Electric motorcycles are getting pretty slim these days with more and more reduced weight. With lighter weight, they can zip along at faster speeds and on various terrains. But can an electric motorcycle go faster than an electric car?
In theory, electric motorcycles should go faster than electric cars because they are lighter and are more aerodynamic than their four-wheeled counterparts. But there are various factors at play here.
We are going to explore all of them in this post, so keep reading.
Commuter motorbikes are becoming more and more economical and efficient. These electric motorcycles promise enough power that a rider craves from a performance perspective.
Here’s the best part…
There is almost no environmental impact compared to the traditional gasoline bike. It means that electric motorcycles have the speed, but they are more sustainable too.
With time, these EV motorcycles have become lighter, faster, and safer. Plus, they are now getting better in terms of looks. They are becoming more intelligent with various AI driving features and better charging times.
As technology grows, you can see the same kind of development and growth in electric cars. These four-wheeled vehicles are getting better in terms of technology and AI features too. Regarding riding or driving comfort, cars will always be better than motorcycles but can an electric motorcycle go faster than an electric car?
Consider the following factors.
The acceleration at which an electric vehicle can zip along is determined by the total traction available. With higher torque, electric motors will just spin the tires with more contact area.
The total contact area is always more in an electric car than in an electric motorcycle. So, electric cars have more advantages here than electric motorcycles.
With more contact area, cars have more grip to accelerate at a faster speed with more acceleration. With more contact areas, your EV car can accelerate at a higher rate. They are already equipped with powerful engines. Apart from that, they have a very aerodynamic design.
Aerodynamic drag is what makes a vehicle face a lesser wind resistance while traveling. The air slips over the surface, and the vehicle faces less resistance during acceleration, making it more responsive.
As a result, they become lighter and easier to accelerate. With EV car design features, the wind they are facing will pull them down to the surface. Therefore, available traction will increase, and so will be the acceleration outcome.
Electric cars are flatter, while electric motorcycles are upright. The aerodynamic drag is always going to be more in favor of cars compared to motorcycles. And it will increase at higher speeds.
The power-to-weight ratio will always favor motorcycles because they are smaller and lighter than EV cars. This lightweight design makes immense use of these EV bikes. It covers their disadvantages of more aerodynamic drag due to their upright design and low traction due to less contact area.
EV bikes are much less in weight compared to EV cars. Due to their lighter design, they become much more responsive to high acceleration. The engine will generate the same power, but the response will always be lighter for motorcycles due to their less weight resistance that pulls the vehicles down on the tires.
When you are looking to buy an electric motorcycle, you always consider its top speed. But its top speed is going to depend upon three main factors.
The torque of an EV motorcycle is the turning power of the motor that it is equipped with. With more turning power, the speed of the vehicle will be lower. A bike needs to have more power than required, so you do not have to sacrifice speed.
But with greater torque, a bike can carry more load. With less torque, the load capacity is going to be lower. If you are looking to go as fast as your motor can rotate, you must keep the load minimum. It is only going to be the case if the power output remains consistent.
Power is the rate at which a motor does its work. Its motor’s output power determines the speed of an electric motorcycle. With more power output, your motor should run at a faster speed.
But with more power, a motor can draw more energy from your batteries. Therefore, it will limit the amount of distance that you can cover if the load remains constant.
Now, if the amount of power is restricted or the ability of a motor to draw more power from batteries is restricted, your bike speed will reduce as you increase the load.
Load is another factor that can directly impact how fast your EV bike can go. Your EV motorcycle’s power will determine how fast it will move. With more laid, the bike will be slower if the power is constant. With more load, your wheels will need more turning power.
When your energy supply is constant with more load, there will always be an equal reduction in speed but an increase in torque to keep the motorcycle going. As more power is needed to increase the torque, there will be a proportional reduction in speed.
Determining how fast an EV motorcycle is, you have to consider its load-carrying capacity. With more laid that it can carry, your bike will be more powerful. Therefore, it needs to have a bigger motor which means that it can generate more power.
These motorcycles can draw their power from batteries. Hence, with more speed, you will draw more power and will reduce the range you cover. With faster EV bikes, the price tag is going to be much bigger. It is because the bike will feature a bigger engine and more powerful batteries.
Electric motorcycles might not be as fast as their gasoline counterparts. But they are improving pretty fast. The fastest electric motorcycle is the Lighting LS-218, with a top speed of 218 miles per hour. It is the fastest production electric street-legal motorcycle.
