It feels as though 2022’s the year when the electric motorbike finally hits the big time, zipping out into the UK’s urban arteries, motorways, B-roads and dirt tracks with a huge catalogue of machines to tickle every fancy.
Battery technology has advanced to a point where it can easily give 100-mile ranges with performance to make petrol-powered two-wheelers shudder at the thought of a cheeky traffic light grand prix. But we’re also seeing a new wave of affordable and approachable electric machines that offer exciting emission-free alternatives to cluttered and germ-filled public transport.
Given that many electric bikes now have removable batteries there are also fewer obstacles to charging than before, and you’ll also see a few new bikes taking advantage of car-style DC fast-charging to cut down the wait between rides.
So whether you’re after an electric motorbike or scooter with power to leave you grinning, or just a silent, relaxing way to carve along a sunny B-road on the way to work, you’re bound to find a two-wheeler to suit your needs. With that in mind, heres Tim Rodie's guide to 10 top electric motorbikes and scooters to look forward to in 2022.
The artist formerly known as the Harley Davidson LiveWire returns in 2022 as the LiveWire One. This sweet-handling, 78kW/105hp bike gets a new paint scheme to match the updated branding, but the really big news is that it’s had more than £10,000 slashed from its list price in the USA (UK pricing is TBC), making it a serious alternative to a petrol-powered roadster.
Sunra Miku Super
You might not be familiar with the work of Sunra, but it’s China’s biggest EV brand, shipping 4.1m vehicles per year. The Miku is the company’s tiny electric scooter that costs just £3,499, has removable batteries and a 50mph top speed. Sure, you’re looking at a 40-mile real-world range, but it can be started with a fingerprint sensor. How cool is that?
Caofen F80 Electric Enduro
Not all electric bikes are built for commuting, and the Caofen F80 Electric Enduro is designed more for slipping and sliding on dirt trails than dodging Kia Sportages on the bypass. A strong one-piece frame, 260Nm of torque and a lithe 88kg kerb weight should equate to a whole lot of childish dirtbike laughs… before the inevitable hospital visit.
This Canadian brand may not have the coolest moniker, but we’re not sure anyone will care when it finally starts selling the 200hp, 200mph Hypersport Premier. Sure, it’ll set you back $40,000, but Damon promises it’ll also make a more upright naked version, as well as models with less power such as the $17,000 HyperSport SE. We wonder if the shiny gloss-finished models will be followed by a matt Damon?
Energica Eva Ribelle
Italian supernaked bikes usually carry thirsty V4 engines, neighbourhood-deafening soundtracks and Ducati or Aprilia badges, but Energica’s keen to show how electric power can also give you 170hp thrills. The Eva Ribelle looks the part, with Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes - and it even includes DC fast charging and a battery that’s good for at least 123 miles of hooliganism.
Niu MQiGT EVO
Niu’s been at the forefront of powered two-wheeler tech for the past couple of years, and in 2022 it’s bringing more power and speed to its popular range of e-scooters. The so-cute-it-hurts, £4,099 MQiGT EVO has a 46-mile range and an impressive top speed of 62mph thanks to a new 5kW motor.
Vmoto is the new premium sister brand of e-scooter specialist Super Soco, and it’s hitting UK shores in 2022 with the Stash. It’s a 65mph upright bike with a small windscreen and a range of around 150 miles. Despite looking like a regular motorbike it can hold a full-size crash helmet under the ‘fuel tank’, which should be perfect for cutting commuting faff.
SEAT MÓ 125
Essentially a re-branded Silence S01, the SEAT MÓ 125 is an electric scooter with a battery that you can remove and wheel into your home to recharge, making it ideal for anyone with on-street parking. It's torquey, quick, and fun to ride - and you can test-ride and buy it in selected SEAT car dealers.
Cutting-edge Californian design and a punchy 34kW motor combine with a 100-mile range to make the Zero FXE an exceptional electric commuter. That said, a whopping 106Nm of torque, a pair of sticky sportsbike tyres and a capable chassis might tempt you to take the long, twisty way home.
If you’ve £90,000 burning holes in your pockets then 2022 may just be the year you can finally throw it at Arc in exchange for the Vector - a sleek, carbon-fibre-clad roadster that’s dripping with Blade Runner cool. A 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds and a 271-mile range are hugely impressive, as is the inclusion of a CCS fast charger.