If you are one of the bikers who are thinking of switching to an electric motorcycle , keep reading because this interests you. In addition to caring for the environment, they are very quiet and practical vehicles, which is why more and more people are interested, but… Are they today a real alternative to gasoline-powered motorcycles ? That is the big question we all ask ourselves.
It is clear that they are here to stay and little by little they are receiving not only the attention of the public but also of the administrations that are making efforts to create a suitable environment for their use.
Today electric mobility is very minor but it is already a reality and little by little it is establishing itself as an ecological alternative to traditional motorcycles and scooters . The great technical development that they have undergone is directly related to this growth of an industry that in Spain has many interesting projects.
This has led public administrations to install free charging points in the main Spanish cities as well as allocate subsidies for the purchase of this type of vehicle, something that has benefited both manufacturers and end customers.
Even so, market penetration is timid due, above all, to the high purchase cost that small government aid can barely mitigate. But this high price hides a treasure that is its main reason for being: an extremely low energy cost. And that is a context where fuels are becoming more expensive, which is a great incentive when making the decision and buying an electric two-wheeled vehicle.
If to the low energy cost we add the traditional advantages of the motorcycle and the scooter, we are looking at vehicles whose growth potential is unlimited, especially when their ecological character is going to grant them more and more transit privileges compared to combustion vehicles in our cities. congested and polluted cities.
So let’s take a deeper look at all these issues that increasingly underpin this sector in our country, whose vehicle fleet is among the most numerous in the entire European Union thanks to the 781 units registered in 2013, a figure that placed Spain in fourth place behind France (1,177), Switzerland (1,821) and the Netherlands (2,935).
Index of contents
#1 Charging points
Charging points is something in which the administrations are working together with the private sector to promote the use of electric scooters and motorcycles because it is one of the key aspects so that its users can benefit from the advantages they offer. These infrastructures are in full expansion and most of them are shared by two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles, although there are some specific ones for motorcycles. Some are fast reloading and this is a great advantage because they greatly reduce the waiting time.
In the near future, the need to have a charging point for every 30 parking spaces in any community garage, public car park, etc. has been raised. This means that the promotion of electric vehicles will be supported by a legislative obligation that will promote the installation of charging infrastructures in a uniform way throughout the national territory.
Currently in Spain there are about 1,500 points for vehicles of this type, with Barcelona in the lead thanks to its 252 points, of which 114 are specific for motorcycles and are on the surface. It also has another 20 more in underground parking lots. They can all be accessed with the electric vehicle card, a free accreditation that allows you to charge the vehicle at no cost and also park for free in both the green and blue areas.
In Madrid there are far fewer, around 124. Of these, only 25 municipal ones on public roads that can be used for free using the Movele card that must be requested from the City Council to be able to use them. The rest are in underground car parks, both private and public. The truth is that in the capital of Spain this seems to be insufficient to promote an increasing use of electric vehicles, especially taking into account the significant number of municipal charging points that are not operational for different reasons.
In Madrid is the first “metrolinera”
In Madrid, the first subway station in Spain and one of the few that exist in the world, located at Calle Doctor Esquerdo, 62 , has been operating in the test phase for a few months. It is a recharging post that uses surplus energy from the braking of metro trains to the fast and free charging of electric vehicles.
The system allows rapid charges in about twenty minutes, compared to the several hours it takes for alternating current posts. The most innovative aspect of the metrolinera is the use of surplus energy from the metro so that instead of wasting it, it can be used as an alternative energy source.
charging at home
Recharging our vehicle at home is the best option if we work daily with our motorcycle or electric scooter, but not everyone lives in a single-family home to be able to do it this way. In fact, most of us live in neighboring communities that require the installation of an alternating current outlet in our community garage space to recharge our vehicle.
The problem arises in the way of calculating the energy cost of the neighbor who makes use of this system. This requires the installation of an individual meter, something that makes recharging logistics more expensive and complicates.
The two options that arise are: install a new meter or derive the installation of the existing one. The new meter option is approximately 300 or 400 euros more expensive because the end user must pay a permanent fee to the electricity retailer, so the bypass option is the one that normally best suits the end user’s needs.
This is the case at the moment because, as we have already mentioned, it is in the process of establishing the obligation to have a charging infrastructure for every 30 spaces in community garages, office building car parks, shopping centers or public buildings as a rule.
Another key point when deciding on an electric motorcycle and something that has been greatly improved in recent years. It is no longer difficult to find models that exceed 100 km of autonomy and this is already valid for urban use without always having to be aware of the charge that we have left to continue driving without fear of being “unplugged”.
The batteries not only have a longer useful life and recharge faster, but also provide more kilometers of use, but even so, it continues to be a crucial issue when deciding to buy one electric scooter or another.
