Last March when Greentech Media visited the 24-Hour Electricross race in San Jose, Calif., Zero's founder and CTO Neal Saiki announced that his company would soon release a street model. And here it is in glorious video.
The new street model is heavier (225 pounds), faster (60 mph) and stronger (31 horsepower) compared to the Model X. The bike also lasts longer on a single charge (up to 60 miles), which CEO Gene Banman thinks will appeal to commuters and a wider audience.
The bike instantly drew attention from people strolling along the pavement of the South Beach Marina. "Is that the one they showed on TV?" said one of the curious spectators. No question the Zero people know how to make the news.
Although they don't get as much attention as electric cars, electric motorcycles are gaining traction, and in many ways are a better fit for integrating batteries into transportation. Motorcycles can get by with smaller battery packs, which considerably lowers the price. They also don't have to go through the same levels of crash testing, meaning they can get to market quicker. Besides Zero, look out for Brammo (scooters), Mission Motors (high-end racers) and Vectrix (scooters). A few companies also have electric bikes (see a test drive of the A2B electric bike).
Still, they aren't as cheap as regular bikes. Check out the video. The Zero costs $10,000. With a life expectancy of about five years on the battery, expect to pay about $3,500 to $4,000 for an exchange. But you get tax breaks.