Electric-Motorcycle Maker Zero Expands In Australia

By dancurranjr On December 5th, 2010

While electric cars have been making headlines lately, electric power is quietly making its way into two-wheeled transport. Zero Motorcycles, the Scotts Valley, Calif., maker of electric motorcycles, said it began selling its Zero S and DS street models in Australia.

The company says it has been selling its off-road X and MX models in Australia for about a year but that the arrival of the new models marks the first availability of street-legal electric motorcycles in the country. The growth of the Zero lineup and the company’s expansion around the world hints at how the market for electric cars may develop. While demand for electric vehicles may initially be small in the U.S., there is enough of a global market to sustain companies that probably couldn’t survive on U.S. sales alone.

Zero’s success is striking to me in particular because a year and a half ago I rode the new Zero S in New York. While it was fast, fun to ride and had a fairly refined feel, it still seemed like a far-off concept. With 31 horsepower and a sticker price over $9,000 it seemed too expensive to compete with cheaper gasoline-powered sport bikes that cost thousands less and have twice the power.

If that sounds familiar it may be because car companies were saying the same things about electric cars just a couple of years ago. Now it seems every car maker is rushing to bring electric cars to market.


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