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Two-wheelers under power

Man on e-motorbike, leaning into a curve

No typical engine noise, no popping misfires: not only thatElectric cars, electrically powered motorcycles will also be an integral part of our roads in the future! Although it isBattery technologyThe motorcycle sector is not yet fully developed, but electric mobility on two wheels is possible thanks to innovative technology andFreedom from emissions extremely promising. We provide information about the advantages of electric motorcycles. We also show which models you can currently find on the market and what the forecasts for sporty, dynamic transportation on two wheels look like.

From class L3e onwards we speak of e-motorcycles or electric motorcycles with a top speed of 45km/h. A distinction is made here according to the power of the engine and the resulting top speed. Accordingly, you must have a valid driving license. The A1 (or B196) driving license is required for motorcycles up to 11 kW and a maximum speed of 70 km/h to 100 km/h. Motorcycles up to 35 kW require an A2 driving license. For all more powerful motorcycles over 35 kW, a class A driving license is mandatory, with which you can of course also drive all other motorcycles in class L3e. If an additional sidecar is in use, vehicle class L4e applies. The motorcycles are registered via the regional road traffic office. To do this, you should apply in advance to theInsurancean EVB number.Helmet requirementis of course also given here. It is important to ensure an optimal fit and that the helmets comply with the ECE standard that is uniform in Europe.


From the beginnings of the electric motorcycle to modern battery-powered machines

Electric motorcycles are two-wheelers powered by oneElectric motorare driven. The beginnings of the electric motorcycle go back to the late 19th century, when Bolton (1895) and Libbey (1897) filed the first patents for electric bicycles in the USA. At the same time, the first electrically powered two-wheelers were developed in Europe - primarily for track cycling. Shortly before the turn of the century, both electric tandems and electric three-seaters were not uncommon in Germany. However, the further development of petrol engines increasingly replaced the less powerful e-two-wheeler.

The Electrocyclette was introduced in Lyon in 1928, with a range of around 30 km that exceeded all previous models.

In the 1940s, the Belgian manufacturer Socovel established the Socovel electric scooter. TheRangeof speeds of up to 30 km/he-scooters, the three 6-voltbatteries powered, was already around 50 km. In the following decades, electric two-wheelers were repeatedly developed as prototypes, although they have not yet gone into series production.

Against the backdrop of the first oil crisis, the French manufacturer Motobécane brought another e-scooter model onto the market in 1972, the Mobylette. Unlike the Solo Electra produced the following year, the Mobylette did not progress beyond prototype status.

E-motorcycles on the rise: mobility in the name of environmental friendliness

Road-legal electric motorcycles have only been successfully mass-produced in Europe for around ten years, by manufacturers such as Zero Motorcycles or eRockit. Whilee-bikes and electrically powered scooters, which are already being built on a large scale, especially in China, are still less powerful than the combustion engineLithium Ion Battery is the biggest problem in the design of e-motorcycles.

The ratio between the energy generated and the volume or weight of the battery cannot yet keep up with the performance of a gasoline-powered engine. The relatively long charging times of up to eight hours and a limited range of between 40 and 150 km per charge also represent important current research questions. The sales and registration figures for electric motorcycles with a top speed of more than 45 km/h are still falling in Germany modest. Thanks to constantly evolving technology, the topic of e-mobility is also becoming more and more interesting for two-wheeler drivers.

Good forecasts for the development of the electric two-wheeler market in Germany

A current Technavio study assesses the development of the market for electric motorcycles as extremely positive. E-motorcycles will therefore become an integral part of the global motorcycle market. The study was based on the sales forecasts of the leading electric motorcycle manufacturers in the premium segment: Zero Motorcycles, Energica Motor Company, Lightning Motorcycle and Sarolea. Other well-known providers on the market are:

  • KTM

  • Saietta Group

  • Johammer e-mobility

  • Tork Motors

The topic of electromobility is on the rise in both electric cars and electric two-wheelers. Nevertheless, those surveyed currently rate the advantages of e-scooters as even more important than those of e-motorcycles. While  While 18.8 percent of all respondents can imagine purchasing an electric scooter, only 14.3 percent are considering owning an e-motorcycle in the near future. The decisive factor for the results of the survey is the greater suitability of electrically powered scooters for everyday use. On the other hand, anyone who wanted to go on (longer) tours by motorcycle relied on more powerful gasoline engines until 2018 (source: motorcycle study MPS/IfD-Allensbach 2017).

But that's over now, e-motorcycles are conquering the streets and will be everywhere in the summer after the Corona / COVID-19 exit restrictions.

Types of electric motorcycles

There are different types of electric motorcycles. In addition to this classification by type, a distinction can also be made between types of electric motorcycles.

