My Bike is Like an EV

  • June 7, 2023

I was out riding my motorcycle the other day and it occurred to me – as I glanced at the odometer, which you do out of habit if you have a bike without a gas gauge because you need to keep track of how many miles you can go before you run out of gas – that there is a commonality between motorcycles and electric cars.

Neither go very far before you must stop.

Most bikes have small tanks that hold about three or so gallons of fuel; some less – a few a little more. Most can go about 150 or so miles before they’re running on reserve – or getting close to it.

Most EVs can go a little (but not much) farther before they, too, are running on what amounts to reserve.

But there is a big difference – one that makes the short range bike practical and the EV not. We all know what it is. I can refill my bike’s tank in about a minute, literally – which is all the time it takes to pump a couple of gallons into it. This makes it short range irrelevant.

I don’t even have to get off the bike to fill it up. Just roll up to the pump, open the lid to the tank – and pump.

About a minute – maybe two – later, it’s back on the road. The equivalent of waiting at a long red light. EV sits by the side of the road for at least 15-30 minutes before it gets the green light. That’s not exactly practical, if you need to be somewhere else sooner than that.

But it’s more than just that.

In the 60 seconds or so that it takes to pump a couple of gallons of gas into the bike’s tank, I have instilled a tremendous amount of energy into the tank. Those two or three gallons contain the energy equivalent of what it takes to propel a 400 or so pound motorcycle as far as 1,000 pounds of fully charged battery can propel the typical EV not much farther than the typical motorcycle.

And the gas only weighs about fifteen pounds.

It’s also portable and transferable – two things electricity isn’t. Or at least, isn’t as practically portable and transferable. One thinks, for instance, of the practicality of carrying an extra can of gas on the bike, so that the bike can be ridden where there is no gas – much less a plug.

Dirt bikes are often hauled to the place where they’ll be ridden. These places tend to be places where there aren’t any stations. But it’s easy to toss a a couple five gallon jugs in the back of the truck and be able to ride all day.

There’s a deep weirdness afoot in that people are being pressured to accept less (for more) and are accepting it, apparently. To really appreciate just how weird this all is, imagine a new fast food chain that offered meatless “burgers” that cost twice as much that you waited 15-30 minutes at the drive-thru to get. That’s what’s on offer here.

Of course, it isn’t an offer – and that accounts for the “acceptance.” It is more like resignation – to the inevitable. That is how it’s being marketed, at any rate. But this is probably deceptive, in terms of the image mass approval that may not be actual. Evidence to support this contention being the fact the “acceptance” is being forced.

How much “electrification” would be occurring if it were not?

To ask that question is to answer it.

. . .

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