Portland welcomes world-touring electric motorcycle

The possibilities of e-mobility were on show in Portland this week as developers of the world’s first electric touring motorcycle stopped off in the city to demonstrate their technology.

Share this article!

Twenty-four students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have just begun the final U.S. leg of their journey around the world to showcase what e-mobility can achieve. 

The team aims to drive their self-built electric motorcycle around the globe in 80 days, visiting 16 countries and traveling 22,000 km (13,670 miles). 

The motorcycle, known as STORM WAVE, was on show at Sapa’s plant in Northeast Portland Tuesday. Sapa, a manufacturer of aluminum products, made the aluminum casing for the motorcycle. 

The world tour “puts attention on the importance of electric mobility in urban regions,” said Peter van Deventer, consulate general of the Netherlands in San Francisco. “We believe these solutions are needed for smart cities of the future.” 

The Dutch team is stopping off in seven cities that were finalists of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, a competition to become the country’s first city to fully integrate technologies, such as self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors, into its transportation network. 

Portland, one of the finalists, lost out to Columbus, Ohio, which was awarded $40 million in June to develop smart city infrastructure. 

The Dutch students have already covered 14,000 km, having traveled from their home city of Eindhoven through Turkey, Iran and China. 

The motorcycle can travel 400 km on a full charge at a maximum of 160 km/h. The team is using the local electricity grid for charging the vehicle, which can be plugged into a regular electric socket.

Oregon electric battery makers aren’t resting on their laurels. Ashland-based Brammo, which sold its motorcycle business in 2015, helped launch the first electric powered helicopter ride last month.