Volta Electric Motorcycle. A New Contender. Probably Not In The US.

I guess I would not write this post if I was not this week traveling in Europe… The fastest growing segment of Electric Vehicles is not cars, but motorcycles. Europe and Asia, because of the way cities were built and grown, with their inherent almost 24h/day traffic congestion, make the current offering (limited miles and speed) acceptable for short commutes.

For now, and not surprisingly, more manufacturers in Europe than in America are seeing huge market opportunities in green vehicles. The latest offering available in 2012, with an aesthetic that I qualify a cross between Scooter and Sport Bike, is from a Spanish company called Volta offering 3 models in the 35 HP, 45 mph (70 km/h) all electric range. Pricing? About $10,000 (€7,000.) For this type of silent performance? My opinion: it’s too little power and range to interest the vast majority of Americans commuting for work. But in Europe, supposedly, there is a waiting list to get one delivered in Q2 of 2012…

8 Responses to “Volta Electric Motorcycle. A New Contender. Probably Not In The US.”

  1. 1 Matt Nov 29th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Styling & price above power and performance. Sound familiar? =)

  2. 2 cafesportytc Nov 29th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    wouldnt get me to work…. thats for sure

  3. 3 Dave Blevins Nov 29th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Just a reminder about green vehicles, since more than 50 percent worldwide ( over 75 percent in USA ) of electricity comes from coal, a total electric vehicle is in actuality a fossil fuel burning vehicle. If you factor in the horribly anti-green nuclear power plants providing electricity and the added nastiness of lithium batteries, you have a wonderfully awful combination of disposal nightmares.
    I’m not bagging on new technology or electric powered vehicles, just don’t consider them “greener” than any other fossil fuel powered machine, they aren’t.

  4. 4 Mark Nov 30th, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Hey Dave,

    You are wrong on a lot of your information.

    1) 49% of US electricity comes from coal, not 70%

    2) 41% of worldwide power comes from coal

    3) Lithium batteries are non-hazardous waste.

    4) Nuclear power plants are extremely green.

    5) Electric vehicles produce 50-80% LESS pollution per mile traveled in the USA compared to a gasoline powered car. That is including the % of our electricity that comes from coal.

    I don’t think you are bagging on new technology, you just don’t know what you are talking about. The above are the real facts.

  5. 5 James McBride Nov 30th, 2011 at 6:02 am

    @Dave, I’d have to disagree there. Modern lithium-ion batteries are non-toxic and 100% recyclable.

    Using the current power grid gives us the option to slowly evolve away from diminishing fossil fuel resources using our pre-existing power lines and infrastructure. The switch to renewable electric won’t happen over night, it’ll be a slow but steady movement.

  6. 6 Moore Sensible Products Nov 30th, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I’ve never ridden an electric bike, but in the 80’s I re-built an electric powered Ford Escort that my employer (a Motorcraft battery distributor) purchased from Wisconsin Electric.

    It had a 28hp (if I remember correctly) electric motor mated up to the Escort’s stock 5 speed trans-axle. It would run 55 comfortably, but the range was terrible with battery technology of that time. It’d go about a hundred miles on a full charge IF you took advantage of the regenerative braking.

    The eerily silent, instant torque made it a blast to drive. It was a lot more fun than what most of you would think. I’d love to have a go at an electric bike, especially with today’s technology..

  7. 7 jony5 Dec 1st, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I have 2 electric bikes, an urban one which you stand up on like a BMX, fun like all get up, and a scooter like one, these have put the fun back into summer riding and are the next best thing since sliced bread, my opinion, once you hear and feel a hub motor pull your carcass with ease, you will dislike the ICE motor in your motorcycle every time you start it and smell it – petrol literally stinks like hell when burnt, an olfactory chemical fact. Clean air smells good.

  8. 8 nuno maroco Dec 4th, 2011 at 7:19 am

    Very good news, diversity is good.

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Cyril Huze