ElectroCat

ElectroCat is Sweden’s first all electric street legal motorcycle and the first electric motorcycle to conquer Pike’s Peak!

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What is ElectroCat?

ElectroCat is an electric motorcycle. It was registered as a street legal vehicle in 2008 and became the first street legal electric motorcycle in Sweden. It is of course pure electric – gasoline is so last century!

ElectroCat was also the first electric motorcycle in history to finish the legendary Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb (2010).

ElectroCat is based on a Cagiva Freccia C12R model year 1990 (an Italian 125 cc two-stroke motorcycle). Everything that belonged to the gasoline engine was ripped out (the engine itself, gear box, fuel tank, exhaust, radiator etc.) and was replaced with an electric motor, a controller and batteries.

ElectroCat was built by Eva Håkansson and her father Sven (who has, among many things, designed world class roadracing motorcycles). Sven is a technical genius and without him, the ElectroCat had never been born.

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Picture: Sven Håkansson – champion rider, engine and motorcycle designer, technical genius and EV enthusiast – to mention a few things….

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Picture: Eva in front of ElectroCat, December 2008. Nothing can wipe that smile off her face….

Why build an electric motorcycle?

We ask ourselves that too sometimes….
ElectroCat is not a commercial project. (I bet that you have heard the joke that the easiest way to make a small fortune on electric vehicles (EVs) is to start with a large fortune….) ElectroCat is a pure hobby project with the aim to show that it is possible to make electric motorcycles with good performance.

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Specs:

Price tag: About $10,000 in parts…

Original motorcycle: Cagiva Freccia C12R, model year 1990 (original engine: 125 cc two-stroke, about 30 hp)

Motor: Mars ETEK-RT, permanent magnet DC motor (PMDC), direct drive with chain. In the first version, ElectroCat had a Briggs & Stratton Etek (the original!), but it couldn’t take the current, so it “burned up” (it melted and fell apart). The Mars ETEK-RT is capable of 72 V and 300-350 A. http://www.motenergy.com/ (It is nowadays called “ME0709”)

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Picture: The building process. The motor on the picture is the Briggs & Stratton Etek that the bike had in its first version.

Controller: Current controller: Kelly KDH14601E,24-144V,600A with regen (not pictured). www.kellycontroller.com.

Previous cotroller (pictured): Alltrax AXE 7245 (capable of 72 V and 450 A). No regen (unfortunately). www.alltraxinc.com

Power: Nominal power 7.5 kW, but short time twice or more. It feels like the original motorcycle which had about 22 kW/30 hp.

Battery: Current battery pack (not pictured), A123Systems M1 cells. www.a123systems.com
Previous battery pack (pictured): 16 cells, Thunder Sky LFP 90 Ah (lithium iron phosphate – the safest lithium chemistry). Capable of 900 A. www.thunder-sky.com

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Picture: Thunder Sky litihum-iron-phosphate cells and the new Mars ETEK-RT motor. Note – no BMS wasn’t fitted when the picture was takes. The white-blue box is the Alltrax AXE7245 controller.

Charging time: Depending on the charger and outlet, down to 0.5 hour with a large garage charger.

BMS (Battery Management System): Manzanita Micro www.manzanitamicro.com

Voltage: Nominal 105 V.

Total weight of the motorcycle: about 165 kg (363 lbs)

Top speed: The top speed is gearing dependent and can be over 100 MPH (160 km/h). Because it has a PMDC (permanent magnet direct current) motor, max RPM is decided by the voltage (this is characteristic for PMDC motors). With a PMDC motor, you therefore have to choose acceleration or top speed. There is enough power for higher top speed, but because it bike is slightly under-motorized, gearing for a higher top speed would cost too much acceleration and also give lower efficiency. 100 km/h is an acceptable compromise at the moment.

Range: About 80 km (50 miles) per charge at 70 km/h (44 mph).

Instruments: Speedometer (original, slightly over-optimistic ;-), ampere meter (military surplus a la 50-60’ies or so – really good stuff), volt meter, motor termometer and a CycleAnalyst. The CycleAnlyst (also known as DrainBrain) is a really nifty little thing that does everything I need: it counts Ah, measures voltage and current, calculates power, counting the distance, telling me the average Ah and Wh per km etc etc. And the price is very reasonable too! www.ebikes.ca/drainbrain.shtml

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Lots of photos of the finished bike as well of the entire building process at http://photos.evahakansson.se