So you wanna ride from New York to Washington, D.C., or Los Angeles to Las Vegas, off one charge of an electric motorcycle?
Scoff all you want, but it's no longer so far-fetched. That's because a team of Swiss students made the Ethec, a beast of a bike that's up for the job. Believe it when we say it only looks like a clunker.
moto (4 images)
The designers, a 16-deep team of design and engineering students in Zurich, outfitted their chassis with lithium ion batteries, 15 kWh capacity and an optimized cooling system, not to mention a front wheel hub system — the idea being that a larger and more efficient conversion of energy (75% of which is dissipated at the front wheel) would help the bike travel farther. And farther, once all the key parts came together, turned out to be 400KM. Or, about 250 miles.
Yet, to wield such long distance brawn, some concessions in design had to be made. A week or two ago we wrote about a motorcycle designed to slice through narrow traffic. The Ethec, with its massive battery, would probably have trouble fitting in a garage.
We’ll stay tuned on more ergonomic prototypes in the near future from these guys, as they (or someone else) may be able to trim the heft down and retain the distance. At the very least, here's hoping they keep that dark-side-of-the-moon color scheme.