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Zero MMX
The U.S. Marines are getting a little more electric.
Zero Motorcycles

Aspects of American society are embracing green technology, and the U.S. military is no different. That’s encompassed everything from biofuels to electric vehicles — and now, it seems, the Marines are getting very specific when it comes to the latter. As Jeff Schogol reports at Task & Purpose, Bravo Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion is experimenting with using electric motorcycles for reconnaissance operations.

The motorcycle in question is Zero Motorcycles‘ MMX, a 275-pound electric bike with a range of up to almost three hours of recon riding and a top speed of 85 miles per hour.

As Bravo Company’s commander told Task & Purpose, this initiative is being explored with an eye towards missions in the Pacific theater. In comments made to the publication, Captain Jonathan Bender addressed how larger vehicles are “not going to be able to maneuver as intended in dense jungle environments” — hence the decision to explore these smaller vehicles that are designed for a variety of terrain.

In the same interview, Captain Bender also addressed the range of options available to the Marines with these bikes. “The bikes can be utilized as a screening force, an early warning for a larger convoy, and to gain access into a position of advantage for overwatch,” Bender told Task & Purpose.

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There’s an additional tactical advantage for these electric bikes as well — as Schogol notes, the Zero MMX has a lower heat signature than other vehicles that a recon company might use. It’s a fascinating blend of the pragmatic and the environmental — and it begs the question of whether this program might be expanded in the future.

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