Zero Electric Motorcycles Promise 99-Percent HP Average Power Increase

Woohoo! From the Intermot show in Germany, California-based electric motorcycle maker Zero has announced a 99-percent horsepower increase across the line among other upgrades.

Relying on in-house designed and built Z-Force motors said to be compact, highly efficient and passively air-cooled, larger available lithium-ion batteries, and updated frames, the belt-driven single-speeders are pushing back the boundary of electric vehicles, thus we’re giving them the mention they deserve.

“With up to 137 miles range in the city, a top speed of 95 mph and a CHAdeMO accessory that allows recharging in around an hour, the 2013 model line is truly exceptional,” said Richard Walker, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. “This year’s lineup offers breathtaking acceleration, new eye-catching designs and the innovative ability to customize the riding experience to each individual’s preferences via a mobile application. We invite consumers to discover the experience of riding a 2013 model by contacting an authorized dealer to sign up for a test ride or to place an order. The new lineup arrives in January.”

Zero’s S is the one with up to 137 mile city range when using the available 11.4-kwh battery. This is quite a large battery for a vehicle that may weigh in the neighborhood of 350 pounds (last year’s 9-kwh version weighs 341 pounds). It is also available with an 8.5-kwh pack.

Consider that a Nissan Leaf has a 24-kwh battery, and a Chevy Volt has 16.5 kwh.

But the S is not the quickest, according to Zero. That would be the new FX dual purpose (on/off road) bike which Zero says offers 44 horsepower, 70 pound-feet of torque for a 275 pound machine.


2013 Zero FX.

The smaller Zero XU – and Zero MX off-roader – now offer modular quick-swap power pack technology.

“Riders can now use one or two battery modules and can upgrade any of the previously mentioned models from 2.8 kWh to 5.7 kWh in seconds,” says the company.

Zero is also going with the CHAdeMO standard to offer optional quick charging to 95 percent of battery capacity in under an hour using charge stations. The bikes will also offer iPhone and Android phone integration via Bluetooth.


2013 Zero XU.

“The CHAdeMO fast charging standard is the most widely adopted DC Fast Charging standard and has over 1600 installed stations worldwide, with an additional 1000 in Europe expected before the end of 2013,” says Zero. “According to Nissan estimates, 2000 fast chargers will be installed in the United States by the end of 2014, with at least 400 in California alone, supported by government electric vehicle infrastructure spending. Based on Pike Research estimates, 115,000 of these chargers will be installed by 2017.”

The design and specifications for these bikes have substantially improved since 2009 and 2010 when the S and DS as well as a couple off-roaders were just making their debut. At the time they were a much tougher sell, especially the S and DS for experienced street riders who expected more power and range.

At this point we think we’ll be seeing more converts to plug-in bikes, and either way, any one of the street-legal bikes would make a very efficient and easy to operate commuter or otherwise fun recreational ride. Off-road bikes can be ridden on trails, tracks, or even suburban back yards without disturbing the neighbors.


2013 Zero MX.

These bikes are eligible for certain subsidies and rebates where applicable. For general info about Zero and its products, check its Zero’s Web site. Specific info on these 2013s should also be forthcoming soon.

MSRP listed for U.S. is the same for Canadian dollars (but does not include local shipping, applicable taxes, PDI or road registration fees). MSRP for EU and UK includes VAT and shipping. Alpha-numeric model designations reflect battery size in kilowatt-hours:

Zero S (Street):

(ZF8.5) $13,995 | €13,995 | £11,695

(ZF11.4) $15,995 | €15,995 | £13,495

Zero DS (larger dual sport):

(ZF8.5) $13,995 | €13,995 | £11,695

(ZF11.4) $15,995 | €15,995 | £13,495

Zero FX (lighter dual sport/urban runabout):

(ZF2.8) $9,495 | €9,495 | £7,995

(ZF5.7) $11,990 | €11,995 | £9,995

Zero XU (light commuter):

(ZF2.8) $7,995 | €7,995 | £6,995

(ZF5.7) $10,490 | €10,495 | £8,995

Zero MX (dirt bike):

(ZF2.8) $9,495 | €9,495 | £7,995

(ZF5.7) $11,990 | €11,995 | £9,995

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  • James Walker

    That would be the new FX dual purpose (on/off road) bike which Zero says offers 44 horsepower, 70 pound-feet of torque for a 275 pound peek machining.This means that now you can get the best ride quality as well as other features, all the while keeping the planet safe.