Cruiser electric motorcycle: Since the 1990s, series machines from the Harley-Davidson, Indian or Henderson brands that have design features of machines from the 1930s have been referred to as cruisers. Typical features include the long wheelbase, wide handlebars and wide tires, a large engine, large fenders and a relatively far forward running board, which results in a relatively upright sitting position.

Chopper electric motorcycle: Chopper is the name for motorcycles whose appearance has been significantly changed. The style features of a chopper include a long, comparatively flat front fork, high handlebars and forward footrests.

Enduro electric motorcycle: Enduro machines are road-legal off-road motorcycles that have off-road features such as a coarse tire profile and long suspension travel and are approved for off-road driving as well as on public roads.

Off-road electric motorcycle: Motorcycles that are not approved for riding on public roads are called off-road or off-road electric motorcycles.

energica electronic motorbikes standing on the side of the road in nature

How much are the taxes on electric motorcycles?

Like drivers of electric cars, motorcyclists who switch to an electrically powered machine also benefit from tax breaks. According to Section 3d KraftStG, electric motorcycles are also exempt from motor vehicle tax for a limited period of time. After the exemption period, the motor vehicle tax to be paid is reduced by a full 50 percent compared to machines with a classic combustion engine.

How much does insurance cost for an electric motorcycle?

Who oneInsuranceerationAs with a car, you can choose between different insurance classes that provide different benefits in the event of damage. Before taking out insurance, it is advisable to find out individually about the range of services offered by liability insurance, partial insurance and fully comprehensive insurance for motorcycles.

This is how e-motorcycles are charged

Most e-motorcycles can be used on the gopublic charging stations as well as being charged at home using a socket. Many models have fast charging technology, which significantly shortens the regular battery charging time of up to eight hours.

Most e-motorcycles do not require any additional equipment or installations to charge. Plugging it into the home socket supplies the battery with sufficient energy.

Our tips for charging your e-motorbike correctly:

Lithium-ion batteries, also known as Li-lon batteries, have intelligent charging electronics that prevent overcharging, overheating or short circuits.

It is not necessary to completely discharge the battery before the next charge. The so-calledMemory effect, in which the battery “remembers” the last charge level and only resumes charging from this point onwards, is no longer available in newer generation batteries.

Contrary to popular belief, lithium-ion batteries should not be constantly discharged and fully recharged. Partial charges are not a problem, but regular full charging puts a lot of strain on the electrodes. A charge level between 30 and 70 percent is ideal.

Speed and range of electric motorcycles from different manufacturers

Depending on the model and manufacturer, both the speed and range of electrically powered motorcycles vary. The following overview provides information about the performance and speed of some road-legal electric motorcycles on the European market:

Zero Motorcycles Zero SR/S: The first road-legal model from the manufacturer Zero came onto the market in 2009. There is now an extensive range of vehicles, e.g. B. the Zero SR/S promises 360 kmRangeand a top speed of 200 km/h with a sportyTorqueof 190Nm.

BMW CE 04: The Munich company's latest e-motorcycle scores with a top speed of 120 km/h, 23 kW engine power and a range of 130 km. ABS and some optional features complement an extensive equipment package.


RGNT No.1:  Since February 2021, the electric motorcycle with a retro look from Sweden has also been available to order in Germany, including viaManufacturer's websitedirect. The maximum speed is 115 km/h, so an A1 / B196 driving license is sufficient. The range should reach 120 km. The e-motorcycle in retro design is charged usingType-2 connector.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire: The machine, which was first presented at the Eicma motorcycle trade fair in Milan in 2018, is now available to order. With an engine power of 78 kW and a torque of 116 Nm, the luxury bike achieves a range of 158 to 235 km (WMTC), depending on driving style. The electric machine has 7 driving modes: Sport. Road, Range and Rain, as well as three additional customizable riding modes. ABS, RDRS ensure safe driving behavior.

Tarform Café Racer: The first examples of the elegant e-motorcycle from the American-Swedish start-up Tarform are already being delivered. An order can be placed atManufacturercan be requested, there are already waiting lists for the coveted e-motorcycle. The vehicle has a range of up to 200 km. Top speed is 120 km/h. The special feature: The components are made of flax fibers, recycled aluminum and biodegradable leather.

Energica Ego/Eva:With the Ego model, the Italian manufacturer CRP Technology presented the first electric superbike in 2014. The sporty e-motorcycles now achieve record ranges in city traffic of up to 400 kilometers. Energica states the top speed as 200 km/h.

KTM Freeride E-XC: The series from the Austrian manufacturer KTM has been on offer since 2014. The Freeride E-XC's electric motor has 18 kW. One battery charge should provide 90 minutes of off-road driving fun.

