German electric motorcycle company Novus has unveiled a new electric motorcycle at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in Las Vegas. The bike looks like a cross between a bicycle and a moped, with skinny wheels and tyres and no lights, or number plate. The electric bike has one of the most innovative carbon fibre frames ever seen on a production electric motorcycle. However, at a steep $39,500 (around ₹ 28 lakh in current exchange rates) plus VAT price tag, it will be anything but affordable. But price apart, there's no taking away the fact that it's an innovative product in the world of electric two-wheelers, with a hub-mounted motor and unique design.
The company has also released a video of the making of the prototype, but the prototype in the video isn't road legal, and designer duo Rene Renger and Marcus Weidig intend to build the roadgoing versions which will look exactly like the prototype.It's a lightweight bike, weighing only 38.5 kg, and many of its components are hidden inside the carbon monocoque frame, and the bike boasts of a range of over 96 km and a top speed of 96.5 kmph. The 14.4 kilowatt lithium ion battery sits low within the frame, and takes just one hour for a 80 per cent charge. The electric motor is cleanly integrated into the rear hub, and is rated to make a massive 200 Nm of torque, with a 8.3 bhp (6.2 kW) power output.
Other cycle parts like the suspension setup are also unique. The front suspension is incorporated into a single strut in the fork below the headset, and is described as being adjustable for 'damper hardness', but the company hasn't indicated how much travel the unique suspension fork is capable of. The rear suspension uses a shock which pivots off the swingarm, just like a conventional bike, and is adjustable for compression and rebound. Braking is handled by dual hydraulic floating caliper disc brakes. There's no instrument cluster on the prototype, and has been replaced entirely by a smartphone. The company says the smartphone has been integrated not only as a control and display instrument but also as a digital key.
It's certainly innovative, and looks built for the future. But that price tag isn't for the faint hearted, and at best, the Novus electric bike is made for commuting, and the 96 km range may not be rated at full power. When it's sold commercially, it will be like a 'limited edition' electric bike, built for the chosen few. Even the Harley-Davidson LiveWire is at least $10,000 less expensive than this electric two-wheeler of the future.