Electric motorcycles are starting to gain traction, but there’s a common theme with them - expense. The LiveWire, for instance (formerly branded as a Harley-Davidson), is nearly £30,000. The battery-powered bike you see here, though, is set to cost about 30 times less.
It’s an electric motorcycle from a firm called Obipus. Founded by a Swedish university and developing products in Kenya, Obipus says it has “a mission to implement electric mobility in emerging markets”. Earlier this month it was announced the company had raised $7.5 million in funding, and at the same time, a price was given for the bike - $1,300 depending on the spec, which works out about £960.
Granted, the Obipus bike isn’t as nice to look at as your fancy pants LiveWire. In fact, it’s not really styled at all, but that’s the point - this is purely about function and no unnecessary flimflam. Despite the low price, though, it comes with plenty of other impressive numbers.
It has a top speed of 56mph, which might not sound like much, but it can get there in just five seconds. Peak torque is 136lb ft (the power figure is more modest at a 125-like 12bhp), and it has a range of up to 125 miles.
It’s powered by two 2.9kWh battery packs which can be charged in situ, each taking around four hours to juice from a domestic 240-volt plug socket. Alternatively, one pack can be removed and swapped for a fully-charged unit in about 10 seconds.
In front of the rider is what looks like a fuel tank, but is actually a locking storage bin. If you need to carry more, the bike can take payloads of up to 150kg. Aiding practicality further, running costs are said to be around half that of the equivalent petrol-powered bike.
There are still some thoroughly modern touches on this simplistic-looking bike, including an LED headlight and a digital gauge cluster that wouldn’t look out of place on a considerably more expensive machine.
The bike can be pre-ordered now. The first deliveries in Kenya will be starting soon, with availability in ‘select countries’ beginning in 2022. Beyond that, Obipus plans to roll it out globally.