The Current News: May 14, 2022

Hello dear readers and riders! Since this week is packed with some pretty exciting stuff, we’re going to cut straight to the chase. This week’s stories include HD’s most affordable e-Motorcycle to date, Volkswagen’s new electric off-roading brand, and an EV that could blow Lucid’s 520-mile range out of the water. As always, share tips, opinions, and feedback to stephanie@thevintagent.com. Let’s roll.

Harley-Davison’s Most Affordable EV Yet

With the new Del Mar, LiveWire begins a whole new ballgame. [LiveWire]

This week, Harley-Davidson’s electric spinoff, LiveWire, announced its most affordable e-Motorcycle to date. The S2 Del Mar is priced to please with a base model price of $15,000. A middleweight bike, the S2 Del Mar will be built on LiveWire’s Arrow platform, which includes a motor, battery, and electronics stored in a single unit that the company can use to support various models. HD’s new bike will crank out 80 ponies and have 100 miles worth of range. It will also be able to go from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. Perched on 19-inch Dunlop DT1 tires, the S2 Del Mar can ride both on- and off-road.

‘Electric Revolutionaries’ Exhibit at the Petersen Museum

JT Nesbitt of Curtiss Motorcycles explains features of the Curtiss One to curator Paul d’Orléans [MAF]

With a focus on 11 of the most innovative EV designers in the motoring world, ‘Electric Revolutionaries’ includes a collection of ground-breaking creations by visionaries at the forefront of this ever-expanding industry. Highlights of the exhibition include “KillaJoule,” the land speed racer that made Eva Hakansson the fastest woman on an electric motorcycle with a run of 240.7 mph. Built by Hakansson and her husband at home and with a limited budget, “KillaJoule” is the fastest sidecar streamliner ever, regardless of engine type. On the slower side of the spectrum are the innovative solar-powered “Solar Scooter” and “Solar Rickshaw” created by Samuel Aboagye, a 17-year old Ghanaian teenager, constructed using only salvaged, discarded and recycled materials that he could source for free . Making its worldwide debut will be the intricately designed and exquisitely crafted “The One” by Curtiss Motors. Conceptualized by JT Nesbitt, “The One” features a retro-futuristic design and quality of construction usually only found on exotic hypercars.

Eva Hakkansson’s Killajoule streamliner at the Petersen Museum. [Paul d’Orléans]

A follow-up to the Petersen Museum’s popular first-ever electric motorcycle exhibit, “Electric Revolution” of 2019, the new display features over 25 unique electric vehicles. It’s the fifth Petersen exhibit curated by Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation Co-Founder Paul d’Orleans, who says, “I’m super excited to assemble this wildly diverse collection of EV pioneers. ‘Electric Revolutionaries’ really does represent the range of interests in an electric future, from a humble teen in Ghana making EVs from scrap, to genius artisans building conceptual and boundary-pushing designs, to speed demons and global superstar designers interested in pushing mobility into the green zone.” Electric Revolutionaries is produced by the Motor/Cycle Arts Foundation and Sasha Tcherevkoff, with generous support from LiveWire and Damon Motorcycles as a contributing sponsor.

The Sondors Metacycle prototype at the Petersen Museum. [Paul d’Orléans]

“It is incredible how far electric motorcycles have come in the short time from our first exhibit in 2019,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “This new display gives a unique and close-up look at the innovative machines and the creators behind them pushing the boundaries of motorcycle electrification and design. The detail, level of craftsmanship and unorthodox thinking behind these electric motorcycles make them must-sees.” Other notable electric motorcycles on display include Joey Ruiter’s “NOMOTO,” which camouflages as utilitarian street furniture and his geometric “Moto Undone” concept. Also part of the exhibit is famous motorcycle designer Walt Siegl’s ultra-minimalist “RONTU” that uses carbon fiber, aluminum and a lack of body panels to help weigh a scant 100 lbs. Hugo Eccles’ avant-garde and award-winning “XP Zero,” a radical reinterpretation of a production ZERO SR/F into a futuristic cafe racer, is also among the extensive collection of unique and innovative electric motorcycles.

The panel discussion of Electric Revolutionaries. [MAF]

A fascinating panel discussion was held at the April 14th reception, moderated by Paul d’Orléans and including five of the featured designers, plus Charles Fleming of the LA Times. To watch the video or read the transcript, click here.

