New Electric Motorcycle Can Be Equipped With iPhone

Jul 11, 2013
Kouji Kariatsumari, Nikkei Electronics
The "A4000i" electric motorcycle announced by Terra Motors
The "A4000i" electric motorcycle announced by Terra Motors
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
It can be equipped with an iPhone.
It can be equipped with an iPhone.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The detachable Li-ion rechargeable battery unit
The detachable Li-ion rechargeable battery unit
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

Terra Motors Corp, a Japan-based venture firm that develops electric motorcycles, announced an electric motorcycle that can be equipped with Apple Inc's iPhone smartphone and functions together with it July 10, 2013.

An iPhone can be set in front of the driver's seat for checking the charging status and mileage of the motorcycle as well as for recording motor load and position and checking them later. For the future, Terra Motors plans to add a navigation function and dispatch control function for business use and offer a new service using data on driving history.

For the new electric motorcycle, "A4000i," an optimal structure for electric vehicles was designed in Japan, Terra Motors said. The maximum output of its motor is 4kW. It is equipped with a lithium-ion (Li-ion) rechargeable battery unit with a capacity of 1,920Wh (48V, 40Ah).

The motorcycle can travel 65km (on a flat road at a constant speed) per charge. Its maximum speed and hill climbing capacity are 65km/h and 15°, respectively.

A permanent-magnet in-wheel motor is used for the A4000i, whose rear wheel is directly driven without using, for example, a reduction gear. The rear suspension is a cantilever type.

The Li-ion rechargeable battery of the motorcycle is the "18650," which is 18mm in diameter and 65mm in length. Terra Motors did not disclose the details, such as the manufacturer, of the battery.

The battery unit is detachable and can be charged with a household power outlet (100V or 200V). It takes 4.5 hours to charge the battery. And the life of the battery is 50,000km.

The replacement battery unit is currently sold for ¥100,000 (approx US$1,005). The price is expected to drop after three to five years when the life of the current battery expires.

Terra Motors plans to release a limited number of the A4000i (2,000) at the end of 2013. After that, it will start volume production of the motorcycle, planning to sell it not only in Japan but also in other Asian countries. The company aims to sell 100,000 units by 2015.

The price of the A4000i is ¥450,000 in Japan. It is expected to be sold for almost the same price outside Japan. The motorcycle is manufactured in Vietnam.