Electric Superbike Promises Premium Performance at a Premium Price
While zero-emissions passenger cars may grab the majority of electric vehicle headlines, the emerging electric scooter and motorcycle genre also continues to generate serious market interest. The latest and arguably most impressive two-wheeled hat to be tossed into that ever-widening ring belongs to Mission Motors. A modest but forward thinking startup based in San Francisco, California, the firm took the wraps off of its new Mission One superbike at this week's annual TED2009 (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference in Long Beach.
To back its claims of being the world's fastest production all-electric motorcycle, company CEO Forrest North and Mason Cabot, vice-president of Engineering, have fitted the Mission One with a motor that produces 100 lb.-ft. of torque from 0-5,600 rpm and powered it by a custom-designed high-output Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack that provides the stamina to take it 150 miles on a single charge and the muscle to let it hit 150 mph. The bike's striking styling was done by designer Yves Behar and the fuseproject organization.
The Mission One's futuristic bodywork brilliantly complements the forward-thinking character embodied in the rest of the package. Among the many tech touches built into its computerized controller unit are real-time data acquisition and the ability to fine-tune various aspects of the system by plugging in your laptop. On the hardware front, Ohlins adjustable shocks and Brembo brakes with adjustable regenerative circuitry enhance Mission One's formidable dynamic envelope. Full recharges take two hours on a 240V line or eight on a standard 110V outlet. Delivery of the first of 50 Mission One Premier Limited Edition variants is set for sometime in 2010. While the price tag on those initial units will reportedly be a heady $68,995, the remaining 250 standard models that are to make up the remainder of year-one production will be slightly less pricey -- but still definitely in the boutique bike zone.