Many give the option of a fast charging system as a highly recommended optional element. Regenerative braking is also another fundamental ingredient when it comes to minimizing battery loss while driving, since it takes advantage of braking to generate energy.
Can we really make the extra cost profitable? Can they really become a bargain? They are the million questions for the user. If we look at the current cost of gasoline (€1.42/litre) compared to the less than one euro in electricity every 100 km that is advertised for an electric car, there is no doubt about the advantage it represents for our pockets.
In fact, it is a simple matter of numbers to know if the purchase of an electric vehicle will be profitable for us. For example, if we do about 10,000 km per year per city, the accounts are as follows for a scooter that consumes 4.5 l/100 km:
- Investment in gasoline : €1.42 x 4.5 l= €6.39/100 km. €639 would be the total amount to cover the 10,000 km per year
- Investment in electricity : let’s say an average of €0.70 every 100 km. And this would be equivalent to €70 to cover the 10,000 km per year
The difference is very juicy and although by itself it does not offset the extra cost of a scooter with similar benefits, it will in a few years. And of course we will notice the savings instantly, from the first 100 km that we do at a ridiculous price.
And if we frequently use charging points that are still free, the cost per kilometer is further reduced. In principle, this justifies the high price of these scooters in relation to an equivalent one with a traditional engine, since the development of electrical technology is not exactly cheap and for this reason aid has been provided to encourage their purchase.
- Subsidized purchase : this year electric vehicles in Spain have once again received support from public administrations, although it is not about generous items but timid incentives.
With the PIMA Aire 3 Plan, the beneficiaries will obtain the aid directly when paying the invoice at the point of sale or dealership and the amount for the purchase of motorcycles and electric scooters will be 400 euros, plus 200 euros that the point must provide selling. For electric mopeds it will amount to 250 euros, plus 100 euros from the point of sale. In these two cases, the buyer must definitively deregister a vehicle owned by him of the same category (Category L: any type of motorcycle, scooter or moped), over 5 years old, or higher (M or N1: cars and commercial vehicles ), with more than 7 years.
When another vehicle is not deregistered, the aid is reduced to 350 euros for motorcycles, plus 150 euros provided by the point of sale; and 230 euros for mopeds, plus 70 euros to be provided by the point of sale.
#4 Mobility benefits
There will be more and more areas restricted to traffic due to pollution issues derived from the excessive condensation of vehicles in our cities. There are already them in many urban centers and in them access with electric vehicles is allowed, so when this spreads, electric motorcycles and scooters will be the only option to reach the heart of the cities by private transport. It is certainly something to take into account.
#5 Low contamination
The low noise and air pollution are two of the main reasons for the existence of vehicles whose emissions are zero. But the user values above all what can be saved in fuel in the long run and should also take into account its benefits: as a counterpart to a top speed that is usually limited so as not to spend too much energy that drastically reduces autonomy, electric vehicles offer unattainable torque figures for vehicles with a power that we could match. This extraordinary spark is perfect for urban driving as it allows you to start at traffic lights well ahead of the cars, something that always results in greater safety.
If you are one of those who prioritize design over technical characteristics, it is important that you know that the market enjoys models with a modern look, much more careful than traditional motorcycles. When choosing, you will have to deal with very futuristic electric motorcycles full of curves.
#7 Tax advantages
In addition to state aid in the purchase of electric motorcycles, you can take advantage of the tax benefits of these vehicles. Most of the autonomous communities encourage the purchase of these vehicles with advantages of this type or similar.
Note : You will not have to pay the registration tax and you will enjoy reductions in the annual circulation tax. Ask in your locality for the taxes from which you are exempt.
#8 Savings in maintenance
The mechanical components of internal combustion engines generate more wear than electric motors. Spark plugs, reviews, oil filters… all these maintenance and repair costs are reduced when we talk about electric vehicles.
#9 Cheaper insurance
Since the acceleration of electric motorcycles is less than that of internal combustion engines, their safety is (a priori) also greater. Many insurers apply advantages when they consider that the risk for the driver and the vehicle is lower.
#10 Get up to 25% of the value of the vehicle
If you are going to buy an electric car or motorcycle, take advantage of the aid offered by the State in this regard . This subsidy will cover 25% of the amount without taxes of the car and is valid for both company and individual vehicles.
As we can see, the benefits are very clear and the drawbacks are less and less, with a short-term tendency to minimize all facets to the point that electric mobility is more interesting than the traditional and polluting one, headed for a slow and sure disappearance. But until the public opts for this mobility en masse, the motorcycle and electric scooter industry will not take off, spurred on by the benefits seen by all the agents involved in its development. The question is whether it will take little or very little and the recent launch of the BMW C Evolution gives us a clue about how the big brands see this thriving segment. Does the first striker strike twice? Usually yes.