100% electric motorbike

elektrogirl-logo[in English only (a time saving matter) + this page will be updated every now & then with on-the-road data and experiences. Updates 21 July at the bottom; updates 14 September upon arriving home in the questions.]

Here is where I describe and show my special motorbike.
She’s electric, 100%, o yes =:-]
And I decided she’s French, la moto. Xena la Zera.

2015 Zero DS
Model: DS ZF12.5 + Power Tank meaning she has 15.3 kWh (max capacity)

My own questions and answers are (updated 14.9):

  1. How far can I ride on a 100% charge?
    275 km is my record of the journey, with some 5 km to spare. This however meant a VERY disciplined right hand, or better even, riding like a grand mother most of the way. 40 to maximum 60 km/h, no hard acceleration, close to no braking, all with regenerative braking of the 100% CUSTOM modus for both brake and torque.
    Every now and then, I offered myself a shorter thus a fast day. From Macedonia to Thessaloniki, Greece for instance, 138 km, I had a ball blasting along winding roads.
    (note: the Zero DS has three settings: SPORT, ECO, CUSTOM. The latter can be set via the Zero app on a smart phone. Works with Blue Tooth.
  2. How fast does it go (at times)?
    In SPORT modus, no luggage, smooth asphalt road: 130 km/h. I’m pretty sure it can go faster but haven’t found a fit stretch without the risk of a fine.
  3. How long do I need to charge for a 100% charge?
    Depends entirely on the Ampere’s. All over Europe these were constantly (!) fluctuating between 8-12 Amp, in poorer regions even between 6-10 Amp. This means charging time also fluctuates, between 11-14 hours so a nice full night of talks, coffees, dinner, shower and sleep =:-]
  4. Do I usually manage to charge during lunch brakes?
    I did a couple of times, charging some 10% i.e. 20km per hour. In a pizzeria, a posh restaurant, a coffee shop, a cafe. None wanted my cash for it.
  5. Are people reluctant to let me charge the motorbike?
    NO, not a single time! To the contrary: people are amazed, fascinated, enthusiastic, all the way from Belgium over Italy through the Balkans so far.
  6. How much do they charge me for it?
    Whenever I was charging in normal homes and even in hotels or B&B’s, I didn’t have to pay. I paid only in camping sites (2,5 to 3,5 €). For the total journey from Belgium to Istanbul and back, a distance of 7.719 km, I paid 23€…
    (I do carry a kWh-meter and used it once. Everybody seems to know charging batteries is very cheap.)

DATA

Real range on an average day (no highway, no top speeds, custom setting via smart phone app on most economical setting): 220-250 km per 100% recharge
(record = 275 km with some 5 km to spare)

Max capacity: 15.3 kWh (this includes the extra Power Tank)
Nominal capacity: 13.5 kWh
Charge time (standard): 12-13 hours depending on Ampera’s (100% charged) / 10-11 hours (95% charged)
Input: Standard 220 V

Physics
Weight: 207 kg / estimate with all luggage 240 kg. To me this is a heavy bike as I used to travel with Suzuki DR 650 SE of 147 kg empty, fully loaded and with full tank approximately 200 kg. BUT the Zero DS has a low center of gravity so only for parking it’s a bit of exhausting pulling and pushing.
Seat height: 843 mm. Though I have long legs, she’s a tad bit too high for me with this weight. Would lower it a bit if she were mine.
Typical cost for a full recharge: 3,16 € (in Western Europe; in Serbia it was 0,3€)

Power
Top speed (on paper): 158 km/h (max), 129 km/h (sustained)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 6.4 seconds (in SPORT modus)
Max torque: 92 Nm
Max power: 54 hp (40 kW) @ 4,300 rpm

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nLab / nWheels
This brad new Zero DS is generously lent to me for the journey by Patrick Naeyaert, electric nerd and owner of nLab in Bruges, one of the four Zero dealers in Belgium.
As a matter of course, without his crucial gesture this undertaking could never have taken off.

 

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Tuesday, June 30th 2015
I met her for the first time today!

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Friday, July 10th 2015
Fully laden set up on the images below. All of it is underwear of course.
#NOT
From left to right when sitting on the bike:

  • THE famous, red, waterproof Ortlieb roll, ancient, if only this could talk! Used over 25 years, seen the Himalaya’s, the Karakoram in Pakistan, a stretch of Western Russia, all of Iran a couple of times, Yemen, and much more.
    Contains all camping gear (tent, mattress, sleeping bag, small camping extra’s)
  • the brad new, white-black Held roll. Maiden voyage. Sponsored by RAD.
    Contains clothes, two books, chargers of all kinds, shoes, toiletry, … It’s the bag I use every day.
  • the bright blue sleeping bag roll. Test phase to see if this system works.
    Contains bloody heavy tripod and a (self-made by friend) reflection screen.
  • brad new aluminum Givi pannier. Maiden voyage too. Equally sponsored by RAD.
    Contains laptop, wires for charging, hard disks and other fragile gear, wrapped up in mousse, log book, warm gloves and jumper, …

At the front:

  • left and right, brad new, hand made by 21 Brothers in Poland, two 5-liter side panniers. Next time I will order the 10 liter size as I would have loved to put also pick-nick or shoes or more water in there.
    Contains: Platypus water bag with tube for drinking while riding (left) / a few heavy tools (right)
  • THE equally famous and ancient self-made tank bag. Self-made as not a single company seems to understand the needs of a photographer’s tank bag (safest place to stock this gear). Seen all the same countries as the Ortlieb roll above. Zippers have become a bit of a problem so I’ll see if I can find a fixer along the road.
    Contains all vital stuff except for papers (those are on me) such as money, cacao butter, camera and lens, pencils and felt pens.
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