Yamaha FC-AQEL
Yamaha FC-AQEL

Electric Motorcycles and Scooters


Late 1860s . Earliest references to electric motorcycles can be found in patents.

1911 . Electric motorcycle available according to early Popular Mechanics article.

1920s . Ransomes, current makers of forklifts, explored the use of an electric powered motorcycle. This and other developments helped pave the way for the company to use electric mining cars and lorreys.

Early 1940s . Fuel rationing in United States caused Earle Williams to convert a motorcycle to electric power. This became the basis for the formation of the ParCar from the Marketeer Company.

1941 . Fuel rationing in Occupied Europe encouraged an Austrian company by the name of Socovel to create a small electric motorcycle. Approximately 400 were manufactured.

1967 . First Fuel Cell powered electric motorcycle created by Karl Kordesch at Union Carbide debuts. Demonstrated the feasibility of fuel cells as a power source. This particular fuel cell was an alkili fuel cell that operated with hydrazine, a rocket fuel propellant.

1967 . Papoose moped sized electric motorcycle prototype is created by Indian Motocycle Company under the direction of Floyd Clymer.

Early 1970s . Aurenthetic Charger moped sized mini bike (small motorcycle) sold.

1973 . Mike Corbin sets first electric motorcycle land speed record of 101 mph.

1974 . Corbin-Gentry Inc. begins sale of street legal electric motorcycles.

Professor Charles E. MacArthur makes first electric vehicle ascent on Mt. Washington, NH using a Corbin Electric motorcycle. The event evolved into an annual rally called the Mt Washington Alternative Vehicle Regatta.

1978 . Electric Harley Davidson MK2 created by Transitron manufactured in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1988 . Eyeball Engineering creates KawaSHOCKi electric dragbike and is featured in a major magazine.

1996 . Peugeot Scoot’Elec released, first mass production of an electric motorbike.

Late 1990s . EMB Lectra VR24 electric motorbike created by Scott Cronk and EMB. Pioneered the use of variable reluctance motors (hence the VR) and marketed as street legal.

2000 . Killacycle makes record run of 152 mph (245 km/h) at 9.4 s quarter mile (400-metre) time at Woodburn Drags 2000, OR.

2007 . A123 Li-Ion cell-powered Killacycle makes new quarter mile (400-metre) record of 7.824 seconds and 168 mph (270 km/h) in Phoenix, AZ at AHDRA 2007.

Here is a terrific video by Steve Ciciora at Bandimere in Phoenix, AZ.

(You can go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbi1RhgRrxk if the above link doesn’t load)

2008 . Electra Green made by Orlando Tony Parker in Omaha,Nebraska. The first electric motorcycle made in the state of Nebraska.

2009 . History is made in San Jose, California, when Zero Motorcycles hosts The 24 Hours of Electricross, an all electric dirtbike race.

The first TTXGP (Time Trial Xtreme Grand Prix) all electric street motorcycle race takes place on the Isle of Man.

The development of lithium-ion batteries and powerful electric motors (originally for military applications) made mainstream electric motorcycles more feasible in the 2000s.

Power source

Generally, the source of power for the electric motor has been batteries, but development in fuel cell technology has created several prototypes. Some examples are: the ENV from Intelligent Energy, Honda’s scooter using the Honda FC Stack, and the Yamaha FC-AQEL. Also, petroleum hybrid-electric motorcycles are under development.

Some examples are the Ecycle, and Yamaha’s Gen-RYU.

Advantages and disadvantages

Electric motorcycles and scooters are rising in popularity because of higher gasoline prices. Battery technology is gradually improving making this form of transportation more practical.

Advantages of electric over gasoline power:

The fuel costs for electric power are approximately 25% the cost of gasoline power (US, mid-2008)

Nearly silent

The Libert-E Xero has removable lithium ion batteries that can be charged using any 120v outlet

Environmental friendly (no exhausted gases at point of use)

Carbon tax and vehicle registration tax exemption in some countries

No parking/congestion charges in some countries

No road tax in some countries

Using grid power to charge batteries causes less pollution than gasoline scooters; the amount of emissions and residues caused depends on the sources of the electricity used.

No trips needed to a gas station—can be recharged at home or in charging stations. But charging or battery swapping in service stations, when needed, are faster.

It can be used in a V2G system.

Yamaha FC-AQEL
Yamaha FC-AQEL

Lower maintenance costs and fewer maintenance activities.

Can be ridden indoors.

More affordable than electric cars.

Many models dispense with a transmission or the need to shift gears, simplifying operation


Up front costs are higher than for a comparable gasoline powered motorcycle or scooter.

Shorter range before recharging.

Longer fill up or recharge time.

Lower maximum speed at similar price points.

Electric power outlets are often not conveniently located near streets or driveways. It is often difficult or impossible to bring the battery into an apartment, for example, for recharging.

Battery capacity can be as low as 20% on a cold winter day with -20 °C (lead battery)

As it is already difficult for motorcycles to be noticed by drivers of cars and trucks, the loss of characteristic engine noise might make riding these even more dangerous than their internal combustion engine powered counterparts.

T ypes of scooters

A scooter is a type of motorcycle with a step-through frame and usually with smaller wheels designed for urban transportation.

Scooters are divided into categories as per the particular niche that they are designed to operate in and speed requirements:

Two-wheeled Vespa-styled scooters 0-60 mph (0–100 km/h)

Two-wheeled Stand-up scooters (like a kick scooter) 0-25 mph (0–40 km/h)

Two-wheeled, side-by-side stand-up scooters like manufactured by Segway PT 0-12 mph (0–20 km/h)

Two-wheeled Seated scooters 0-25 mph (0–40 km/h)

Three-wheeled standup scooters like manufactured by Zap 0-15 mph (0–25 km/h)

Three- and four-wheeled Mobility scooter (disability riders) 0-10 mph (0–15 km/h)

Three- and four-wheeled Seated scooters/golf carts 0-25 mph (0–40 km/h)

Yamaha FC-AQEL

  • 2007 Yamaha V-Max motorcycle review @ Top Speed
  • TX, SX650, KZ750, Carburetor Diaphragm Mikuni BS38, BS34 SS, BS32
  • Gas 2 Bridging the gap between green heads and gear heads.
  • 2010 Yamaha V-Star 650 Silverado Yamaha Motorcycles .org – Yamaha Motorcycle…
  • Yamaha X Max 125 Service Manual PDF Search Engine, Free Download and…