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Electric Vehicles

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Since fossil fuels are getting less and less, the role of electric vehicles, no matter if it is a car, a motorcycle or anything else, is getting bigger and bigger. If we take a closer look it is obvious, that there are lots of advantages to the conventional motors: The emissions can be reduced to a minimum, which in combination with the energy revolution (just like it happens in Germany right now) will cause an absolutely green and environment friendly way of traveling. Of course there are also problems that have to be solved: At the moment the costs of batteries are to high in comparison to their performance. The batteries a car would need to drive more than 300 km is too big to fit into a usual car. Some ideas are to just change the batteries, but that would also cause great costs and it is not sure, if there are enough resources to realize the idea. The time a electric car needs to fully recharge are in best cases 30 min. to 1 hour. This would only be at special charging stations, at home it will be more than 6 hours. Useless in rural areas, where people have to drive great distances without having the time to recharge.

All in all the development of electric cars must still be improved. In maybe 20 to 30 years there will be way more electric cars and cycles than there are now. By then prices will be low enough, so that even families with a little money can buy such a car. But that is future.'

Electric drive vs. drive with a combustion engine[edit]

The electric drive has many properties that are better than the properties of the combustion engine. For example the better torque and performance characteristics of the electric drive, the usually simpler construction of the drive train and the almost complete local emissions, for pollutants and noise. Another pro is that the electric engine occur less vibration as the internal combustion engine. The next really important pro of the electric engine is that electric engines require much less power, because they have a much better efficiency and no free-wheel. Vehicles with combustion engine have more wear-prone components as the electric vehicles, like the engine block and his attachment parts or the gear. But the electric vehicles do not necessarily easier because of the accumulator. The accumulator is one of the weakness of an electric vehicle, because of the much less energy density. The energy density is about 50 to 100 times less than combustion engine. Modern electric vehicles have a low range, but usually it does not matter, because over 90 % of the days the vehicles drive less than 50 km. But if you want to drive spontaneously far away, it is a problem, so you have to rest and recharge your accumulator until the journey continues and this can take much time from 30 minutes to 12 hours depending on the vehicle model and the charging station. The same distance with an normal vehicle is no problem, if the tank is empty you drive to a gas station and fill your tank in a few minutes and continue your journey.

Lightning LS-218 - Fastest electric motorcycle[edit]

The electric motorcycle called LS-218, produced by Lightning Motorcycles, is the fastest series production two-wheeler in the world. The name is inspired by the 218.637 MPH record its prototype set at Bonneville in August 2011.

Its styling has the design of the traditional motocycles with a combustion engine just missing an exhaust. So it's hard to look at the LS-218 and know that it doesn't have an internal combustion engine.

The three 380 Volt-batteries helps the electric engine to deliver 200 horse power and 228 Nm torgue to the rear wheel. There are three different battery capacities available: starting at 12 kWh over 15 kWh up to 20 kWh. It is possible to drive in a range up to 180 miles per charge with three of the 20 kWh batteries. With its brakes it regenerates electricity and charges the batteries. The LS-218 weights 225 Kg, as you can imagine because of the batteries. With a fast loading charger it is possible to continue the fast ride just after 30 minutes.

The LS-218 has no transmission. The electric motor directly drives the rear wheel with up to 10,500 rounds per minute. Even the elctric motor is liquid cooled.

It is available on the US-market since may 2014.


- The US-entertainer Jay Leno is also known as a great car and motorcycle enthusiast. He took a ride on the LS-218 in November 2014.

- In June 2013, Carlin Dunne rode the Lightning LS-218 to a victory at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, beating all the motorcycles - powered by combustion engines - by over 20 seconds.

Notes and references[edit]

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