The H2R Kawasaki is the fastest production motorcycle with a top speed of 248.55 miles an hour. But it is not street legal and is only for tracks. But the development in the fastest electrics is going pretty strong. Gasoline engines in bikes have been around for more than a century, and we have refined the technology to reach where we are at.
And we are already reaching those limits with EV bikes only a few years in. These electric bikes already have a huge advantage over their gasoline counterparts. These electric motorbikes and their acceleration are not affected by elevation as their internal combustion engines counterparts do.
EV bikes are pretty fast these days. And the thing is, most USD 20,000 EV motorcycles can beat most USD 20,000 EV cars and even USD 40,000 EV cars too. But top-of-the-line EV cars will always be more powerful due to their superior design features and better engines.
Nevertheless, electric cars are capable of incredible acceleration. Most of them even make the performance combustion engine cars eat their dust. But most EVs are not built to reach face bending speeds. Still, several models are available that can reach 0-60 in less than five seconds. And a few of them can even break the 2-sec barrier.
It is an extraordinary level of development in recent years, and we are all set to usher in the new era of speed. You might be shocked to hear that even some family EVs are already reaching out to the modern gasoline hypercars in terms of a straight sprint.
Most of the high-end EV cars come with powerful engines and batteries. They already have an advantage over EV motorcycles due to their design features. Therefore, you will find more EV cars out there that reach the top speeds of over 250 miles an hour with 0-60 in less than 2 seconds.
The contributing factors here are more traction with acceleration and better aerodynamics. These cars can have bigger batteries too because they can carry more load without influencing their aerodynamics. These cars can also have bigger EV engines in them.
Therefore, the overall outcome will always be that EV cars can be much faster than EV motorcycles. But the contributing factor here is the cost. A bigger engine and bigger battery are going to cost way more.
If you really do the math, the question of “can an electric motorcycle go faster than an electric car, is not even valid. We are comparing apples and oranges.
The comparison is unfair right from the word go because cars have better traction and resulting acceleration. They are far more aerodynamic and have momentum on their side with more weight.
A comparison between them is not really necessary. EV cars and motorcycles are entirely two different types of vehicles, and they have their positives and negatives. If any comparison is necessary, you should compress the gasoline counterparts with the electric ones in the same category.
You can compare a gasoline motorcycle with an electric one and see which one comes out to be a better performer. Similarly, you can compare a gasoline car with an electric one and see which one takes the lead to paint a better picture.
The fastest production street-legal electric motorcycle is the LS218 Lightning, with a top speed of 218 miles an hour.
The fastest production street-legal electric car is Rimac Nevera, with a top speed of 258 miles an hour. It can reach 0 to 60 miles per hour in 1.85 seconds.
Electric motorcycles seem to be faster because they can quickly develop instant torque. Motorcycles are cheaper than cars, and cheaper EV cars are equipped with fewer features. With more price, an EV car comes equipped with more horsepower.
There is a bigger engine and bigger battery in it. It can outperform an electric motorcycle on any given day. Hence, there is a significant difference between the top speed of the fastest production street-legal electric car and the top speed of the fastest production street-legal electric motorcycle.
Fortunately, you can hack an EV to make it go faster. But this hack will not make an electric motorcycle go faster than an electric car. The best way to do it is to go for a battery that has a higher voltage. You can also go for a motor that comes with a higher KV rating.
Another way of doing it is to strip off any unnecessary parts from your bike to keep the drag to a minimum. But you have to keep in mind that you will end up consuming your battery faster with more speed. Therefore, you will have to charge it more frequently.
So, can an electric motorcycle go faster than an electric car? As mentioned above, a USD 20,000 EV motorcycle might beat any USD 20,000 car or most USD 40,000 cars out there.
But a USD 40,000 EV car is not equipped with enough bells and whistles, to be honest. Motorcycles are cheaper than cars because they are smaller two-wheeled vehicles. Any top-of-the-line EV motorcycle is going to beat an average EV car.
But things are a lot different when we talk about high-end EV cars. These vehicles are extraordinarily fast, with better aerodynamics and traction features. They will always be better than EV motorcycles.
However, just to be fair, a comparison between EV motorcycles and EV cars is not fair. They both are completely different vehicles and have different attributes altogether.
But just for the sake of comparison and answering the question “can an electric motorcycle go faster than an electric car” no, EV motorcycles are not faster than EV cars.