To fully understand mass adoption of 2 wheeled electric vehicles, one must understand the use cases that each vehicle will endure; electric motorcycles, electric scooters and electric mopeds and how their rider's will feel with the current or future charging infrastructure that is available to them. Currently, with the rapid expansion of public charging stations, many OEMs are jumping on board with charging station support for Level 2 or DC fast charging that makes owning an electric motorcycle or electric scooter that much more convenient.
Private vs Public Charging Stations; the next generation of electric motorcycle and electric scooters are going to need a mixture of both in order to feel comfortable enough to make the purchase and move up to mass adoption of electric 2 wheeled vehicles, but smaller scale EVs have a huge advantage that in many parts of the world, in that fast charging can sometimes be achieved by regular household power outlets or potentially Level 2 charging only.
fast charging can sometimes be achieved by regular household power outlets
Many places in Asia and Europe run off 220v - 240v at 10 - 16A, which provide 2 - 3kw of power comfortably from the main power grids, which allow smaller battery packs to charge potentially quite fast. Level 2 charging stations at home or in the wild provide up to 7kw of power, which for many electric motorcycles would suffice for current onboard charger technology to get the charge time down to a couple of hours. There is also an influx of chargers capable of charging at 22kw and more, which for some higher end electric motorcycles could pull the charge time down to 15 - 30 mins.
For those on the bandwagon saying that the current Public Charging Station system mimics too much of the old "Gas Station" system, I agree to some degree that no one likes going to the gas station and that we need to take more of a cell phone approach to charging our electric motorcycles, but taking a look at the use case for electric motorcycles and electric scooters, both of them require short to mid distances, potentially longer, and for those using electric motorcycles for pure leisure will need that infrastructure setup to fully enjoy their purchase. Even the city commuter on an electric scooter needs that infrastructure in a pitch to allow him or her to make that unexpected stop to the grocery store or by a friend's house to pick something up. Of course, normally we'll have the convenience of plugging in at night and waking up to a fully charged vehicle everyday.
With new battery cell and pack assembly technology, many companies are able to push the "ultra-fast" barrier of charging capability on EVs, and eventually we'll be able to take the outdated "Gas Station" system and make it our own. Tesla has already taken a more "lifestyle" approach to their Supercharging stations, and I predict a future of coffee shops, chill venues and small restaurants making charging not just a chore, but a place for electric motorcyclists and electric scooter riders to come together, share stories of their rides and misadventures, and meeting new enthusiasts joining the sport.
I predict a future of coffee shops, chill venues and small restaurants making charging not just a chore, but a place for electric motorcyclists and electric scooter riders to come together
So we'll see in a few years time if we end up shifting our meet-up spot from that run down cafe to that new fast charging station on 5th and Main St.
What do you think? What will it take for mass 2 wheel EV adoption? What do you see the future of charging stations to look like? I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.
By: Nathan Siy
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