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An artist in residence (she can afford)

Jun 24, 2019

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Marketplace

Electric cars have arrived. But what about electric motorcycles?

Kai Ryssdal and Robert Garrova Mar 17, 2017
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Kai Ryssdal, right, talks with Harlan Flagg, left, of Hollywood Electrics. Flagg says the store is No. 1 dealer of electric motorcycles.
Robert Garrova / Marketplace

Harlan Flagg of Hollywood Electrics in California says he’s the No. 1 dealer of electric motorcycles in the world. And according to Flagg, a lot of the technological barriers that once slowed adoption of electric cars — battery life and weight, charging time and performance — are disappearing for electric motorcycles too.

Flagg said the Zero brand SR model he carries in his shop will do zero to 60 mph in about three seconds. And torque specs put it on par with “any super bike out there,” he said.

One major factor holding the industry back? Flagg admits the charging infrastructure isn’t there yet, but he doesn’t think that will last for long.

“I mean, we already have electricity everywhere, it’s just a matter of getting these charging stations installed,” Flagg said.

In the meantime, major legacy manufacturers such as Harley-Davidson and Polaris have plans to enter the electric motorcycle market.

As for his own bike, Flagg said he’s been riding the same electric motorcycle for four years now.

“It just kind of shows that the technology was there four years ago,” he said.

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