The Voxan Wattman was unveiled this week at the Paris Motor Show. The new electric motorcycle may even achieve the glory of being the most powerful of its kind. With a maximum output of 150 kW (200 hp) of power, the 350 kg bike is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 mph in just 5.9 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 106 mph.
The styling of the Wattman is based on the exoskeleton of a scorpion and the entire bike is built by hand only once an order is received. The 150 kW motor of the Voxan generates 200 Nm of torque at 10,500 rpm and requires no transmission since the torque is available over most of the torque curve. This means that no shifting of gears is required and the acceleration is not only massive but automatic.
With the bright side covered, it is time to look at the dark reality of the Wattman and how it may fare in the real world. The lithium-ion battery pack has a capacity of 12.8 kWh and the estimated weight, which is not advertised, is probably around 100 kg (30 percent of the weight of the bike). This means that the bike can operate only 5 minutes at full power. Although people are not likely to be riding around at full throttle all the time, this time does limit the usability of the bike. Voxan, however, claims the bike is capable of a very practical range of 112 miles. The figure however is achieved by testing the bike on a mainly urban drive at 21 mph. This means the battery will last about five and a half hours at a power of 2.4 kW (3.2 hp). However, it seems unlikely that the bike will be used this gently, even in the city.
The Wattman does, however, make up for this short time cap with a quick charging time. With access to a 220 volt, 150 amp power source, 80 percent charging can be achieved in a mere 30 minutes. This does make up for the limit on the range but is really hard on the battery (meaning short battery life).
The design of the bike consists of an aluminum exoskeleton that replaces the tubular frame of conventional bikes. The rear suspension is also unconventional, consisting of a four-link suspension which provides a smoother ride.
A comparison of the Wattman and Lightning Motorcycle’s SuperBike shows that although the SuperBike is short on power (125 kW/165 hp), it does not lack in performance in any way. The SuperBike’s 0-100 mph time is an amazing 3 seconds (compared to Wattman’s 5.9 seconds) and the top speed of 166 mph is also greater. This is due to the 140 kg difference in weight between the two bikes, with Wattman being the heavier of the two. A diet for the exoskeleton-based bike seems highly unlikely, meaning that enhanced performance seems a far way off.
Although there are a few lacking points, the Voxan Wattman still shows us that electric vehicles can be just as exciting and exclusive as any of their fossil fuel consuming counterparts.