ethec Electric Motorcycle by ETH Zurich

Electric car can hardly make the ideal mileage even with the space it has to pack more batteries. Having said that, an electric motorcycle’s performance in the rages department is far worst and that is precisely the problem a bunch of engineering students from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and industrial design students from the Zurich University of the Arts, lead by Dr. Josef Mayr, wants to tackle with their electric motorcycle called ethec.

ethec Electric Motorcycle by ETH Zurich

It may surprise you that answers to this real-world problem come not from commercial entitles who have had years of design and manufacturing experiences, and have the most talented engineering minds. These would-be engineers decoded that about 75 percent of the energy produces during braking are from the front wheel and thus, conventional electric motorcycles are not extracting the most out with its regenerative braking system.

ethec Electric Motorcycle by ETH Zurich

To solve this, ethec has integrated, for the first time, a front wheel hub motor. This additional motor “can be used to recuperate braking energy and obtain higher efficiency, safety and a superior overall driving experience,” according to the official words. The battery system is 15 kWh worth, made up of 1260 cells lithium-ion battery and it is cooled by a thermoelectrical cooling system that uses both air and oil cooling system. With the massive battery system and the front wheel hub motor, ethec makes an astonishing 250-mile-range (400 kilometers!).

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ethec Electric Motorcycle by ETH Zurich

What goes under the hood is clearly impressive and surprisingly, this electric motorcycle isn’t all that geeky as one may have expected from a bunch of engineers (thanks in part to the 2 creative minds from Zurich University of the Arts). The design is equally mind-blowing, putting futurism all out there. It is nothing like the TRON Light Cycle though, if that’s what you are thinking, but trust me, aesthetically speaking, ethec is as futuristic as it can get.

ethec Electric Motorcycle by ETH Zurich

It is described to have a “monobody” design that draws inspiration from a human body, combining both forward thinking design with traditional motorcycle design elements to result in a stable and robust ride. Here’s the summary of ethec’s tech specs:

• Lithium-ion technology
• 400 km range
• 15 kWh capacity
• optimized lifespan achieved through integration of an active and passive oil cooling
• continuous monitoring of the cell temperature and the cell voltage

Electronics & Motors:
• wheel hub motors
• 22 kW continuous power
• up to 50 kW peak power
• high voltage interlock for security
• variable recuperation

Mechanics, Design & Packaging:
• tube frame for a low weight
• fairing made of carbon-fiber-enforced plastic
• girder fork allows geometry optimization
• stereo swingarm at the back is a proven design
• entire user-interface through a display

As of now, ethec is still a prototype. This being an educational institution’s research project, I do not of high hopes that it will be made. But who knows? Someone may come along and make it a reality. Under then, here’s a video of it to feed you with more details which will only serve you to make you begging for one. It’s not my fault. This thing is absolutely desirable!

Images: ethec.

ethec via Yanko Design.