Specialized Revives the Globe

The Specialized sub-brand Globe is an urban utility/commuter machine. [Specialized]

In the 1990s, Specialized bicycles had a sub-brand called Globe, a no-frills urban-oriented bicycle line. They’ve revived the Globe name for a line of urban eBikes with a utility focus, for carrying loads like groceries and kids. The new Globe brand is a stand-alone product that “will focus on bringing more fun to local living while reducing the number of car, truck, and SUV trips needed for everyday transportation;” that’s certainly a goal we support at The Vintagent. Globe’s leader Saul Leiken said “in order to offer the bicycle as the ultimate climate-friendly solution for everyday trips [the firm must] alter traditional notions of how and why we ride.” We’ve previously posted articles on Specialized’s interest in EVs and history of bucking trends, as with their fUCI racing bicycle with an electric boost, designed by Robert Egger. Read that story here for a bit on context on the Specialized mindset, and likely approach to their eBike new lineup.

Volkswagen Launching Scout, a New Off-Roading EV Brand

The new Volkswagen Scout line…a familiar name with a new profile. [VW]

German automaker Volkswagen recently announced that they would be launching a new EV company in America called Scout, a nod to the International Harvester Scout of the 1960s. The new brand will offer an electric off-roading SUV and pickup. VW plans to make an initial investment of $100 million in their new branch.

Can Fisker Beat Lucid’s 520-Mile Range?

The Fisker Ronin long-range EV sedan. [Fisker]

EV startup Fisker is planning to create a four-door luxury sportscar that could dethrone Lucid Air’s 520-mile rating. Called the Ronin, a namesake of the 1997 John Frankenheimer Euro sedan, the EV is due to drop in 2024. “The aim is to achieve the world’s longest range for a production EV, combined with extremely high levels of performance. Project Ronin will be a showcase for our internal engineering, powertrain, and software capabilities,” Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker stated.

Volvo’s Heavy-Duty Electric Trucks

The new Volvo e-fleet. [Volvo]

Every day, it seems like another luxury brand is hopping on the electric train. This week is Volvo’s turn. The Swedish automaker has six electric trucks now on the menu, including the Volvo FH, Volvo FM, and Volvo FMX. Volvo plans for half of its total truck sales to be electric by 2030. Tractor versions of the trucks will be available in 4×2, 6z3, and 6×4. The trucks will be outfitted with two or three electric motors that churn out between 450 and 66hp and have top ranges of just under 200 miles.

Samsung is Accelerating Development of Solid-State Batteries

The battery of the future looks like a diaper, for now. A solid-state battery from Nissan. [Nissan]

Samsung SDI is ramping up the development of solid-state batteries and will produce them in early 2023. The company states that the new technology will be a more powerful and safer alternative to lithium-ion batteries. Samsung aims to have their solid-state batteries on the market within the next five years. This is an ambitious batteries goal, as the technology has only been proven in very small test, and not in large batteries used under various conditions as in a vehicle. The trick for solid state batteries is preventing degradation by coating the anode and cathode in materials that do not slow down a smooth flow of ions. The advantages of a solid-state battery is a much wider choice of materials for the anode and cathode, which makes scientists (and environmentalists) hopeful that far more common materials than cobalt and lithium can be used to produce the millions of batteries needed in a wholesale shift to electric power. We’ll be watching developments in this space: much as with hydrogen technology, Nissan and Samsung claim a breakthrough is ‘just around the corner’ or ‘on the verge.’ That’s a state of affairs that could last for decades, but the promise of solid state batteries would mean a truly on-par performance in terms of range and lightness between internal combustion and EV vehicles.

Fresh Funds

Atlis Motor Vehicles is planning to submit a Nasdaq Global Market applications for a public listing in the stock market. They have reserved the ticker symbol “AMV.”

Lordstown Motors needs more funding to build their Endurance pickup. The EV maker saw a net loss of $86.9 million in Q1 of 2022 and is hoping to close a critical deal with Taiwan’s Foxconn for its Ohio factory to make up for the losses. Even if the sale is successful, Lordstown still requires an additional $150 million to start production of it pickup.

Rivian received a staggering $1.5 billion incentives package to build a factory in Georgia.

Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance writer. When she’s not locked to her laptop, she can be found riding horses and motorcycles.

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