Zero XU electric motorcycle makes in-apartment EV charging a reality

The (newly updated) range of electric motorcycles from Zero Motorcycles is certainly tempting for those urban dwellers looking for a fun way to launch themselves over short commutes. But, for garage-less apartment or townhouse tenants lacking the requisite charging connector, they don't make a heck of a lot of sense. Here's one that does. It's the new Zero XU, an electric motorcycle featuring a removable battery pack that you can carry inside with you to juice up. You can also buy a second pack and swap them out, which could let you leave one at work and one at home -- something you might have to think about given the thing's unfortunately short 30 mile range. That's about half what the Zero S manages, but the XU is at least $2,000 cheaper, starting at $7,995. It also curiously still uses a chain, a departure from the other 2011 Zero bikes that just switched to belts. Anyhow, if you're still intrigued the Zero XU is up for order now and should start terrorizing AC outlets in March.

[Thanks, Darius]

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Zero Motorcycles Announces the Zero XU as Surprise Fifth Electric Motorcycle Model for 2011

– 'Urban Crosser' Becomes First Street Motorcycle with a Removable Power Pack –
– for Riders without Access to Street Level Charging –

SANTA CRUZ, CA (March 1, 2011) – Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, today announced the Zero XU. A new model for the company, it marks the fifth to be added to the product line. With instant torque from zero rpm, no shifting, a low weight, a low seat height and a removable power pack, the Zero XU is designed to be the ideal electric motorcycle for those who live in the city. It leverages the time tested Zero X off-road platform for durability and features a complete set of specialized street gear that is highlighted by a stylish new body.

Bringing Zero Motorcycles' product offerings to a new population, the Zero XU is the world's first street motorcycle that enables owners to essentially charge anywhere by way of a removable power pack and optional stand-alone charger. This opens the doors to interested buyers who do not have access to garage or street-level charging at their homes or apartments. The removable pack also allows for essentially non-stop usage by enabling individuals, or fleets, to quickly swap power packs. As with all Zero Motorcycles products, the Zero XU is offered with a quick-charge option that cuts the recharge time down by approximately fifty percent to one hour. The additional charger that enables quick-charging can also be used to charge the power pack separately from the motorcycle. Those who own a 2011 Zero X or Zero MX can use their power packs interchangeably with the new Zero XU.

"We're excited to announce our fifth model for 2011. The Zero XU is ideal for those living and working in a city," said Gene Banman, CEO of Zero Motorcycles. "With no shifting, quiet operation, comfortable ergonomics and optional onboard storage, riders of all experience levels are able to focus on simply enjoying the ride. Add to that the ability to remove the power pack and the Zero XU becomes the ultimate urban crosser."

The Zero XU starts at $7,995 MSRP. A Federal tax credit can be applied if purchased with a second power pack. Some countries or states may offer other incentives. To secure an order and take advantage of the current Federal incentive while it lasts, the Zero XU can be purchased online now and will begin shipping in the United States during mid-March. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty. Price does not include local shipping, applicable taxes, PDI and road registration fees.

About Zero Motorcycles
Zero Motorcycles is committed to transforming the motorcycling experience by bringing to market highly innovative electric motorcycles that offer exceptional value and performance. Zero is powered by innovation, driven by passion, guided by integrity, and measured by results. Through extensive research, insight and experience, Zero combines the art and science of motorcycle development to create and manufacture products that excite consumers and inspire brand loyalty. Zero is determined to be the pre-eminent global electric motorcycle company.