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BMW confirms production of Vision EfficientDynamics plug-in hybrid sports car


November 7, 2010

Road-ready technology showcase of BMW's Vision EfficientDynamics plug-in hybrid sports car

Road-ready technology showcase of BMW's Vision EfficientDynamics plug-in hybrid sports car

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April 8, 2009 Zero Motorcycles was a surprise hit in 2008, selling out its stock of 'X' battery-electric motocross bikes much faster than expected and proving in the process that customers are well and truly ready to slap down the dollars for a quality electric off-roader. Now the company has announced the Zero S - a street-legal electric supermotard capable of 60mph and with a 60-mile range off a full 4-hour battery charge. At under US$10,000 - before you get your 10% Federal plug-in vehicle credit - the Zero S joins the Vectrix electric maxi-scooter in the list of truly practical electric bikes capable of freeway speeds. And with a power-to-weight ratio almost identical to Suzuki's DR-Z400SM, it should be a bag of laughs to ride. If consumers liked the X, we reckon they'll go crazy to be the first on the block to ride this street-legal, lean, green giggle machine.

Technology is finally beginning to catch up with the demands of the market in electric vehicles - and the Zero S is a great example of how. Its maximum range of 60 miles and max speed of 60mph are more than enough for the average daily commute - and if you plug it in at the office, you've got plenty of extra power to play with. It's still pretty limited as a weekend thrasher, but every other day there's a new advancement in battery technology - we're sure we'll see a 300-mile bike with a burn-your-license top speed before too long.

Like all electrics, it costs next to nothing to recharge, working out at less than a cent's worth of electricity per mile - and the savings keep building as your petrol-powered bikes need servicing and the Zero S simply doesn't.

The S might only make 31 horsepower, but then it only has to pull a tiny 225 pounds (102.1kg) dripping wet. Except, of course, it's not wet, there's no petrol or coolant or oil to speak of - meaning that maintenance is pretty much limited to looking after the brakes, tires and chain. By comparison, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM makes a claimed 40hp, but hauls 132kg before fuel and fluids are added. The power to weight ratios are almost identical (0.3030hp/kg vs. 0.3024hp/kg).

The DR-Z might not be the craziest street supermoto going around, but it's still a great fun bike to ride - and the Zero S can pump out its full torque from idle, so the low end response should be excellent. The handling should also be beaut - everything has been kept so light that it should be a most flickable beast.

The Zero-S will start shipping in May, but pre-orders are being taken now at the Zero Motorcycles website. The price is USD$9950, with an extra $500 if you want it shipped directly to your door. With the US Federal plug-in vehicle credit of 10%, that comes down to less than US$9 grand - only around 2 1/2 grand more than a DR-Z. Starting to make sense, isn't it?

Check out the video below to see the Zero S in action.

Loz Blain

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

when I first saw the concept of this BMW, I was hugely impressed but highly sceptical of ever seeing one as a production car.As usual, I was wrong ! This will sell and sell, people will queue just to have a ride in one,, beautiful, different, awesome !

2nd May, 2015 @ 5:23 a.m. (California Time)

This car is fantastic ... I love it ... I don\'t care for this ones paint scheme, I love the original black and white concept show car. It\'s great to see that the mfg. can combine style, performance and great fuel economy.

Del Baumgartner, Automotive Designer & Custom Coach Builder BRAVA MOTORSPORTS, LLC www.bravamotorsports.com

del baumgartner
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:23 a.m. (California Time)

Paint job camouflage, I think we all know that Tony! Don\'t really know why I tuned into this report, when I see the word \'hybrid\' I lose interest!

2nd May, 2015 @ 5:23 a.m. (California Time)

re comment \"del baumgartner\"

Paint scheme is designed so sneeky photographers cant pick its shape!! Until is released by BMW

Tony Ronald
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:23 a.m. (California Time)

It sure has a purdy mouth =)

2nd May, 2015 @ 5:23 a.m. (California Time)
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