With the economic downturn still affecting many markets, new ones are springing up all over the place due to different demands. Some markets that were thriving only a few years ago have now all but disappeared, but as many have been created in their place. For example newer, lightweight and more efficient vehicles are now in demand all over the world, as rising energy prices cause running costs to skyrocket.
As the demand for more efficient petrol and diesel cars grows, the variety of energy sources also grows. The general realisation that fossil fuels cannot support us seems to have sunk in, and investment in alternative fuels has never been higher. Electric cell technology is slowly becoming better and better, and can now make a viable alternative to petrol, as can hydrogen fuel cells. The Tesla was the first commercially successful electric car to be released in mid 2008, but had several problems including a huge weight in the front and an unreliable range. However, there still needs to be an introduction of refuelling infrastructure before the technology can be rolled out on any large scale. Efforts are being made in both Europe and America to add these fuelling options to standard petrol stations, but this has a long way to go. Despite all of this, consumer demand for electric bikes has been rising at an average annual demand of around 9%. This began around 2009 and is predicted to continue to 2016 and beyond.
Another big step towards mass market electric motorbikes was taken recently with the partnership between lithium ion battery producer Ener1 and Lightning Motorcycles. Lightning motorcycles are currently produce the fastest electric production motorbike, clocked recently at 178mph, and are looking to widen their product range. The partnership between them and Ener1, leaders in LiON battery technology will enable the company to diversify into a range of electric super bikes, scooters and even some bicycles, and provide them with a whole range of lightweight energy solutions for them to work with.
With both companies leaders in their respective fields, this is a very promising partnership for motorbike and electric vehicle enthusiasts, and the environment. The hope is that they will be able to bring to market a range of vehicles that will act as a truly viable alternative to petrol powered bikes. With new battery technology holding more charge and being able to recharge quicker, we surely aren’t that far away for electric vehicles being the norm.