Black Tea Bonfire: A Munich start-up offers a more attractively priced offer, because the Black Tea Bonfire with the 45 km/h version “S” is a cheaper entry into the world of e-motorcycles. The engine power is 3 kW. The range with two batteries promises up to 120 km. It's faster with the 100 km/h 5 kW Bonfire “X” version with a torque of 195 Nm and a range of 100 km.

The manufacturers of e-motorcycles

The leading electric motorcycle manufacturers in the premium segment are Zero Motorcycles, Energica Motor Company, Lightning Motorcycle and Sarolea. Well-known brands such as Yamaha and KTM are also discovering the electric vehicle market. But German manufacturers, such as BMW, are also following suit. In addition, new innovative brands such as Black Tea or Novus are emerging.

Which e-motorcycle manufacturers are in demand in Europe?

The manufacturers listed below and their most common e-motorcycle models:


Energica Motor Company is a pioneer of two-wheeled e-mobility from Italy. The family business was founded in 2010 and specializes in electric sports motorcycles “Made in Italy”. Energica is part of the CRP Group, which is a leading supplier to most automobile manufacturers. For a long time, the company's focus was on the production of certain components for Formula 1. The racing business is in the Italians' blood. With its Energica Eva Ribelle, Energica Ego and Energica EsseEsse9 models, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer offers top-quality e-vehicles.

BMWis the leading German motorcycle manufacturer from Munich. The company has been committed to quality and innovation in the motorcycle market for many years. Now the Bavarian company is presenting the BMW CE 04, an e-motorcycle with a unique driving experience. The successor to the “C Evolution” is a new type of e-motorcycle with a futuristic design.

KTM is a long-standing and renowned motorcycle brand from Austria. KTM was founded in 1934 as a motorcycle factory and is still considered Europe's leading motorcycle manufacturer today. KTM AG is based in Mattighofen and belongs to Pierer Mobility. With the series of E-Ride vehicles, KTM is also entering the e-mobility market.

Horwinis an Austrian-Chinese company with its European headquarters in Kammersdorf, not far from Vienna. HORWIN was founded in 2017. As a subsidiary of HORWIN Global based in Changzhou, China, the manufacturer combines the advantages of both continents: the high demands and standards of Europe and the modern, advanced technology of China. The vehicle development and sales headquarters are based in Kammersdorf, while production takes place in Changzhou / China.

Silence is a Spanish company founded in 2011 by Carlos Sotelo that designs, develops and produces its own electric motorcycles. The company also develops its own battery technology at its headquarters in Barcelona. With the S01, the company is developing an electric scooter for private use with revolutionary battery technology. This will be followed later by the S02, an electric scooter designed for fleets. Silence customers include companies such as the Spanish post office, the Spanish police and city administrations in Madrid, Lisbon, Rotterdam and Barcelona.

Sur Ron is a brand of the Austrian KSR Group. Since 2015, KSR has been developing high-performance electric two-wheelers that are suitable for everyday use. The Sur-Ron Firefly is the first e-Cross with moped approval for road traffic. Driving fun is just as important as ecological transportation, whether on urban streets or off-road terrain.

eRockit was founded in 2014 to help shape the global mobility transition. Founder and CEO Andreas Zurwehme is sure that sustainable mobility improves our planet. eRockit is supported by numerous experienced experts. After an intensive development phase, the pedal-driven eRockit was created. The electric motorcycle multiplies the muscle power used and thus reaches a top speed of 90 km/h. More details in oure-Shop.

Black tea has created an affordable vintage motorbike for everyone with the Bonfire. The electric motorcycles are assembled in Munich. The passionate team around Victor Sommer wants to make sustainable adventures possible for everyone, no matter what experience they already have.

Novus is a German startup. The idea for the NOVUS e-motorcycle originated as a bachelor's thesis in 2010 at the Burg Giebichenstein Art University in Halle. The founders René Renger and Marcus Weidig had the idea of creating an e-motorcycle that combined the advantages of e-bikes and e-motorcycles and should look good at the same time.

International manufacturers of electric scooters

Zero Motorcycles is an innovative but resilient startup from California. The American company has been producing solid e-motorcycles since 2007. The product range now includes nine models from 44 to 110 hp.

Harley Davidson is the global player among motorcycles. The typical machines of the American luxury brand have cult status. The company was founded in 1903 in a small shed and is still headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Harley Davidson stands for freedom and a longing for adventure. With the Harley Davidson LiveWire, the American company has now presented a superlative e-motorcycle.

Lightning Motorcycle is another American electric motorcycle company. Richard Hatfield founded the company in 2006 in San Carlos, California. Lightning is committed to building world-class electric two-wheelers that are more efficient, powerful and affordable than current gasoline alternatives. In 2011, Lightning set the speed record at 215 mph, becoming the fastest production electric motorcycle in the world. With the Lightning LS-218, the company presents one of the most powerful motorcycles.

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