Kymco Chairman: 'Electric bikes must get better'
How will they do that? Kymco Chairman, Allen Ko, explains: "For a start we have to separate electric motorcycles and electric scooters. For electric scooters the focus is on how to provide a total solution because there’s no infrastructure. For it to work that needs to be in place.
"For electric motorcycles, the infrastructure will be taken care of by the car companies soon enough. We just need to work out how to make the bikes work with this, so people don’t have to worry about range – then all we have to do is make them desirable!"
And what does that mean exactly?
"In my mind you’ll always be less effective if you try to convince someone to buy an electric bike instead of a petrol bike for the sake of it. But it’s easy to convince people to buy a superior product. So the question is not whether you buy a bike that’s electric or not, the key is to make a bike that’s better. With our SuperNex and RevoNex we’re building performance motorcycles, that just so happen to be electric."
The stand-out feature of the RevoNex is that it carries a six-speed gearbox, with a quickshifter and autoblipper. That means you can change up through the gears if you want, or you can just leave it in third and ride it like a giant scooter.
"The key is that you have a choice," adds Ko. "If you want, you could never use a clutch again. It’s the same with noise – for everyone who says they miss the noise, someone else likes how quiet it is. Lots of people tell us ‘oh that’s nice’ when we show them an electric bike but then they don’t want to buy it. We are trying to change that. Technology is always difficult, but the really difficult part is the mindset.
"However within the next three years we’re going to see enormous growth in battery technology and a huge increase in charging points."