The STORM Pulse has to be capable of covering 40,000 km in 80 days. This is how it intends to do it.
The STORM project was born out of the University of Technology in Eindhoven, Holland as a concept bike to prove that electric motorcycles could be a useful and viable mode of transport.
And they’ll be putting their reputations on the line a year from now, as they enter into the 80 Day Race – a challenge that starts in Paris, France and will head towards China, in an attempt to prove that people can navigate the globe without using fossil fuels.
But before all that, the real work has to take place… How do you design and build a bike that can cover the same mileage and speeds as a regular gas-guzzling machine, but without using a drop of petrol?
The STORM Pulse solves one of the major issues of battery-powered machines by using a swappable, modular battery pack that according to the makers means that a rider can ‘adapt the bike’s characteristics to the demands of the route’.
What this actually means – in real terms – is that whilst the bike is capable of travelling 380km on a single charge, the entire battery unit can be swapped in under seven minutes, enabling a ‘quick’ refuel and the ability to head back on with the journey; rather than wait the thirty-eight minutes for an 80% recharge, or the eight hours that it would take for a full 100% top-up.
Or – and this is where the adaptability comes in – the modular pack means that you only need to load up the batteries that you would need for the journey, so if you don’t need all of the battery units, take some out, leave them at home and remove some weight. And, supposedly, remove some charging time too.
As for specifications, the 0-100km acceleration speed is clocked at five seconds, with a top speed of 160 km/h. That’s 0-62 mph in five seconds and a top-out at 100mph in old money.
As expected with a battery-laden bike, the weight appears pretty svelte at 160kg (unloaded) but once the batteries are loaded and you’re ready to roll, it hits closer to 340kg. The 35kW motor with a maximum output of 70kW goes some way to compensating towards that. As does the max torque figure of 240 Nm.
But numbers are one thing. How does the STORM Pulse operate in the real world?
Before the big 80-day race in April 2017, the Storm guys and gals are running a test. Using a group of volunteers that they’ve dubbed the ‘STORM Grid’, the bike is setting off on a test trip of 25,000 miles across the world. Using only the ‘Grid’ of volunteers to charge from, the team are hoping to tour through the Europe, Central Asia and China before boarding a ship to the US. After that it’ll be a tour of the States and then back to Eindhoven for a massive, eighty days’ trial by electricity.
Things kick off in August this year, and we’ll be keeping an eye out as to how they get on.