Mission R, a chorus of would-be riders have strongly suggested that it be made available for sale. That advice has finally been taken to heart with the creation of a new entity, Mission Motorcycles, and the announcement of the Mission RS and Mission R (above).

It makes total sense. Building and selling electric motorcycles was, after all, the underlying premise of the company at its founding. When its original Yves Behar design, the Mission One, didn't achieve enough demand, however, the company switched gears (as it were) and decided to concentrate on drivetrain development. It was during this time it built the original Mission R that this future product will be based on. Read on for all the details.

Continue reading Mission Motorcycles announces all-electric limited edition RS and R sportbikes

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Elio moves to make $6,800, 84-mpg three-wheeler more real

05/11/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: MPG, On Two Wheels

elio motors three-wheeler

Tell a hip-hop fan you've got a vehicle with three-wheel motion and they'll think of low-riders, '64 Impalas and hydraulics. Michigan-based Elio Motors has another idea, and the Detroit News says it's a few beats closer to reality.

Elio, which a few months ago made news when it agreed to buy an old General Motors plant in Shreveport, LA, has just announced 20 key suppliers - groups like IAV, Altair Engineering and Comau - for its upcoming three-wheeled vehicle. Elio is sticking with its previous estimate of starting production on the vehicle by next summer with the help of about 1,500 workers at the Louisiana factory. The company says the vehicle will have a $6,800 base price, get 84 miles per gallon, come with an eight-gallon gas tank and will be able to go from 0-60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds. Pulled by the two front wheels, of course. Power will be supplied by a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine that delivers 70 horsepower.

Earlier this year, the company started taking $100 reservations on the car, which will come with a three-year, 36,000 mile warranty. Elio also said it expects the vehicle to receive five-star crash ratings.

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WA state representative argues bikes pollute more than cars, backpedals

03/08/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Green Culture, Transportation Alternatives, Legislation and Policy, On Two Wheels

WA state representative Ed Orcutt - headshotIsn't bicycling supposed to reduce carbon emissions and free up traffic jam congestion? Well, it's actually making matters worse, argues a state representative from Washington. "You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car," claims Ed Orcutt (R - Kalama, WA).

The state rep reportedly explained the situation in a letter to a constituent. Said constituent had questioned the wisdom of a new Washington bike tax that the legislature is considering as part of a large transportation package. According to Orcutt, a cyclist "has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider."

For any bike riding activists already annoyed with Orcutt, he goes even further: Orcutt argues people who ride bikes do not pay for the roads when they ride. So, they're getting a free ride and polluting the atmosphere while doing it.

Orcutt would eventually back down from his bizarre "bike riding produces pollution" diatribe. In an email to Seattle Bike Blog, he wrote, "First of all, let me apologize for the carbon emissions line of an e-mail which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community. It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles."

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Win a Pedego Classic Cruiser electric bike

12/06/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Etc., On Two Wheels

Our friends at Translogic get to have all the fun, whether that's cruising around on battery-powered skateboards or in solar electric vehicles. Luckily, they are also people who like to share, and are currently offering readers (well, technically, people who "like" them on Facebook) the chance to ride away in a Pedego Classic Cruiser electric bike.

We don't spent too much time (just a little) covering electric bikes here on the Autoblog and AutoblogGreen, but we're certainly big fans. The bicycle is already the most efficient vehicle we know of, and adding a battery - in this case, a 36-volt rechargeable pack - and motor to the package can easily encourage more people to push pedals in circles instead of just up and down, if you get our drift. Plus, the forward-set pedals of a cruiser bike always make us feel like we're headed to the beach, which is impressive for some metal tubes and rubber tires.

If you'd like the Pedego bike for your very own, go ahead and try your luck. There's no cost to enter, other than clicking here and showing Translogic some Facebook attention.

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