US$8000 gets you on the road fuel-free with the Electric GPR-S

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Since we rode the fantastic Vectrix Electric Maxi-Scooter last year, we’ve been excited by the potential of electric bikes and what they have to offer, particularly around town. Beyond the zero-emissions environmental benefits, electrics are very cheap to run, maintenance free and their power and range are limited only by battery technology, which is improving exponentially now that gas prices worldwide are driving research into alternatives.

So it’s good to see a few front-runners hitting the market early - and this fully electric GPR-S from Electric Motorsport looks like a snappy little commuter. Rated at 19 Horsepower, the GPR-S’s electric motor will take the bike to a top speed of 60-70mph depending on gearing - so freeway speeds should be fine - and its 3.3kWh battery pack is good for 35 miles if you’re flogging it or 60 if you’re riding to conserve battery.

The standard onboard charger takes 4 hours to top the battery up, but an optional speed charger takes that down to 1.5 hours. It’s a fairly traditional bike to look at - rather than mounting the engine in a wheel hub, it’s mounted in a more traditional spot in the frame and the rear wheel is driven by chain.

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For US$8,000, you can certainly have more fun on a Triumph Street Triple, but then that’s hardly progressive thinking, is it? What you’re getting is something akin to a semi-naked Honda CBR125R, but with no more fuel bills. More pics follow.

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17 Responses to “US$8000 gets you on the road fuel-free with the Electric GPR-S”

  1. bill Says:

    fuel-free? Where can I get some of this free electricity? And since when is electricity “zero-emissions”? Where do you think it comes from? The vast majority comes from coal, oil, and natural gas. Progressive, indeed. I too like technological advancements, but if you think using an electric vehicle today is any better than a gas powered one, you’re a fool.

  2. Loz Says:

    You’re right, Bill, in that electricity production still needs to step up its game emissions-wise - and there’s a hundred different initiatives around the globe trying to bring that about. The fact remains that for the end user, an electric vehicle will cost far less to power in the course of a year than its petrol-engined equivalent, and there’s also no engine maintenance to speak of.

    The bike itself doesn’t release any emissions - you could run it inside if you wanted, and if your commute is less than 35 miles, there’s a real case for this sort of product. And once battery life ramps up - perhaps through some of the nanotech lithium stuff they’re coming up with lately - and governments get in on the action like they have in Rome with their power plug-equipped pylons for EV charging, the case will become even stronger.

  3. GPR-S Electric Motorcycle - Off Topic Chat Says:

    […] evolve into an economic option when used daily across a year or two. More pics and specs over at TheBikerGene. __________________ Gears Of War 2 […]

  4. Phil Says:

    This bike does use LiFePo4 batteries which should last 3-5 times as long as lead acid. The battery pack is approx. $3,000 of the price tag. These batteries are new and the price will drop if there is enough demand. Also consider the overall reduction of maintenance costs.The entire drivetrain consists of one moving part, four brushes, and a chain.

  5. Ian Says:

    Bill: Just get yourself some solar panels and stop complaining ;)

    But seriously, if it’s increased emissions from fossil fuel power stations you’re worried about with electric vehicles, the picture isn’t so grim as many believe. Have a read: http://www.zeva.com.au/faq.php?id=4

    The Green Power reference is relevant to Australia but I imagine there are equivalent schemes in other parts of the world? We’re hardly a progressive country when it comes to the environment!

  6. Travis Says:

    Free electricity, Bill? Sure, just set up a set of solar panels? Or maybe a wind turbine? How about a hydro-electric generator if you happen to live near running water source? Or maybe a tidal energy generator if your near the ocean? After the initial cost of setting the system up, you’ll never pay for electricity again. I know of several people that have set up a simple solar array just for charging their EV. There have even been experiments at creating self-sustaining hydrogen creating stations for hydrogen vehicles, but hydrogen can also be easily converted to electricity. So, yes, Bill, there is plenty of free electricity to go around if you take the time to harness it. And should you be unable to do so, the emissions from a clean-coal burning plant are easier to maintain than the emissions from the individual tail pipes of the several thousand gas burning vehicles that could be powered as electric vehicles from the same plant, not to mention that by using a gas powered vehicle as opposed to an electric you’re using twice the fossil fuels (a finite resource) for your transportation. Anyone that doesn’t think we can power the planet without the ongoing use of fossil fuels is a fool.

  7. John Lussmyer Says:

    Actually, even electricity from coal fired power plants is “cleaner” than running a gas engine - especially a motorcycle engine.
    Small gas engines are woefully inefficient, and have lousy pollution controls.
    Big power plants are far more efficient at turning fuel into power, and generally have FAR better pollution control - for one thing, they can afford to use pollution controls systems that are BIG, and HEAVY. You can’t do that on a motorcycle.
    You need to find some of the “Well to Wheels” studies done on the total system efficiencies. EV’s win.

