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Electric motorcycles are ready for Norwegian roads

Energica’s electric motorcycles are now available in Norway. FEMA’s member organization NMCU was present at the launch and took the Energica’s for a test ride.

In May 2016 the Energica importer in Norway organized a press- and retailer kick-off in Oslo. The manufacturer, Energica, was also at hand for the occasion, with two Italian registered Eva factory bikes, plus the dealer’s own Egos. The factory in Modena, Italy will start production in June 2016: 200 bikes in 2016 and 500 in 2017. Ordering a bike during the kick-off would give delivery late July.

High torque
Press and dealers, including yours truly from the Norwegian Motorcyclists’ Union, were given the opportunity to try Eva and Ego for the first time. The two bikes look and feel like ‘real’ motorcycles. Eva is a street fighter who has lower power output than Ego. It has a more upright riding position and is ideal for city- and normal highway use. Ego is a thoroughbred and must be classified as a pure supersports bike, with ditto appearance and posture. I had never ridden an electric motorcycle and my reference is my own Honda VFR 1200F. The torque is very high on Ego and Eve, with very little loss of power from the electric motor through the chain drive powertrain. The bikes have several running modes, based on the desired power output and the level of braking regeneration. Regeneration uses kinetic energy to provide power back to the batteries. Eectric cars work the same way.

Ego and Eva have no gears and no clutch, only throttle and brake. These bikes have a high weight, but they are very well balanced. A clever detail is that they can reverse with very low speed (2.8 km/h). Very handy when forced to park in slopes. In everyday use, they are very cheap to use: only 11.7 kW from 0-100% power, which is just a little over one Euro per ‘filling’. The motor is oil-cooled and needs an oil change every 5,000 km. Otherwise there is no service points other than the tires, brake pads and chain. The warranty period is three years, but the factory knows the special Norwegian warranty period of five years and is considering an extension on the bikes sold in Norway. GPS and mapping functionality is built into the display, and the route can be followed via an app on your smartphone. All information about power, speed, time, etc. is readable and can be stored. When the phone is near the bike Bluetooth can be used for communication. A stolen bike can be traced via the owner’s smartphone. Eva and Evo come with a charging cable that can be connected to the standard wall socket. A 16A fuse is recommended for quick charging. Normal charging time is 3,5 hours. Public quick charging stations can also be used by plugging into the Type2 plug contact under the saddle. 0-85% effect is achieved in 30 minutes.


Test ride
It was rainy and wet and the riding mode selector was set on ‘Rain’ and the regeneration program was set at ‘High’. This was recommended not to risk unnecessary wheel spin and dropping the bike. Eva is very easy to ride and comparable with a normal petrol-powered streetfighter. The absence of engine sound was a bit unfamiliar. One could only hear a slight squealing noise and at red lights it was totally quiet. This lack of sound gave a quiet and relaxing riding style. With a bike as quiet as this I was very conscious about pedestrians and cyclists. The bike is easy to drive at low speeds, without tendencies jerking. Ego is a thoroughbred motorcycle with abundance of power and should be ridden with caution. Like Eva it is very nimble and I quickly found myself very comfortable. The bike has a high weight, however totally without affecting manoeuvrability. It is clear that the factory has selected high quality components that give the bike a high quality feel, and making it look good. The throttle is instantaneous, with full power right from the start. 0-100 can be done in under three seconds!

First customer on Energica Ego
energica_memberThe first customer in Norway on Energica Ego is a Swede and named Michael Hansson. He lives in Oslo and proudly rode away on his white Ego on the launch day. Michael is no stranger to EL-bike and rode earlier a Zero SL. He also has a petrol bike in the garage and is a real enthusiast. NMCU marked the big day giving Michael a free membership. As a former member of SMC he knew well what NMCU does and stands for. We welcome him as a member and look forward to hearing about his motorcycle adventures on the Ego.

From a consumers’ point of view

Buying an Eva or Ego? Why not. Both can run as ordinary motorcycles and they look like motorcycles, with cool design and advanced technical solutions. One feels well on the bikes and notices that this is real quality.

Hassle-free ownership? With a new product like this there is no record yet of any defects, so you would have to trust that the bikes are well tested.

Resale value? The supplier does not offer a leasing contract on the bikes for the simple reason that at this point in time it is not possible to set a resale value. Insurance? The importer says said full coverage insurance will be a little less than an ordinary supersport bike.

In everyday use? Well, it is like owning electric car. The Energicas require access to electric power and charging stations, and in Norway that is not a big problem. It is very easy to get used to riding without clutch/gear. The market offers a variety of petrol bikes with an automatic gearbox and the owners say they are very satisfied with the solution.

Racetrack? The factory does not recommend using the bike on regular racetrack. Racetrack use will quickly drain the batteries and the lifetime of the batteries is drastically shortened by repeated quick charges. Then new batteries must be purchased, at a high cost.

Written by Geir Strand, policy officer at NMCU.
Photography: Trang Doan.