Evolve Motorcycles has donated one of its Xenon electric motorcycles to charitybuzz for auction, turning the spotlight back on the wildly futuristic vehicle that the company sums up with the punchy slogan, “It’s real. It lights up. And yes, it’s completely electric.”
This is the Tron-inspired vehicle we first wrote about a year ago, soon after the gasoline-powered Parker Brothers Custom Choppers bike took a turn to the clean-running side. Evolve then fully embraced the electric vision, creating a slot for the black beast among its portfolio of sleek, silver scooters and motorcycles with elemental names.
Proceeds from the auction of the Xenon will go to Global Green, which advocates for smart solutions to global warming, including green building for affordable housing, schools, cities and communities that save money, improve health and create green jobs. List price for the bike is $55,000, but as of yesterday, the top bid was $31,400, with the auction set to close on Wednesday, March 14, at 3 p.m. EDT.
So about the bike: It features 32-inch hubbless wheels supporting a handcrafted fiberglass frame. The sides pf the Xenon are accented with glowing light tape made of organic LEDs (OLEDs). This is a newer type of LED that can printed onto sheets of flexible materials (they can be used to manufacture extremely efficient television sets. The Xenon’s wheels are rings without hubs.
The bike has a 40-kilowatt/53-horsepower motor and can travel either 30 miles per charge (standard 60 amp-hour battery) or up to 100 miles per charge with the xr version that comes with a 120-ah battery. The Charitybuzz listing doesn’t specify which model is offered. (In addition, it says the top speed is 50 mph, while the Evolve specs say 70 mph.)
Evolve says it has “created a custom lithium ion battery system, then added a ground breaking battery management system that gives the light bike a killer combination of speed and range.” That battery is a LiFePO4, short for lithium iron phosphate. It’s a member of the lithium-ion battery family and is commonly used to power electric vehicles, in part because these batteries have a relatively long lifespan and good performance. Another is their safety.
(Some people are concerned about the fire risk of electric vehicle batteries, particularly those from the lithium-ion family. But lithium-ion batteries are charged and managed overall by a battery management system (BMS) which all commercial electric vehicles and portable electronics contain. This system prevents the batteries from short circuiting. It is effective, which is why lithium-ion batteries almost never catch fire or explode.)