  8. Science Says:

    Bill: Even though grid electricity is commonly generated from fossil fuels, it is much more efficient to create that energy in a large plant than in each vehicle. Also there is a huge off-peak excess capacity in the grid that could be utilized. See this article from the US Dept of Energy Lab researching these issues. http://www.pnl.gov/news/release.asp?id=204

    Also see the Wikipedia article on Electric Vehicles for good info on the tradeoffs.

  9. Dave Says:

    Bill, can you charge your Internal Combustion Engined vehicle with Solar power ? or wind power or Hydro-electric power ? No. Then as ways of generating electricity get cleaner, the sense of having an EV becomes clearer, why not get a head start ?

  10. Scott K Says:

    Bill, in the US, roughly 50% of electricity production comes from fossil plants. The rest comes mainly from nuclear, natural gas, and a mix of renewables. Natural gas actually burns quite cleanly– CNG cars are on the market now as a cleaner alternative to petrol-fueled engines. The other non-fossil sources don’t have any carbon emissions. “Oil” does not constitute a major portion of electricity production– its use is primarily limited to diesel generators in remote areas without access to the national grid (Alaska or Hawaii, for example). Even with fossil fuels, coal-burning plants tend to have less emissions for an equivalent amount of energy relative to gasoline engines for the simple reason that such large point sources of emissions fall under stricter emissions regulations and are capable of taking advantage of economies of scale in capture equipment.

    Riding an electric vehicle does not necessarily mean that one is using a mode of transportation that uses zero emissions, but there is the potential for it… suppose one gets solar panels at one’s house and charges the bike off it. Then that is truly a zero-emissions transportation method. Even without using a solar panel, there is still always the potential for improvements in the electricity generation mix… a potential that doesn’t exist for internal combustion engines.

    The fools are those who allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.

  11. Jeff Says:

    Even when the electricity comes from coal electric propulsion wins hands down over gasoline (or diesel) in efficiency AND emissions. The beauty of it is, at least electric propulsions gives you the OPTION of renewable resources! There are already a number of home EV conversions today that charge their car completely from a roof-mounted PV array.

    Do your research first (avoiding oil industry-funded sources) before you start calling people fools.

  12. Frank Says:

    Actually, studies have shown that EV’s emit about half the pollution of ICE’s. Yes coal is dirty (and it accounts for about half domestic US electricity production) but EV’s are many times more efficient that ICE’s which results in net savings from a pollution standpoint. As old coal plants are taken off the grid and more renewable sources are used pollution cost will decrease.

    Besides, at some point you won’t be able to get all the gasoline you want, when you want it. Electricity supply will be more stable than petroleum.

  13. Ross Says:

    You’re right Bill, however that utility power plant has much, much higher overall efficiency than the chain of refinery, gas station, internal combustion, rubber on the road. And of course the decrease in maintenance costs fir electric.

    R

  14. Phil Says:

    Looks like it seats two. Where are the passenger foot pegs? What will it carry?

  15. Phil Says:

    Lot’s of debate here about power generation. I’d rather talk about bikes. This the first practical electric motorcycle I’ve seen. There are a few scooters available but this is a motorcycle. It looks nice, it handles well, it’s light, and it uses off the shelf components, no exotic motors or controllers or transmissions. The motor is more than 80% efficient and it uses no energy while decelerating or stopped, unlike IC engines which are 30% efficient and run constantly. Imagine a city like Paris or
    Seoul or Beijing where there are thousands of scooters and light motorcycles in stop and go traffic jams daily belching tons of pollution and noise replaced by ev’s. And Phil, the passenger pegs are clearly visible, especially in the top picture, right in front of the shock and as to what will it carry that depends on where you live. Here in America whatever will fit on a luggage rack, saddlebags (available), tank bag, backpak. In other parts of the world where 125cc motorcycles are a luxury and the sole means of transportation you could expect to see two adults and up to three children and some baggage on one.

  16. Joe Says:

    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/09/solar-trikey-ma.html#more

    I haven’t taken any power off the grid in nearly 2 years. No pollution, no noise, no ongoing cost, plenty of exercise. And batteries are only going to get better.

    The future starts right now, and electric vehicles are the vehicle of the future. They’re here right now.

    Forget bio diesel, forget synthetic fuels. Hydrocarbons are too precious to be wasted for transport. Better to be used for food, clothing, plastics, etc.

    ANY engine which uses combustion is inherently wasteful of energy. Otherwise why would you need a radiator? That’s waste heat.

    Joe

  17. cwj Says:

    I swear that Bill’s argument is cut+pasted from a thread about elec bikes I’ve seen elsewhere.

    I’m eager to hear from some owners if it’s on the street.

    I hate credit, but if mine is as healthy as equifax and transunion say, I’ll be hard pressed to not dive into this.

    Btw, I emailed the owner of this company about me doing a cross-country test-ride for him. He said he’d already called dibs, though. ;)

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