This past weekend I was present at the annual Mega MotorTreffen in Rosmalen (The Netherlands) as an ambassador for World of eMobility (WOE), representing “LAND OF THE BRAVE”. Motor.nl, a media partner of WOE, generously provided us with a stand situated on the outdoor plaza at this wonderful event.
Mega MotorTreffen is often referred to as the most cheerful motorcycle event in the Netherlands. And last Sunday, May 7th, Autotron became a motorcyclist’s paradise with a lot of bikers (until a thunderstorm hit later in the afternoon). From test-driving new motorcycles (both ICE and electric) to a full show program with live music, a big bike show and a motor market. Autotron was temporarily transformed into Motortron!
I was expecting debates, even heated arguments, while I discussed electric motorbikes with people on social media. However, to my surprise, the majority of motorbike riders had a genuine interest in the “electric story”. They were very knowledgeable and did not seem to oppose electric motorcycling for the future. Everyone agreed that it is no longer a question of if but rather when this transition will take place; whether it will be powered by electricity, hydrogen, or something else does not matter. Things are changing.
Some people found these electric vehicles interesting for commuting to and from work. With a range of up to 100 km, this was more than enough for them and their daily working needs. Plus, they could be plugged in at the office. Others saw it differently though, and with the low maintenance requirement, they were interested in an electric model as a second bike for short rides or as something to take along on holidays in their camper van.
Everyone agreed that pricing was still too high. Prices started around 10000 EUR and you could easily find yourself spending over 20000 EUR on one of the top models from premium brands. While everyone understood that research & development comes at a cost, consumers generally put off buying until prices drop.
Naturally, we also discussed motorbike trips. It’s still a sensitive issue: range anxiety, charging infrastructure, waiting in line for charging spots, broken charging points, not having the right card, long wait times… most of the comments revolved around this. Most people saw swappable batteries as an answer to some of these struggles. Traveling by electric motorbike requires a certain mindset and preparation to reach your destination. But it can be done; I’ve already published several travel stories here at THE PACK.
As an eye-catcher, I had brought the DTRe Stella from Trevor Motorcycles (thanks again for the beautiful THE PACK body, Jeroen-Vincent and Philippe!). Many found it charming that this was a Belgian brand with technology from Saroléa Performance here at home. Everyone has felt the effects of the Corona crisis when it comes to supplying parts on time. The production chain should be shorter and that is happening as we speak. The off-road riders among the group saw potential for a return to the woods. Everywhere, it’s almost off-limits due to noise pollution concerns and environmental damage. In Europe, we now also see new enduro/motorcross parks appearing with electric off-roaders.
Everyone realized the benefit of light electric vehicles as last-mile solutions such as food delivery and couriers. The tourism sector (hotels, B&Bs) has already started using LEVs as urban transportation to explore cities.
All in all, I had great conversations with different motor enthusiasts. Price, range, and charging infrastructure are still issues, but even then I was supported by their words that technology is constantly improving. Nice people, right?
If you want to try some electric motorbike models, you are welcome at World of eMobility on 26 and 27 October 2023. World of eMobility is the international crossover event dedicated entirely to electric mobility and will take place at the EXPO Greater Amsterdam in the Netherlands. For updates and more info, visit their website.