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Electric motorcycle prices to drop

Zero electric motorcycle prices
Zero SR

As battery technology improves, electric motorcycle prices are bound to come down and the move is being led by Zero Motorcycles.

The American company has announced it is slashing the prices of all of its offerings by about 10% which is as much as $1350 in the US.

They say this is due to falling battery costs and increasing battery energy density. It comes shortly after the company received a $1m grant from the California Energy Commission to continue developing its electric motorcycles.

However, the price drop is unlikely to be reflected in Australia just yet because of the current rising value of the US dollar.

New importer, Jeff Gleeson, who also distributes Gas Gas, Christini AWD bikes and AJP motorcycles, says the reduction in the US pricing is “much appreciated”.

“However all it does is partly reduce the negative effects of a rapidly depreciating Australian dollar and an earlier increase in our purchase price when the 2015s were released with the introduction of ABS brakes and Showa suspension front and rear,” he says.

“The US-to-Australian dollar rate is killing us at the moment; no two ways about it. I’d like nothing better than to advertise a price drop, but we will need a significant change in the value of the Australian dollar before that can happen.”

Zero motorcycles electric motorcycles
Zero motorcycles

While Zero has been the biggest seller of quality electric motorcycles, they now face stiff competition from the mainstream motorcycle manufacturers.

Polaris recently bought their main competitor, Brammo, and will release a production Victory Charger electric bike later this year. Harley Davidson has shown its LiveWire concept bike around the world and will release a production version in two to three years.

Meanwhile, Yamaha, BMW and KTM are selling electric motorcycles and scooters and the president of Ducati was rumoured to have ridden an electric conversion bike recently that made him seriously consider electric power.

However, the biggest hurdle to consumers is no longer range and recharging times which have significantly improved in the past year, but price.

But Jeff says ownership costs need to be considered, rather than just initial price.

“When people are looking to purchase a Zero, they know it’s not a cheap bike,” says Jeff.

“They accept they are purchasing new technology now instead of fuel, oil, air filters, oil filters, gasket kits, engine rebuilds, etc over the life of a conventional bike. When these normal costs are considered over a period of time, the Zeros are not expensive at all, and actually represent very good value for money.”

  1. Nice to read that a little pricing readjustment is taking place on electric bikes from one manufacturer. Aside from the initial capital expenditure, one needs to consider the battery pack replacement costs – which are at the present time, not cheap by any means. The reality is that the current crop of European, American deigned and manufactured electric vehicles/bikes cost way above the respective price points that they should command. Also electric vehicles are not all that green, when one factors in the materials and quantities used. Add in the environmental costs for the source of the electricity and its true cost then factor in the environmental cost of disposal at the end of the product life-cycle. China folds greater than some 90-95% (from memory) of all earth’s known precious metals, and what or how the Chinese go about obtaining those metals (used for battery production purposes amongst other high end applications). The real cost to our planet is likely much higher than some vested interest groups suggest.

    Notwithstanding that range limitation is very real and one of the greatest stumbling blocks aside from the cost of acquisition IMO. Having owned a few locally made e-bikes/e-scooters in mainland China and ridden more than once to the very edge of the scooter/ebikes range limitation I’d not pay the entry cost for admission with the likes of ZERO et al.

    The day that these manufacturers are able to guarantee a range equal to the majority of ICE motorcycles/scooters at 300km+ and a reasonable battery life-cycle with a realistic MSRP, then I could be interested.

    Meanwhile my ICE motorcycles and scooters (XT1200Z, AN650L4, AN650K7, CF650TR, XVS1100AC & G650GS) win the ‘pick me, pick me’ competition in the garage when I want to go for a ride 50-100km+. Even when I think I might not ride far, it’s a better value proposition for me to take one of the ICE bikes. My ebike (AU$300 that has a range of 50km) gets the nod when I want to ride the 5km to work if I don’t want to cycle on my fold-up Dahon Courser with front and rear suspension.

    I realise that R&D costs money, as does must other components and interests in the majority of foreign business models… but I compare the MSRP of ZERO to the likes of this for a fraction of the cost. Pretty hard to justify the price point of the ZERO and other foreign (EU/USA) ebikes, to my wallet…

    Just saying…


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