Zero Motorcycles' 2018 models boast faster charging, more range
There may be no new models for Zero Motorcycles, but there is some very interesting news regarding its 2018 line-up. Three new Z-Force batteries, named after their nominal energy capacities in kWh as ZF14.4, ZF7.2 and ZF3.6, will provide at least 10 percent longer range. Their abilities can then be further enhanced with the application of the range-extending Power Tank and, to top it off, recharging can be considerably sped up if they're outfitted with the new Charge Tank.
The bigger pack of the three, the ZF14.4, will come as standard in the 2018 SR and DSR models, replacing the ZF13.0 that is currently in use. Both models' power figures remain unchanged, with 70 hp (52 kW) peak power at 3,500 rpm, and 116 lb-ft (157 Nm). Both the ZF14.4-equipped bikes are announced as 6 lb (2.7 kg) heavier than the ones with the ZF13.0 units.
The basic S and DS models will continue to run on the existing ZF13.0 battery, while the half-battery options will now be equipped with the new ZF7.2, instead of the ZF6.5. Zero points out a gain of 11 percent in torque at the rear wheel for motorcycles outfitted with the ZF7.2 batteries, while the ZF13.0 has undergone a fine tuning process that resulted in a very generous 30 percent gain in both power and torque at highway speeds.
According to Zero, all its batteries now pack at least 10 percent more energy capacity than their precursors, translating to equally longer range. This can climb even higher with the addition of an optional range extender. The ZF3.6 Power Tank throws in an extra 3.6 kWh of juice to whichever pack is used.
The 2018 SR, with the ZF14.4 battery coupled with the Power Tank for a total of 18 kWh, results in a city range of 223 miles (359 km) – which Zero claims is the longest for any two-wheeled EV in the market. Without the extra battery pack, the standard SR can still cover up to 179 miles (288 km) in the city, 90 miles (145 km) doing 70 mph (113 km/h) on the highway, or a combined average of 120 miles (193 km) on a single charge.
In comparison, the 2018 S with the ZF7.2 battery will do 89 city miles (143 km), 45 highway miles (72 km), or 60 miles (97 km) combined.
Charging times can also become significantly faster with the new 6 kW Charge Tank, a factory-installed on-board option that adds US$2,295 to the price tag and slashes charge time by a factor of up to six. Connected to a Level 2 outlet, and used in tandem with the standard charger, the Charge Tank will fill a ZF7.2 battery up to 95 percent in one hour, and a ZF14.4 battery in two.
Apart from some new color options, Zero informs that the bike's firmware can now be updated through the smartphone app that it introduced last year. Available for all 2017 and 2018 models, this means that the rider can keep their bike's software up-to-date without the need to visit a dealer.
Zero's 2018 models will start arriving at North American dealerships later this month, and the good news is that, despite the announced upgrades, price tags remain unchanged for 2018. The only exception is a $500 hike for the SR and DSR models, apparently for replacing the ZF13.0 battery with the new ZF14.4.
Source: Zero Motorcycles