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Exotic, Italian, Electric: The Energica Ego electric street superbike

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July 10, 2014

The 2015 Energica Ego electric superbike

The 2015 Energica Ego electric superbike

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With major manufacturers still dragging their feet on electric performance bikes, it's up to smaller, independent factories to forge the future of battery-powered motorcycles. Italy's Energica has just announced the 2015 revision of its Ego street superbike. At 100 kW (134 horsepower), 195 Nm (143.8 lb.ft) and 11.7 kWh of battery on board, it'll be a road rocketship capable of an emission-free 240 km/h (149 mph) top speed ... and it looks the part of an exotic Italian sportsbike, too.

Once you ride a good electric motorcycle, petrol burners start feeling sadly out of date. The major manufacturers have a lot invested in pistons, valves, clutches, radiators and gearboxes; perhaps that's why they're dragging their feet on electrics. Certainly if Honda was to step up and start mass producing electric musclebikes it would bring significant economies of scale to the market.

As it stands, a few of the big boys are taking tentative nibbles at the battery bike market, but the real strides are being made by smaller, independent manufacturers that have started up with the sole aim of bringing electrics to the people.

Independents like Italy's Energica, based in the 'Motor Valley' of Modena, just outside Bologna and the home of petrolhead meccas like the Ferrari, Lamborghini and Ducati factories.

Energica, brainchild of race engineering specialists the CRP Group, has been building electric streetbikes with a typical Italian design flair and high performance since 2011, and the company has just rolled out its latest lithium-powered rocket, the Ego.

The 2015 Energica Ego electric superbike

The hand-crafted Ego now features an 11.7 kWh battery, good for between 100 and 200 km (60-120 miles) worth of range depending on how hard you're thrashing it. The motor puts out a peak of 100 kW (134 horsepower), but as with all electrics it will feel much, much stronger than that figure suggests due to a monstrous 195 Nm (143.8 lb.ft) of torque, which kicks in immediately from 0 rpm.

No clutch or gears are required to take the Ego to its electronically limited 240 kmh (149 mph) top speed, and the 0-100 km (62 mph) time is less than three seconds. Lots of people think they'll miss the clutch and gear lever. I was one of them until I rode the Zero SR and realized a gearbox is completely irrelevant if you've got great stomping masses of drive available to you any time you turn the throttle. The Ego is a significantly more powerful and torquey bike than the SR, you're not gonna need gears.

Suspension is by Marzocchi at the front, Ohlins at the rear, and there's a Bosch ABS system to tame the bite of the radial Brembo brakes.

Engine braking is completely up to the discretion of the rider. You can program in whatever degree of regenerative braking you like through the gorgeous full color TFT dash, right down to having none at all.

The 2015 Energica Ego electric superbike, with full color TFT dash

Charging the battery through a wall socket will take 3.5 hours from flat to full, or 30 minutes for an 80 percent charge using an optional fast charger.

Price? Yep, still very expensive. The Ego will cost between US$25,000 and $28,000 depending on fluctuations in battery prices, and it'll be available next year. Energica is currently taking a fleet of Egos around Italy, Germany and America offering public test rides. If you haven't ridden a high performance electric before, I'd suggest it's worth your while getting out and trying one.

Source: Energica

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
9 Comments

I'd take the ZERO SR over this any day but its good that allot company's are finally going electric

Silent Hightimes
10th July, 2014 @ 07:20 pm PDT

SO - You 'thrash' it for 60-90 miles, wait 30 minutes for 80% charge and cruise it back home again?

Meanwhile your mate who kept up with you on almost any 750 or so cc IC bike, (and only spent up to $5-10 grand to buy it as hardly used 2nd-hand) spends 5 minutes and $20 bucks on petrol and goes home just as quickly as he wants!

Still virtually a pipe dream in the designer's head, not enough range, too high priced. The 'optional' fast charger alone may cost up to 1/4 of the cost of your mate's whole bike!

The Skud
10th July, 2014 @ 07:28 pm PDT

Skud...I can use the Zero SR as a commuter bike for a week without recharging. That's about 150+ miles. Then I get to charge it for about $1.60, not a great bike to cruise cross country, but plenty for around town.

I agree the prices are still a bit high, but that will change in the long run as more companies ram up.

VoiceofReason
10th July, 2014 @ 11:54 pm PDT

I agree with both The Skud and VoiceofReason. For a super sport you simply don't have the range / recharge ability. Thrash it like a super sport wants to be thrashed and you'll run out too soon and won't get home. But then commuting on it you've got all the range you need (I run 15km round trip each day) and low recharge price but the discomfort of a dedicated sport bike.

Surely it makes more sense to have an electric muscle bike. Something you can commute on but something that looks respectable and can be a bit flash as needed.

I'd say make something like the ST1100/1300 but then you'd expect to go 400km on a tank and recharge in 5 mins while touring Australia.

I'd personally get a Zero if I had the cash, but I don't and I think it would be a little uncomfortable for my rather lazy commutes.

Scion
11th July, 2014 @ 07:39 am PDT

Skud + Scion,

Sure if you're into touring, then this isn't your ride (until the next gen of batteries come out). But how many riders need more than 60-90 miles of range per day? 1 in a 100?

Paul Schober
11th July, 2014 @ 10:26 am PDT

To add to comments both with me and against me - Do people really need that much 'sport' in a bike, even at weekends (not commuting shorter dist.)?

I think a lot of riders just want the electric simplicity etc. of drive train, but with an average top speed - here in Oz we are mostly limited to 100-110 kmh - and fair touring range with quickish recharge.

A slow commute of 20+ miles a day total does not compare to a Coastal Highway run of 150-200 kms when on a holiday trip.

If I get somewhere I would like to explore I need the bike, not leave it recharging for a long time.

A car, on the other hand, or an IC bike, can 'refuel' quickly and be available at short notice for a tourism side trip you find out about from the local watering hole (pub) at arrival.

Hope this clarifies your views on my thoughts.

The Skud
11th July, 2014 @ 07:42 pm PDT

Of course there are range limitations but they are falling by orders of magnitude and, as EV demand and subsequent R&D grows, that's set to continue. It won't be long before all racing will go the way of Pike's Peak. If you want to be quick you'll have to go electric.

apprenticeearthwiz
12th July, 2014 @ 10:58 pm PDT

I and my 15 friends went riding today, I rode 90 miles to and from the meet-up spot and we rode all day. I filled up 5 times, spending 1/2 an hour doing so. On this bike i would have spent between about 3 and 17 hours charging...I would not consider this in any way approaching real world usability. The real electric bike/car problem is lets say everyone has one tomorrow, no more gas cars..Lets go to Disneyland..You need a decent 60 Amps of current to charge a vehicle...How many parking spots are at Disneyland?..20,000? Disneyland is going to have the support infrastructure to handle 1.2 million Amps of current flow for it's parking lot?.....Uh..yeah.. I can just see the draw in a large city like New York when after 5 PM everyone goes home and, yeah , simultaneously plugs in their car..

enntense
13th July, 2014 @ 06:32 pm PDT

It looks great, right up until you see the appalling use of an externally mounted rear shock. Reminds me of a cheap Chinese scooter.

Jason Catterall
15th July, 2014 @ 02:14 am PDT
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