How and where to recharge an electric motorcycle?
Highlights of Electric Motorcycle Charger and Charging Guide:
- Electric motorcycles use the same standardized charger sockets as electric cars, although not all bikes can use level 2 or 3 chargers
- With the way most motorcyclists use electric motorcycles, Level 1 chargers are often more than enough.
- If you want DC fast charging capabilities, your only options right now are the LiveWire One and any Energica model.
Although electric motorcycles have yet to reach Tesla’s market share levels, two-wheeled motorcycles VE their numbers are growing, and not just because of their ecological appeal. Battery-powered bikes are fast, don’t blow your eardrums, and don’t require mastery of the clutch lever. But driving one means dealing with today’s confusing and often frustrating electric vehicle charging landscape. However, hooking up an electric motorcycle to a public or home charger doesn’t have to be difficult.
Do electric motorcycles use the same charger sockets as electric cars?
One of the most frustrating parts of owning an electric car is finding a charging station only to find you don’t have the right plug. Luckily, electric motorcycles don’t have proprietary public chargers like the Tesla Supercharger Network. But that doesn’t mean all e-bikes can plug into all chargers.
First of all, all electric motorcycles come with cables to plug into level 1 chargers, i.e. household outlets. They are basically laptop chargers that are overgrown and often proprietary to a specific brand. For example, a LiveWire One could not use a Zero cable, and vice versa. But you could probably charge a Zero bike with the cable from another Zero.
Meanwhile, Level 2 and Level 3 chargers require special plugs to use. The Level 2 one is called “J1772” after its SAE standard and has a group of small pins organized into a circular socket. Add two DC fast-charging pins underneath and you have the Level 3 Combined Charging System (CCS) socket. Keep in mind these are the “standard” sockets for US market EVs; the EU, Japan and China have other standards. The Nissan Leaf briefly used one of these, the CHAdeMO socket, but has now moved to J1772.
This is where the charger complications for electric motorcycles begin. The good news is that if your bike can use Level 3 chargers, it can also use Level 2 chargers. The bad news, however, is that not all two-wheeled electric vehicles can use Level 2 chargers. .
You can charge an electric motorcycle at home even without a Level 2 home charger
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Technically, you can own an electric car without setting up a Level 2 home charging station, but that makes life less convenient. But with electric motorcycles, it’s a bit more complicated.
For example, Cake’s bikes are not level 2 compatible: it’s the wall socket or nothing. Additionally, while the Zero SR/F can use Level 2 magazines as standard, other Zeros need optional charge reservoirs to do the same. Also, even if you plug the LiveWire One, Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle, into a Level 2 charger, it won’t charge any faster.
However, electric motorcycle batteries are significantly smaller than an electric car battery, but both electric vehicles have similar on-board chargers. As a result, even on a 110-volt wall supply, the bike “fills up” faster than the car. When a EngineBiscuit The editor tested a Mercedes-Benz EQS 450+, she found it gained 15 miles back after 10 hours of level 1 charging. But meanwhile, on the same outlet, you could charge a 100% Zero SR 2022 twice.
Also, Cake bikes may only be level 1, but the Kalk Ink & dual-sport fully charges in three hours. Also, he and all the other Cakes have removable batteries. So if you go to work, you can leave the motorcycle outside and recharge the battery at your desk.
Now e-bikes benefit from Level 2 home chargers. I’ve mentioned Zero before, but Energica’s bikes come with Level 2 compatibility as standard. The same goes for the new BMW CE 04, although you need an optional Level 2 charging cable. But if you only commute to work during the day and always plug in at night, a home charger is probably unnecessary. And if you’re still concerned about charging speed, some companies, like Zero, offer additional external chargers.
Can all bikes use level 3 charging stations?
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While home and office charging should suffice for short-distance journeys, not all e-motorcyclists stay in town. Yet even if they do, circumstances sometimes require recharging the battery at a public charging station. And that’s where being limited to level 1 or 2 charging speeds makes life difficult for the electric driver. Moreover, as RideApart discovered on a long-distance Zero SR/F trip, charging time estimates aren’t always accurate in the real world.
The solution here, as is the case with electric cars, is direct current fast charging, also known as level 3 charging. Rather than a few hours, recovering a significant distance takes perhaps 30 minutes, if that is the case. As of this writing, however, most electric motorcycles sold in the United States cannot plug into public Level 3 chargers. But there are a few that can.
The first is the LiveWire One, which is compatible with all CCS Combo 1 charging stations. And you can find compatible stations via Google Maps or the LiveWire app. LiveWire claims the One charges from 0-80% in 40 minutes and 0-100% in 60 minutes. However, presentation tour found that fully charging the bike often required unplugging and replugging the charger.
The other, or rather the others, are the Energica motorcycles. All the Italian brand’s bikes accept level 3 charging, always with CCS Combo 1 sockets. And, like the One, an Energica motorcycle regains 80% charge in 40 minutes.
Admittedly, understanding the charger situation of an electric motorcycle requires a bit of homework. But in the end, as with electric cars, you just have to know what you have.
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