A Current Affair
August 30, 2013
by Damon Lavrinc
I am creeping along, relatively speaking, to conserve energy because I’m on an electric Zero DS motorcycle and I’m a long way from home. I’d gotten ambitious — riding to Napa seemed like a good idea when I’d set off — and the 70-mile trip home will require every last bit of energy in the battery.
I watch the needle on the speedo dip below 60 as I start up another hill and decide to get on the throttle. I figure it’s better to risk running out of juice than risk getting run down by a semi. As I ponder this, something Ben Rich told me goes through my mind.
“We don’t have a range issue,” the high school physics teacher told me after riding across the country on an electric Zero S. “We have a charging issue.”
Rich knows this first-hand. He made a 3,500-mile trek from Charleston, South Carolina to Santa Monica, California, in 44 days — nearly 10 times longer than someone straddling a Harley burning dino juice. His lackadaisical pace had less to do with the range offered by the bike’s 11.4 kilowatt-hour battery and more to do with the speed with which we can “fill” a battery and find a place to do so.
“The tack people are taking is to throw a bigger battery at the problem,” Rich says. “I think they should throw a bigger charger.”
Full article at the link.