Originally Posted by gregsfc
But the cheapest electric bike that can make my one-way commute is $17K and trips are out or would have to be modified. And so if my employer would let me recharge and double my pay, maybe I could buy one and commute on it. I'd love to be able to do that, but the FE challenges make me wonder if that $17K bike would make the 30 miles considering what they've got to do to make the trip.
Anyway, I'm absolutely not against what they're doing, but am somewhat put back and surprised by all the battery size and weight considering what Zero advertises on range.
I'll detail how mine is performing right now, in case the picture is helpful:
My Zero DSR is making a daily 85 mile round trip commute at highway speeds, mainly because of windscreen tuning. When you rack up miles that quickly, the Zero starts to pay off (it does take a few years, so yes this is when the early adopters with the spare budget get in and tinker like Erasmo and others).
My employer does let me charge using a standard outlet, but I could get by without it. The one-way range is about 100 miles stock at 60mph, or 10% more or at 65mph with the right windscreen. My improvement is roughly 15% when I'm using my throttle lock.
Trips are just within reach, with my DSR able to make 400 miles per day (using a $3,000 charger upgrade, admittedly; a DIY charger can get you there with more work for less than half that price). Beyond a high-powered charger, aerodynamics help increase the ride-to-charge ratio (hopefully from 1.5-to-1 to 2-to-1).
Regarding the cost and weight, it's the most dense automotive battery you can buy, and almost half of the bike's price is the battery. My prior Zero came with two invoices that spelled that out explicitly. So, that's why EVs have a high price barrier to entry, in a nutshell, for now.
While I can't argue about the list price, it can amortize over the long term (right now that's about 60,000 miles or so) considering the lack of gas, oil, and most maintenance.