Critics of electric vehicles often cite the inevitable high cost of replacing the battery as a major disadvantage. Indeed, even a used Tesla battery can go for more than $25,000, more than many affordable new cars. Batteries don't last forever. It seems like my house always has at least one smoke detector beeping at me because its battery died so quickly. Italian manufacturer Tacita has taken on the challenge of proving the naysayers wrong.
In addition to range, one of the major concerns people have with electric motorcycles is how long their batteries will last. While it's easy enough to put gas in your tank, you don't usually have to worry about the tank getting smaller over time, or no longer being able to hold fuel at all. Essentially, this is exactly what happens with a dead battery. As time goes on, and the battery goes through many charge/discharge cycles, it won't take as much power in a full charge as it did when it was new. Eventually, something will short out, and it won't charge at all, requiring an expensive replacement. Gasoline-powered motorcycles don't have this problem. Even a rusty fuel tank is easily patched or replaced.
Tacita is trying hard to dispell concerns about batteries having a short life and frequent replacements. Since 2014, Tacita has been using the same batteries in one particular test bike, which has now covered more than 120,000 kilometers (about 75,000 miles). This is farther than many motorcycles even live, regardless of power source. The old batteries are still going strong, Tacita says. It has made modifications to the test bike over the years to deliver power in such a way that helps to preserve the battery while still providing good performance.
Another consideration is that these batteries are still going strong using five-year-old technology. Batteries have improved a great deal over the past five years, thanks to the push to put more electric vehicles on the road. The batteries in a new electric motorcycle, regardless of brand, will likely work even better than this particular Tacita's older technology.
As technology improves, the disadvantages of electric vehicles are becoming less and less of an issue. If only charging can be made nearly as convenient as filling up a tank of gas, they can become a viable alternative for any gas-powered motorcycle rather than an expensive toy.