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An electric motorcycle known as the Zerotracer has recently completed an 80 day trip around the world, which it completed for a cost of just $400, making it the world’s most efficient luxury vehicle.
The Zerotracer uses lithium-polymer batteries to power a Brusa electric motor. Lithium-polymer batteries are a type of lithium-ion battery, except that they are incredibly energy dense, last longer than normal lithium-ion batteries, and can discharge their stored electricity much faster, providing larger bursts of power to the motor.
The batteries can be charged from flat to full capacity in two hours using a 240 volt plug, and their durability means that they can survive 2,000 charges, with one full charge lasting 250km. That means that the Zerotracer can travel 500,000km before it needs to replace its batteries, more than 12 times around the globe.
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The energy density of the lithium-polymer batteries was an important part of the efficiency of the trip, yet the relatively short charge time was also important. In fact, Cleantechnica.com believe that the time it takes to charge a battery is the most important factor when determining the distance an EV can travel, and therefore an important aspect to focus on when trying to reduce the range anxiety.
They argue that “the charge time of the batteries has a profound impact on how far electric vehicles can travel, due to the fact that, if you can charge quickly enough — in less than 15 minutes, for example — you can easily keep recharging along the way until you reach your destination, even if it is hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
This is why charge time should be an even bigger priority than battery energy density. Short range batteries can take you very far if you can recharge them quickly enough.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com
Believe me, if there's one thing I know, it's batteries. And to top off your estimation of maximum distance it can travel, you're not including wear. In fact, all things accounted for, it's a roughly 8-fold exaggeration. Real life-range would be 60,000km or around 37,000 miles, still 1.49 earth circumferences, but that's not factoring aging effect. It would cost at least $1,200 to replace the cells.
In contrast, a $1,450 lifepo4 pack capable of 180 miles or 290km per charge, with no chance of fire or explosions and no aging effect, would be able to travel for at least 490,000 miles before reaching the same 80% initial capacity as the aforementioned lipo.
If he used A123 cells he could have charged his pack much faster, 20 minutes or less, (assuming it was worth it to take a hi-rate charger with him) and he wouldn't have had to worry about diminishing capacity during those cycles.
I assumed 20wh/mile for all values, in practice these may be higher or lower depending on pedal assist or terrain, as you probably know.