125cc-equivalent Zero S and FXS for Europe

 

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At the recent Salon de la Moto in Paris, Zero introduced two “detuned” electric motorcycles specially developed for the European market.

The 125cc-equivalent Zero S and FXS are identical to the regular models, except that their “continuous power” was reduced to 11kW (15hp) and maximum speed was limited to 130 km/h (80 mph). Zero did not communicate on these two new models’ “peak power”. Regular Zero models are only advertised with their peak power, 33kW (44hp) for the FXS and 40 kW (54 hp) for the S. It should be noted that before 2013 and that year’s power increase, all Zero models qualified as 125cc-equivalent motorcycles.

The detuned S comes only with a 13kWh battery, and the detuned FXS with a 6.5kWh battery. When they are introduced in the spring of 2016, they will have the same price and same options as the regular models: starting at €12,590 for the FXS, and €15,990 for the S.

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So why did Zero introduce those detuned models? For two reasons:

  • Legislation in several Europeans countries make 125cc’s easier to ride. In France, for example, a 125cc motorcycles can be ridden at age 16 with a specific light motorcycle license, and also by people who have a regular car driver’s license (you have to be 18 years old to get a car driver’s license). To qualify as a 125cc-equivalent, an electric two-wheeler’s continuous power cannot exceed 11kW, and speed cannot exceed 130 km/h (80 mph).
  • The most successful electric two-wheeler in Europe is the C-evolution scooter from BMW. It has 11 kW of continuous power, and 35 kW (47hp) of peak power, and thus is classified as a 125cc-equivalent. Priced at  €15,400, 227 units were sold in France in 2014, while Zero sold 45 units. For the first 8 months of 2015, BMW found 277 customers for the C-evolution, while Zero sold only 23 motorcycles. So clearly, the sweet spot in the market seems for now to be the 125cc-equivalent category.

One has to compliment Zero for adapting its motorcycles, or at least two of its models, to the specific demands of the European market. It shows how serious Zero is about international sales.

 

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7 comments for this post
  1. Richard Harmon wrote the 12/12/2015

    That is an interesting development. Since the “detuned” models cost the same as the “full power” bikes, I think it would be smart for Zero to let it be known that once the owner gets a regular license an authorized dealer can reprogram (unlock?) the controller to deliver the same power as the standard S and FXS models. That would make the customer’s investment seem like a much greater value than if the bikes were stuck at the lower power output for the rest of their life.

    They might also let it be known that, while power may be limited, you will get a lot more torque from the motor than any 125cc motorcycle or scooter. That should help to sell the bikes at their relatively (compared to equivalent ICE motorcycles and scooters) high prices. It looks like Zero is finally going to take the European market seriously next year.

    Reply
  2. Albert wrote the 12/12/2015

    How much “detuned” are these bikes? What is the peak power of these bikes?

    Reply
  3. yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 13/12/2015

    The “detuning” can be done by anyone on their Zero app on the android or Iphone smartphone.
    I wonder why the nominal price in Europe is the same as in the US – but in Euro, which makes it more expensive than in the US. However, with 13 KwH the S has 50% more stored energy, and range, and torque than the BMW, so for the same price it should be the clear choice.
    Those Beemers never made it to Israel. For their price one can purchase three 250 CC gas scooters. The Zero however has sold as many bikes as in France though France is 10 fold more populous. Thats because they offer performance similar to a 600, at a tenth of the running costs, for the same price.

    Reply
    • JP, the author of the post, wrote the 13/12/2015

      Prices in US are before state sales taxes (from 0 to 10%), when in Europe listed prices include the VAT (20% in France).

      Reply
  4. yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 13/12/2015

    Oh and did I fail to mention that the Beemer is one hundred kg HEAVIER than the Zero S?
    http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/zero-s/specs.php
    http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/index.html?content=http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/urban_mobility/C_evolution/cevolution_data.html&notrack=1

    That should impact performance mightily.
    As bang for the buck, and in this case bang for the pound, the Zero is a far superior product. But will they buy american?
    In Israel they do.

    Reply
  5. Albert wrote the 13/12/2015

    I agree with you that the Zero is a better deal. As for the French buying American bikes, there are a lot of Harley Davidsons in France!

    Reply
    • yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 14/12/2015

      I was referring mainly to the German market. Tesla, despite offering a superior product and investing mightily in free supercharging is not having a stellar performance in Germany, Europe’s largest and most stable economy.

      Reply
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