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Major Advantages of Electric Two Wheelers
The mode of transportation that seems to dominate the push for more sustainable fuel technology is cars. Motorcycles, however, are a viable alternative, and electric motorcycles do not receive nearly the amount of attention that they deserve.
There are many advantages of electric motorcycles over other electric modes of transportation such as cars. For one, motorcycles are much smaller and hence much lighter, which means they can travel farther on less electricity. Of course being smaller, the battery they can carry is also much smaller, but still, the difference is there. There is at least one electric motorcycle on the market that can go close to seventy miles on a single charge. Other electric motorcycles, some in development and some of which already available, can go up to 120 miles or 200 km on a single charge, which is significantly more than any electric car on the market. Electric two wheelers have better acceleration than conventional motorcycles in the same speed category. With electric two wheelers, one does not need to pay the carbon tax, and in some countries, even the road tax and vehicle registration tax are also exempted to promote the technology. Lower maintenance costs and fewer maintenance activities are other benefits of electric two wheelers.
Another bonus is that because the battery is smaller, the charging time of an electric motorcycle is also reduced. Unlike electric cars, which can potentially take an inconvenient amount of time to charge, these electric motorcycles can be fully recharged in a relatively short amount of time.
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Scooters and Motorcycles in Other Countries
The United States is also relatively unique in that scooters, the close cousin of the motorcycle, are not used a great deal, even in dense cities. In many other places in the world, scooters and bicycles are the norm for cities, and electric motorcycles, scooters, and even bicycles will significantly reduce the pollution caused by vehicles for these cities.
With this in mind, it is clear that Americans, especially those who dwell in cities, should seriously consider some type of two wheel transportation. Many electric scooters and some motorcycles are relatively cheap and would make an ideal second vehicle which could be used for the majority of day to day travel. The savings in fuel costs would be substantial, and really, it is practical solutions like this that will make a significant dent in the problem of global warming.
Electric Scooters in India, China, and Japan
Hero Electric India is a leading company dealing in electric two wheeler segment. In India, such vehicles are called "scooty." China has emerged as the largest market of electric two wheelers. A major portion of China's population uses two wheelers for commuting from one place to another. Considering the exponential rise in the population of China and their limited resources, they have made a smart move by promoting electric two wheelers. In 2004, only 40,000 electric two wheelers were sold in China and by 2010, the count has surpassed the 100 million mark. Yamaha is a leading two-wheeler company in the electric segment in Japan.
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One Answer to the Energy Crisis
In the late 1970s, the world realized that our energy sources would not last long, an energy crisis was round the corner and all of a sudden, new automobiles came into existence. However, this interest was short lived and could not be sustained because internal combustion engines were becoming hi-tech and, comparatively, the electric car technology was not yet fully developed. World economies are highly dependent on petroleum industry; currencies of many countries are afloat just because they sell petroleum products. The American dollar moves with the rise and fall in the price of gasoline.
The best way to promote electric two wheelers is to aim at the developing nations where population is increasing and resources are fewer. In developed nations, awareness and educating people about the need of switching to the electric segment can solve the problem. Unless people know about the potential threats of not using electric vehicles, they will always choose fast, luxurious, and shining cars over electric two wheelers.
Switching to the electric mode instantaneously is not very difficult because science and technology are capable of doing that very easily. However, considering the monetary interests of nations, economic dependency on the petroleum industry, and vested interests of some corporate houses, promoting the electric technology is not going to be an easy task. After all, those who fund our elections and support our political parties can get things done their way. It is for us to decide, including the politicians and industrialists that what do we need, a pocketful of dollars or one thousand years of safe, green, and happy life?
- Hero Electric India - Manufacturer of Electric Scooters
- Image: Honda Electric Scooters by Dennis Tang, WikiCommons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
- Christopher Cherry, University of California Transportation Center, Electric Two-Wheelers in China (pdf)
- ETEC Vrije Universiteit Brussel, E-Tour: Electric Two Wheelrs on Urban Roads (pdf), www.etec.vub.ac.be