The last time we made mention of Orange County Choppers, the New York based custom motorcycle manufacturer, they’d been commissioned by the Iowa Farm Bureau to build the nation’s first motorcycle that ran on E85 ethanol fuel. Now OCC are back in the news for having conjured up what is touted as the first custom electric motorcycle. Although Siemens, the electronic engineering giant who did the commissioning this time around probably mean ‘custom electric chopper.’
Although the Smart Chopper is kinda groovy in appearance, with its water based paints and recycled steel frame, its green credentials run more than skin deep.The Smart Chopper, built over month by Paul Teutul and his team at Orange County Choppers, sports 6 on board batteries which can be charged from a normal power socket. After a 5 hour charge the bike should attain a range of about 60 miles (96 km) and be able to reach speeds of up to 100 mph (160kph).
Apparently Siemens developed its ‘Smart Grid’-ready charger which communicates with utilities to enable charging when electricity is most affordable. They also, through the subsidiary Osram Sylvania, provided the LED lighting.
According to Siemens US CEO, Daryl Dulaney the reason for funding the Smart Chopper was because, "We wanted to build this unique chopper to raise environmental awareness and reflect what the 69,000 employees of Siemens USA are doing to help America stay on the cutting edge of tomorrow's green economy."
It will be on show around the country (including on Discovery television’s TLC, on 22 October 2009), until early 2010 when it will be auctioned off, which proceeds being donated to an as yet unannounced environmental charity.
[ I guess in the the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that Discovery is TreeHugger’s parent company.]
Paul Teutul, Sr., founder of Orange County Choppers is quoted saying, "While electric bikes probably won't surpass traditional ones for the foreseeable future, we also think that energy efficient technologies are increasingly important for both manufacturers and consumers."
The Smart Chopper may not so smart in every detail. We did read in one report that due to its extra long well base it sorta needs four road lanes to execute a u-turn. So practicality is not really its strong suite.
Photo: found at 360 Degrees
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