Somewhere in the annuals of history there is a Dort car. I don’t think I am related to those Dort’s, but how cool would it be to put my mark in annuals of history too? Anyway, I am sure you are now wondering what half-baked, horribly unscientific, yet clearly over thought idea I have come up with this time. Ta-daaa. I give you the ‘Dort Standard’.

Everyone wants to know how far they will be able to go on a full charge. People like to know how far they can go on a tank of gas too, so it’s not an unreasonable thing to ask, even tough it seems it is rarely talked about in the ICE sportbike community. And if you are going to lay down $10k-$19k for an elmoto, or make your own, you have to be sure it fits your needs. The problem with elmotos is that they are so efficient and use so little fuel that seemingly minor differences in riding technique/practices cause big differences in fuel economy. You can go from 200 to 400 mpge! The same differences in riding technique/practices while on an ICE bike could give you 10-20 mpg differences. So there is an actual reason why these companies always say your mileage may vary. But, surely there can’t be a 200 mpge difference between the average rider. Well, the elmoto manufacturers tried to give ranges while being a bit too optimistic, or quoting what you get while driving in the city. Really, not any different than auto manufacturers who talk all about their Highway fuel economy, which is almost always higher, but too many went a bit too far. Now the MIC have come up with standards, finally, but have some misleading language. Still, people like Asphalt and Rubber were still not satisfied, sighting their experience with the Zero, hated so much they didn’t give back for at least 3 weeks . . . ahem. Either way, I ran across about 4 individual mileage spreadsheets on the internet of owners of various Zero and Enertias. Everyone seems to be using 120 to 135wh/m on average, with a few outliers. After my eyes went cross from looking at these things so long, and noticing mistakes throwing the calculations to the answers I wanted off, I gave up and rounded to 130 wh/mile, added 5wh/mile for error, and have decided that most people will use 135wh/mile. I took that number and applied it to battery pack ratings. What I found was that if you divide .135 by the maximum pack wattage in kWh, you will get a relatively realistic real world range. When I applied it to the Zero S model Asphalt and Rubber rode I got a range number to within a mile or 3 of what he experienced. Eureka!

Now many will quote aero advantages and other such factors that will effect range, but for a good ball park number, I think, for now this will actually work. If it works for you too, I’ll be even more surprised. So here are my ranges for current street elmotos.

Model “Dort Standard” range

Zero S/DS ZF9 67 miles

Zero S/DS ZF6 44 miles

Brammo Enertia 26 miles

Brammo Enertia Plus

51 miles

Brammo Empulse 76 miles

eCRP Enerica ? miles (no reported pack size)

Lightning 104ish miles (bit if a guess really)

Mission Motors R 107 miles

I await the angry letters. 😀

Disclaimer: All numbers were taken from manufacturer’s websites (except Lightning’s). If max kWh not listed, I divided nominal kWh by .9 to calculate an estimated maximum kWh.

Vextrix 3.7KWh = 27 miles sounds about right to me if you are doing 40 to 50 miles/h.

I have been using similar calculations for my personal comparisons and have been using 100 Wh per Kilometer at a speed average of 100 KM/H (60 M/H).

And that’s quite a useful average speed to calculate with and also very easy math to do by head 🙂

I agree that it also a bit pessimistic number to use but it prevents disappointments later on if you happen do do a fast commute…

So in my range stats @100 KM/H:

Vectrix NiMH = 37 KM

Vectrix Li+ (5.4kwh) = 54 KM

Zero 9 = 90 KM

Zero 6 = 60 KM

Brammo Empulse = 102 KM

Brammo Enertia + = 62 KM

It’s a really, really bad idea to give a single figure for electric range with no context.

In “normal usage” for a gas bike (GS500) I got anywhere from 50 mpg (suburban or 85 mph highway riding) to 60 mpg (exclusively urban riding). About a 20% difference based upon riding style.

In “normal usage” an unfaired electric bike (2012 Zero S) can get anywhere from < 40 miles of range (75+ mph highway) to 120+ (exclusively urban). About a 200% difference based upon riding style.

In MY normal riding I typically see 70-80 miles, but I wouldn't dare pass that off as a canonical range for the bike to someone whose riding patterns differ significantly from mine.

Really two root causes for “poor” highway range / energy consumption.

1. ICE is more efficient under fairly constant moderate load. IE, flat highway driving.

2. The Zero in particular is really inefficient in highway riding. It’s unfaired and the motor is probably operating in a less efficient RPM. The Empulse is a bigger, heavier bike but it claims about 9% lower energy consumption at 70 mph. Pair that with an 18% larger battery, and the highway range in total is 29% higher.

Zero S city range / highway range: 2.62x

Empulse city range / highway range: 2.16x

So Empulse should be a little more consistent, but it still could benefit from some aero fairings IMO.