What’s driving the electric motorcycle segment?

Electric motorcycles are niche but with advancements in technology and an evolving model range, they could become more popular in the future. By Sam Steers

The concept of the electric motorcycle dates back to the early 1900s when it was first mentioned in the October 1911 issue of technology and innovations magazine Popular Mechanics. The model  featured could achieve a claimed range of 75 miles on a full charge and was equipped with a three-speed controller that allowed it to reach speeds of up to 4mph, 15 mph, and 35mph.

Special report: Electric motorcycles

Electric motorcycles weren’t fully exploited until the 1970s when entrepreneur Mike Corbin built a commuter electric motorcycle called the Corbin Electric. California-based Auranthic Corp followed in 1974 with its Charger model, which offered speeds of 30mph and a 50 mile range on a full charge.

Between the 1970s and the early 2000s, the progression of electric motorcycle production was mainly focused on motorsport and there were many cases in the 1980s of electric motorcycles being used in drag racing and other competitions.

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