Zero Motorcycles is updating its lineup again for 2018, with options for more range, quicker charge times, and free direct-to-consumer software updates.
Year after year, Zero makes upgrades to the battery systems in its electric bikes, and if the claims work out to be true, the machines are becoming significantly more practical for all-around usage, instead of to-work-and-back commuting, with chargers always handy.
Zero typically offers its motorcycles with a smaller or larger battery, and also offers an optional add-on battery (a “Power Tank” in Zero-speak). The 2018 models will be available with a 14.4-kWh battery or a 7.2-kWh battery (except for the DSR and SR models, which only come with the larger battery). Both the larger and smaller batteries can be augmented by this year’s 3.6-kWh Power Tank.
Thanks to its ever-improving battery tech, Zero claims a combination of the larger battery and the Power Tank can give a user a range of over 350 km of city riding, and 180 km of highway riding (at 113 km/h). Of course, the city range is greater since the Zero uses regenerative braking to recharge the batteries in stop-and-go riding. According to its website, “Per hour of charging, a Zero takes you farther than just about any EV in the world.”
Zero also offers an optional quick-charger that increases home charging by as much as 60 per cent, and the “Charge Tank” accessory allows the rider to use Level 2 charging stations, with charge speeds six times faster than the standard wall socket. One hour on the Level 2 charger is supposed to deliver as much as 135 km of city riding range; more details on that here.
All this means means the Zero models still aren’t touring-friendly, but they’re getting a lot more practical for day rides, especially in an area with a decent network of Level 2 chargers.
Of course, the 2018 Zero models will still be very expensive for the average user, despite low running costs of an electric vehicle. The Zero FX starts at $10,995 CAD, and the MSRP for all the other models go up from there. Find a complete listing of models, options, and MSRP at the Zero website.
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