Friday, March 26, 2010

Zero Motorcycles gets Schwarzenegger nod

Gov. Schwarzenegger famously rides his Harley up the Pacific Coast Highway on weekends with his buddies, but yesterday, he took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about the benefits of zero-emission bikes when he showed off several Zero Motorcycles outside the capitol in Sacramento.

Zero seems to be gaining ground in this burgeoning market of quiet, yet powerful 2-wheel scooters and motorcycles. Several companies are vying for the upper end of electric motorcycle world, Mission Motors, Brammo and Honda among others. Zero, however, has been selling their super quick dirt bike for over a year now and have added a road version to entice commuters wanting some excitement in their ride to and from work.

I had the opportunity to ride the Zero a while back at Santa Monica's AltCar Expo and was thoroughly impressed. As a rider of the super smooth Vectrix Maxi Scooter, I was ready for some quick acceleration, but what I got was way more than I was prepared for. The 0-30 was a scary quick 2 seconds! I know, I know, we usually hear 0-60 times, but you have to experience this off-the-line speed on a virtually silent bike that weighs a mere 172 lbs to understand how cool that is. By comparison, my Vectrix hits 30 in about 4 seconds and weighs in at a hefty 465 lbs.

I'm looking forward to trying the Zero road bike next. Maybe I'll check them out at Hollywood Electrics, a new store specializing in electric bikes of all kinds.

For those who live in big cities in warm climates, the electric two-wheeler is a great option for getting from point A to point B with a minimum of energy or effort. Now, I'm gonna take a quick ride down to the beach for the sunset!

On the far right is Plug In America's super-effective legislative director, Jay Friedland. When you finally go to pick up your shiny new EV at the the showroom of GM, Ford, Nissan, Volvo, Mercedes or any other OEMs making them, say a little thank you to Jay for the $7,500 federal tax credit and the $5,000 CA state tax credit ($1,500 for motorcycles:~). Jay was instrumental in making those happen.


  1. Very Cool! Too bad I live in Illinois.

  2. Just for clarification, Jay Friedland was there not as a representative of Plug In America but because he also does professional contract work for Zero.

  3. Have Jay work his magic in Virginia and I'll buy one immediately.

  4. Paul,
    Thanks for the post. One thing that I've been thinking about in relation to Zero motorcycles is the lack of noise. First, because, as much as I want quieter electric cars, I've also been persuaded (brainwashed?) by the "loud pipes save lives" mantra. Second, because I'm wondering if Zero motorcycles is having, or will have, problems selling motorcycles that are so quiet. It's my understanding that the noise is a big part of the attraction for many people who buy motorcycles -- which is why I find it a bit strange that, as far as I can tell, Zero doesn't address the noise factor on its web site, or in online promotional videos I've seen...

  5. Paul, thank you for your updates! I like the picture of you on your electric bike!

  6. About the noiseless aspect of the bike: this can easily be addressed with a properly sized boom box and the corresponding heavy metal music.

  7. Christof,

    The lack of noise is a good thing. We are bombarded by internal combustion everywhere. Motorcycles are the worst. Every engine we replace with a motor will calm our communities and make life more pleasant.

    Sure, there are many who want the noise. They can buy Harleys. I believe there are lots of people who want to experience the fun and efficiency of riding a bike without the noise and pollution. Let's just expand the group to include those.

  8. You guys look great on the Vectrix. Once you test the Zero Motorcycle, then you'll have to compare it to a Brammo.

  9. Bring it on!!!!! Only concern is that the quietness may also be a safety issue for pedestrians and other motorists who are already not "seeing" motorcycles. Maybe a little artificial noise makers of some sort might be the answer.


  10. Simply...Finally Fantastic!

    What the Stradivarius is to the World of Music, so is the shiny fleet if Premium EV Vehicles and Scooters to the No Gas-No Kidding Transportation Musical in your immediate neighborhood...why did we have to wait so very long for something so uniquely essential for daily Life of this one and only House in which we live...our beloved Earth...perhaps we all may enjoy the Springtime of our Lifetime by pursuing the new happiness while reaching for new horizons without the daily habit of making frequent stops at the gasoline stations....

    May God bless All The Genuine EV Pioneers


  11. Whoa! That is so neat, thankyou for the post. I think that is great just for the fact you don't have to worry about getting a ticket for your pipes being too noisey. About a year ago I had a pipe get so hot it burnt through my riding pants, and hiking gaiters I was wearing to keep the rain out. So I think one less thing to worry about while riding is great!

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