Quick charge batteries could change the face of electric motorcycling.
Chinese electric motorcycle manufacturer Evoke is experimenting with a new battery design that would allow a nearly full recharge in just 15 minutes, a vast improvement over the hours recharging takes currently.
This would match Gaius Automobile's recently announced Rapide 3 electric cargo bike, but apply to the masses rather than just delivery vehicles. Evoke's current batteries charge in 8 hours on 110 volts or 4 hours on 220 volts. The new battery's capability to charge from a standard Level 2 charger would make on-the-fly charging possible, rather than riding until the battery runs out, then recharging overnight, vastly expanding the bikes' practicality.
Evoke's new battery is not only designed for rapid charging but for multiple applications. One battery would be perfectly adequate for a small motorcycle or scooter, but it will also be possible to daisy chain multiple batteries together for larger vehicles that require additional power.
Another aspect of batteries that people don't think about much is cooling. Batteries operate best in a particular temperature range and pumping lots of power through them for charging or high loads can overheat them. Evoke's new battery packs include a proprietary active thermal management system to increase the batteries' life expectancy.
Not only does Evoke plan to use this fast-charging second-generation battery in upcoming models, it also plans to make them available for other manufacturers to use and take advantage of the quick charge time. This is a similar move to what Kymco and Gogoro propose with hot-swappable batteries to keep electric bikes on the road continuously. But while the other brands are focusing on scooters, the daisy-chain capabilities of Evoke's new batteries open the door to a wider variety of larger vehicles, ranging from motorcycles to rickshaws to small cars.
One thing is certain. A great deal of electric vehicle innovation is happening in Asia right now. The results of this experimentation should help jumpstart electric vehicle design here in the U.S.