Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Orange County Choppers Builds an EV. Seriously

Editor's Note: Prototype cost? $1,000,000.00
By Dave Eyvazzadeh , WIRED

Known for building machines as brutish as they are loud, Orange County Choppers has produced this paradoxical bike touted as the “first custom electric American chopper.” The showpiece exhibits the trademark OCC outrageous ode to flair and themed design, but this time you wont hear it coming from a mile away.

On Wednesday, Siemens, the electronics and electrical engineering global powerhouse, unveiled the Smart Chopper it commissioned from the renowned custom motorcycle outfit. Siemens claims the bike has a 60-mile range and a 100 mph top speed. An onboard charging unit can be plugged into any 110-volt socket to charge the bike in five hours, and Siemens says it’ll charge in as little as one hour when plugged into a higher-voltage station. A single-speed, clutch-less transmission delivers the power from a 27-hp electric motor.

The Smart Chopper joins the growing ranks of electric motorcycles, including the Brammo Enertia, Zero X and the Mission One.

Steve Conner, CFO of Siemens’ Energy Service Division, sees the venture as a way to showcase the company’s innovative and environmental awareness along with the current state of technology.

“We already have what we need to make it a reality,” Connor told “This isn’t Star Wars.”

Siemens CEO Daryl Dulaney with Paul Teutul, Sr. of Orange County Choppers. Teutul's the guy with the tats.

Don’t worry about the bike lacking that distinctive OCC look and feel. The 350-pound bike is long and low, with an massive 300mm (10.5 inches) rear tire. With an outrageous 120-inch wheelbase and overall 45-degree raked front end, you’ll need four lanes to make a U-turn. Sounds like an OCC bike to us.

Of course, the entire bike is outfitted with LED lighting by OSRAM Sylvania, a Siemens subsidiary. Along with the lighting supplies, Siemens has also provided the electric motor, charging system, power management system and wind turbine blade fiberglass for the Teutuls to integrate into their design, in keeping with the family’s knack for tying form with function and theme.

As a cradle-to-grave electrical technology company, Siemens’ products generate 33 percent of all power consumed in the United States and 25 percent worldwide, including wind, solar, hydro and clean coal-generated power. With its Smart Grid technologies providing the efficient delivery of power over long distances once considered impossible, Siemens has pledged to reduce its own CO2, water and waste footprint by 20 percent within five years.

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