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Electric motorcycles lead the way at eco-rally

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eMCI*members Rieju and Zero showcased their electric motorcycles at the sixth annual Eco-Rally on Saturday (18th August) - demonstrating that the advantages of two wheels over four extends to electric vehicles too!

Both manufacturers were able to offer something pertinent for this year’s theme ‘Future Cities, Future Transport’, by addressing issues of performance and affordability, which are often cited as reasons not to switch to greener forms of personal transport.

The Eco-rally

The rally, which is effectively a mobile motor show of the world’s latest eco-friendly vehicles, had not featured motorbikes enough in previous years, according to organisers Revolve. Manufacturers Rieju and Zero were keen to remedy this situation, demonstrating all the benefits of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in their electric form.

There were two stages to the route; the first was along the M40 from Oxford to London’s iconic Ace Cafe; the second leg was an urban route through the capital from the Ace Cafe to Waterloo Place. Rieju’s Jamie Masterman explained how the bikes easily outperformed the cars on urban roads, ‘We allowed the electric cars a 25 minute head start but within 15 minutes the Zero motorcycles and Rieju’s Mius moped had already caught them up in traffic’.

‘With the combination of filtering and use of bus lanes, the electric two wheelers proved not only to be the most affordable, but also the quickest. Of course quicker journey times means even less congestion’, Jamie Masterman added.

Zero’s DS model, a dual purpose machine suitable for on and off-road riding did the Oxford to London leg of the journey, which was for those vehicles with a greater range. Dan Lynch from Zero explained the DS did it with ease, ‘With the 1 hour charge at the Ace Café pit stop we could also have reversed the route from central London and gone all the way back again’.


The Zero DS has a range of 114 miles and a top speed of 88 mph. It does the equivalent of 579 miles to the gallon or more simply put - a penny a mile.


Rieju’s new scooter, the Mius, was introduced at the eco-rally as one of the most affordable electric vehicles available from a mainstream manufacturer. Rieju were also involved in putting forward the case for commuting on electric motorcycles at the Eco-conference, held earlier in the week at City Hall, where they launched the scooter. The affordability of electric motorcycles and scooters was warmly received at City Hall, as it was felt motorcycle riders could make use of the electric infrastructure in London, as there are currently just 500 registered users for all kinds of electric vehicles. Jamie Masterman suggested this was ‘probably due to the high cost of electric cars’.


Zero motorcycles and the Rieju Mius can both be charged using a domestic electricity supplyand the network of public charging facilities is growing daily, Jamie Masterman explained, ‘Asda will soon have charging points in all car parks and within three months London will have more Electric Charging points than petrol stations. When you combine this with free road tax licence and use of selected bus lanes in an increasing number of cities, an electric motorcycle, scooter or moped makes perfect sense as the new green congestion buster’.

It’s official - electric bikes are cool!

In addition to the universal benefits of commuting on a PTW, in terms of easy, free or cheap parking, and being able to move more easily through traffic, there was an added bonus in terms of temperature, as Zero’s Dan Lynch explained, ‘It was a blessing to be riding a bike with an engine which doesn’t generate heat on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year!’

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