With a name that speaks for itself, startup Italian Volt has introduced its first electric motorcycle. With sportbike performance in mind, the Lacama is designed as a high-end creation that can be customized into whatever its owner wishes: roadster, scrambler, café racer, or even a personal theme.
Italian Volt was set up just last year in Milan, Italy, by three partners tightly connected with the motorcycle scene. Two of them, Nicola Colombo and Valerio Fumagalli, hold a Guinness world record to their names, for the longest distance travelled on an electric motorcycle. Their 2013 endeavour covered the 12,379 km (7,692 mi) route from Shanghai, China, to Milan in 44 days, solely on electric power.
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Soon after, the dream of building their own electric motorcycle started taking shape with the invaluable contribution of Adriano Stellino. His designing background with Italian icons Lamborghini and Bertone, before moving to design motorcycles in Shanghai, would help transform the dream into designs on paper.
The Lacama is built around an in-house-designed aluminum frame, holding a cluster of li-ion battery cells for a total capacity of 15 kWh. This feeds an electric motor that transfers 94 hp (70 kW) to the back wheel via belt drive, producing a maximum torque of 208 Nm (153.45 lb-ft).
Top speed is limited to 180 km/h (112 mph), and the range of the Lacama can reach up to 180 km (112 mi). At 250 kg (551 lb) it isn't exactly a featherweight, a fact that probably justifies the 4.6 seconds it takes to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (60 mph) – but, at least, the 2.5 km/h (1.6 mph) park assistant seems like a very nice treat.
Besides the Italian Volt-designed frame and swing arm, the motorcycle's bodywork is also 3D printed in-house. Customers will be able to pre-order their individual motorcycles choosing from a variety of colors and shapes for the 12 pieces that make up the complete bodywork, with the possibility to even design their own hand-crafted parts. In this sense the Lacama can be ordered not only as a roadster, but as anything that can fit with the given geometry of the frame – so probably no chopper.
The motorcycle is furnished with a variety of high-end equipment, going for obvious sportbike standards like Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes, while the 17-inch wheels can be ordered either in aluminum alloy or carbon fiber.
Italian Volt reveals also that the Lacama's electronics will include a TFT touchscreen with GPS and smartphone connectivity (both iOS and Android), allowing the rider to monitor the charging status, identify the bike's location, and select different performance profiles by altering parameters like torque and engine braking.
One very interesting feature is the addition of fast charging – just like Energica does with its naked and supersport models. On a standard supply, the batteries will need some three hours to fully charge, but a fast-charging outlet would need just 40 minutes to get the battery up to 80 percent.
For the time being there is only one prototype in existence, as unveiled yesterday in Milan. The company plans to start accepting orders by September, although its website currently offers the possibility to enquire about pre-ordering. The final price of the motorcycle will certainly depend on the selected equipment, but expect it to fluctuate around €35,000 (about US$37,600).
As the price tag suggests, the Lacama is not your average commuter, but rather a hand-built collectible custom motorcycle that Italian Volt addresses as "status symbol."
Italian Volt plans to sell its motorcycle in Europe, North America and Asia, and the next step is to set up concept stores in Milan, Shanghai and Los Angeles.
Source: Italian VoltView gallery - 15 images