MIC Launches Electric Vehicle Task Force

06/29/2010 @ 4:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler9 COMMENTS

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has formed a task force to study the issues surrounding electric motorcycles and other vehicle segments in the powersports industry. While the task force’s participants aren’t being named, almost all the major OEM manufacturers are involved, as well as most of the electric motorcycle producers. While the groups hasn’t finalized its priority list of issues, performance standards and consumer education seem to be top-billed action items for the task force, as group looks to create fair comparisons between the budding industry and entreached ICE market.

Headed by Paul Vitrano, who is also the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, the task force sees the group’s role being similar to the MIC’s helmet task force that gathered issues involving helmet of regulation proposals. For now the group is not a formal committee, and is still formulating its key issues after its first meeting in May, but has targeted performance and consumer topics as being on the list.

Regarding performance standards, the MIC would like to see a program similar to the EPA’s “driving cycle” implemented on EV’s. This would allow for direct comparisons not only between electric motorcycles, but also between electric and gas bikes. The MIC also wants to standardize the way companies portray their performance figures, and begin using standardized terminology and testing methodology,  which would allow consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.

For more information on the work of the Electric Vehicle Task Force, or to joint the group, interested parties can contact Paul Vitrano at the SVIA.

Source: Dealer News

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  • lalaland

    I will never ride an electric motorcycle. You can add that to your task force data bank. I will never go for a Sunday drive in a golf cart either.

    The consumer bias is more deeply ingrained than you think. Give up. It’s the financially responsible thing to do for the companies you represent.

  • Doctor Jelly

    Horses were deeply ingrained too, but almost no one rides one to work anymore…

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  • lalaland

    If you followed the reasoning properly you would have said, ” Horses were deeply ingrained too, but still people decided to switch to donkeys.”

    The transportation potential of the car was higher than the horse. To reference electric vehicles, you needed to choose something with a lower threshold for work. Something slower, uglier and less romantic. The donkey would fit nicely.

    Transitioning to donkeys b/c they eat less oats. I think that would be a good analogy. Let’s not forget that the electric motor was invented before the petrol ICE so I don’t really see where you are going with the technological progression bit.

    Kids run out in the street b/c they can’t hear you coming. You swerve and lay the bike down, it hits a curb, and then you spend a year of your kid’s college tuition to pay the hazmat crew. All of this so you can ride an electric donkey filled with toxic chemicals.

    Maybe it would work better if we put a big crash cage around the battery and then we could add two more wheels to make the vehicle more stable and less crash prone. That might work.

  • The Future

    Your analogy is flawed. Oats are a renewable resource; oil is not (not in terms of our lifetimes anyway).

    Like it or not, the future is coming. I too like ICE’s but several factors will likely see to the end of them eventually. Legislation will succumb to the need to reduce pollution, dependence on fossil fuels, and foreign imports.

    Of course, the missing part of the formula to make this work is that the electricity will need to be generated without burning coal/nat gas. Wind, water and solar will need to be ramped up to create a distributed model of power generation.

    And why are you so worried about batteries internals? They are safer than carrying tanks of flammable liquid around. And when it is time to recycle them, everything is there in a tidy package, instead of spread throughout the entire atmosphere as pollution.

    Once the price of a mid-size e-bike is reduced enough I would consider replacing one of my current bikes with one. Even if their current spec they could easily handle my 3 mile commute each day.

  • Aaron Lephart

    As a long time motorcycle rider (16 years) I have seen things progress in the past 5 years more then ever before. Moving away from I.C.E. is a natural progression. As a Brammo owner for a month now, I can say they are not suited for everyone yet. There is a certain level of sacrafice you must be willing to accept, top speed, acceleration, range, etc. But they will be very soon! American’s are typically to “proud” to accept anything that is percieved as a god given right.

  • Doctor Jelly

    Mmm, nah. My reasoning is reasonably sound. Horseless carriages were underpowered, inefficient, expensive and practically useless for decades (arguably aver a century if you include steam powered attempts). It took quite some time before the automobile was actually useful to the average person (sounds a bit like today’s electric powered situation to me…).

    In terms of potential, yes, the auto had more than a horse (hence the eventual displacement of horse powered transportation). In terms of potential, yes, electric has more than an ICE (hence the eventual and inevitable displacement of ICEs). We have essentially hit a plateau in engineering progression of reciprocating piston engines. Sure you can wrangle a bit more power/efficiency/longevity by redesigning this or that a hair, but the era of real advancements in this technology is over.

    Hazmat crew? It’s not like we’re spilling gas and oil all over the place in a crash… Battery safety (including self containment during impact) is increasing significantly and is arguably safer than using gasoline. We’ve grown up around gas stations and cars and as such grown complacent to the dangers. Take a step back and look at how inherently dangerous driving and fueling cars is compared to using today’s top of the line batteries (for the moment forgo the incredible range of engineering advancements currently underway and yet to be made in batteries). If you’re actually trying this I hope you can see electric vehicles are actually more sensible in virtually all facets of the comparison.

    For the most part it sounds like you have an understandable, however, unfounded aversion to electrics. Not once did you cite a real concern/hindrance to electric progression (there are some, but the potential downfalls of electrics are fewer than current vehicles with over a century of development and the few disadvantages there are will be quickly overcome with progressing technology/public education).

  • lalaland

    I don’t need further education and that’s precisely why the MIC want to fill my head with marketing concepts disguised as info. I know my energy densities and I understand the massive deficit that batteries have to overcome. I also understand that lithium (unlike oil or other biofuels which can be grown) is non-renewable and will have to be imported if the EPA or our wage rates even allows us to manufacture batteries in the US. Even if the battery industry builds the perfect plug in electric vehicle, you could still be belching out more hydrocarbons at the powerplant. You have to replace every hydrocarbon powerplant, and modernize the entire grid for plug in electrics to work. Don’t let that minor detail deter you. It’s more important to be part of the future.

    The ICE is inefficient b/c that’s all we’ve ever wanted it to be. It’s 30-35% efficient and only about 15% under normal driving conditions. We can double fuel economy in a decade with currently existing technology (Toyota proved it), and we can probably double the fuel efficiency of the consumer auto fleet by changing buying habits over the next 2 decades (SUV boom is dying on its own). That’s real, and so are the other proven technologies that can make huge improvements in ICE efficiency. I think dual fuel is my favorite b/c tiny amounts of ethanol can be used to raise fuel octane and allow much higher compression. Very nice fundamental air pump improvement. Imagine if someone make a proper rotary. Scary good.

    How many mpg does a Chevy Volt get? Infinity? I wonder what that does for your CAFE standards. $40,000 for a car with a 50 mile range that pollutes remotely and transfers money from the public to major auto companies via enormous $7,500 plug in electric subsidies? How far do I have to bend over before they will sell me one?

    Poeple who buy these eco-halo products are dolts, not visionaries. At least the Prius actually delivered better fuel economy despite the government subsidies and the mindless eco-hype. I prefer my energy revolutions to have substance. The real work is being done behind the scenes in the tragically unsexy petrochemicals and ICE industries.