Future electric motorcycles
"Future Electric is unlikely to be the final name of our company," said CEO Jasper Vind in our interview at EVS28 in Korea last week. Here is a new top-end e-motorcycle manufacturer currently in stealth mode. He and his electrical engineer Bjarni Guomundsson told us that they are developing a 150 kW 250 nm 11 kilo "FENRIS" model for the racetrack, the name based on folklore from their country Denmark. The 5 person Future Electric enterprise has angel funding in place.
The motor is key for an electric motorcycle because it gives performance, the powertrain being pure electric. Their motor is sourced in Germany from a company they would not name, in contrast to Zero Motorcycles designing its own air-cooled motor of exceptional efficiency and power to weight ratio for its light motorbikes. Vind noted that Matrix and Lightning heavy e-motorcycles are relying on Remy motors. The motor used by his Future Electric is water-cooled Permanent Magnet PMAC ie sinusoidal waveform, as cost is not that critical for a vehicle to be pitched at the $30,000 bottom end of the collectors and racers price range. However, they are also looking at switched reluctance motors now. Acoustic noise and cost of the power electronics are no longer the problem they once were with these exceptionally small, light and reliable synchronous motors without magnets and therefore escaping problems of demagnetisation from heat and of price hikes driven by neodymium and dysprosium shortages.
Interestingly, Future Electric seeks uniqueness in top speed not acceleration. Using a smart phone, the driver can downgrade performance for urban driving, so Jasper thinks many everyday drivers will buy the bike to boast of driving a record breaker round town. They believe only Energica making 3-500 e-bikes this year has really launched a heavy e-motorbike into volume production.
For more see the IDTechEx reports, Electric Motors for Hybrid and Pure Electric Vehicles 2015-2025: Land, Water, Air and Electric Motorcycles and Three Wheel Electric Vehicles 2015-2025. Attend the IDTechEx two day conference, "Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing" Santa Clara USA 18-19 November 2015 and its associated masterclasses.