ZERO making an electric bicycle?

Tom Wilson

New Member
The Japanese fellow that started Zero Motorcycle and then sold has started an electric cargo bike company called NTS Works. The bikes are not only beautiful but some have integrated solar panels on the cargo area.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome Ravi, thanks! Some of points that caught my attention are quoted below, I especially like that they can rebuild the battery pack for 1/2 the cost of a new one!
The NTS SunCycle is possibly the most efficient vehicle on earth. It is essentially the NTS LockerCycle with a big highly efficient solar panel. Technically the NTS SunCycle has exceeded our expectations. We have tested the power produced from the solar panel and we were able to exceed the rated power of 60 watts. That is more power than you use with the power setting on low...

We use front wheel drive because we wanted to build a maintenance free internal gear hub and belt drive in the rear. When you have front wheel drive, you want to put the cargo over the front wheel to get more traction when the bicycle is loaded with cargo...

Lifetime rebuildable battery technology, we're the only company that offers to rebuild and upgrade our batteries at any time for half the cost of a new battery, it's not a 1 or 2 year warranty like everyone else. This is for life...
 

Aushiker

Active Member
That is an interesting looking bike for sure. I do wonder how realistic the solar power is in a real world situation.

Andrew
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, me too... They say it ouputs 60 volts which is enough to power the bike on low? So is that constant if the sun is shining? Would be very cool to ride that thing around on low without having to charge, how cool!

nts-sun-cycle-solar-ebike.jpg
 

Aushiker

Active Member
Yeah, me too... They say it ouputs 60 volts which is enough to power the bike on low? So is that constant if the sun is shining? Would be very cool to ride that thing around on low without having to charge, how cool!
If it actually powered the bike whilst riding that would be a different "hot" way to go ...

Andrew
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
This IS a self-powered bike, but the solar array is huge.]
Wow... That's pretty awesome! It's amazing what you can do with photovoltaic solar energy. I wonder how much those solar panels cost, I saw the URL at the end, it would be cool if they sold a trailer kit that was smaller and just charged the battery, something like the RideKick but with solar panels. Thanks for sharing @George S. :)
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
I will call my poker buddy who is the SVP of Operations at Zero to see what is public and what is not disclosed.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
http://www.fool.com/investing/gener...harley-davidson-wont-mass-produce-an-ele.aspx

The motivation may be poor sales:

"There's no doubt Harley's LiveWire is cool, and because the power is instantly available to the rider, it can go from zero to 60 mph in just four seconds. But there's only a limited market for them. Here in the U.S., Zero Motorcycles, Terra Motors, and Mission Motors are all selling e-bikes today, just not many of them. Zero, which is is the industry leader, is expecting to sell just 2,400 bikes this year. "
 
D

Deleted member 803

Guest
I have often called Zero Motorcycles a battery research and development company. Motorcycles are just the test vehicle. Many VC's and equity funds funding battery tech to further the science for broad applicability. Electric motorcycles, at least today, are still a very very nascent market.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I like your perspective. I could never articulate that. I have considered Zero for the longest time. I never could accept the battery limits. Neil Saiki claims battery energy density will improve 15% this year. That is fantastic, but not enough for me to buy one.

I want to kick the gas habit. I run to the store and carry 15-35 pounds of groceries 2 miles. My hills are so steep that foot travel seems like the most effective solution.

I plan to by a bicycle with proper gearing. I am going to try like hell to pedal up an 18% grade. I am reluctant because I know I can run up that hill faster than I can pedal. I plan to add a BBS02, if I suffer.

I raced a woman bicyclist up a 7.5% grade recently. I ran past her at 9mph. She lagged further behind as we approached the top.

One day I will figure out how to make electric bikes work the way I want them to. It just seems so overdue!
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Here's the problem, yes its batteries, but really its still about targeted markets, not creating a viable electric vehicle. Harley does it as a trendy item and like the Zero will be limited production items. Pulling from the same article both you guys quote:
'The riders coming behind Harley's core customer are a very different breed, belonging to one or more of four categories: they're young -- 18 to 34 -- female, black, or Hispanic. You may have noticed Harley starting to cater to this new customer, what it calls its "outreach" customer.'
Zero's not without its own issues; having experienced multiple recalls on their lithium battery packs and sell at a price point much higher than similar performance gas burners. Besides, these units are not bikes! they are DOT controlled licensed motorcycles. With Zero; however, you're working with a company that's primary focus is totally electric vehicles--not the same for Harley. So I expect that Zero will invest more in long term development than Harley. Still, its not a bike, no pedals so why try to make an ebike a motorcycle?
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
How one perceives a motorcycle is hard to resolve. I feel the distinction is so easily blurred, that you can make an electric bicycle appear to be a motorcycle, or at least a moped. Good marketing and product design can be very effective at shaping perception. Steve jobs "reality distortion fields" is a classic example.

To me, any two-wheeled vehicle with a throttle that exceeds 30mph is a motorcycle. Especially, if the throttle overcomes "wobble speed" (9mph) of a gyroscope on a 20% grade. Both motorcycles and bicycles are gyroscopes.

I think Zero entering the eBike market would be more profitable than motorcycles. I think a zero eBike is a very good decision! All the german automobile manufacturers are into it. Even US Ford has branded an eBike! I applaud Ford!
 

Hong

Active Member
I have often called Zero Motorcycles a battery research and development company. Motorcycles are just the test vehicle. Many VC's and equity funds funding battery tech to further the science for broad applicability. Electric motorcycles, at least today, are still a very very nascent market.
I agree with this sentiment, and by the same logic I think of Tesla as a battery company as well. We will be making an ebike with the Bafang motor and the NTS Works battery technology. Hopefully I'll have more to share soon!

Cheers,
Hong