Earth 2100 - Motorcycle Future
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Last night some of you out there, like me, may have been watching ABC’s two-hour environmental special Earth 2100
. If you missed it, here’s the recap: Docu/drama featuring fictional story-line of girl born in 2009 and how civilization unravels by the year 2100 due to environmental catastrophes… Interspersed with the apocalyptic story are scientists/futurists imparting all the doomsday scenarios. The final 15 minutes were more positive, how the possible world-wide collapse can be averted – think of it as an environmental Scrooge/A Christmas Carol.
Now, without indulging in personal viewpoints or how effective the show was, I’ll just admit up front that I dig futurist scenarios – the notion of looking forward and imagining what the world will be. Probably my favorite are the dystopian novels, like I Am Legend, Children of Men¸
Cormac McCarthy's The Road
… But I’m an optimist too and watching last night got me wondering:
The Mission One is just one of many electric motorcycle start-ups looking to make its mark at the Isle of Man TTXGP.
What will motorcycles be like in 2100?
Certainly people will still need transportation options in the distant future – but what will that transportation look like? Will there even be machines that we would recognize as motorcycles in the year 2100? Two-wheelers utilizing internal combustion are scarcely more than a century old – what will another 91 years of innovation yield?
The fun part is trying to imagine answers to those numerous question marks. One probable scenario is the rise of electric powerplants replacing internal combustion. For all its visceral appeal, internal combustion is grossly inefficient, producing heat first and rotary power second. Electric motors are much more efficient...
But this is all old news. We don’t need to imagine electric-powered motorcycles – they exist in the here and now. Motorcycle USA test rode the Brammo Enertia
earlier this year, and Brammo is just one of many electric companies set to compete in the inaugural TTXGP
at the 2009 Isle of Man TT
. And while writing this, I see in my email that the AMA is introducing its own electric road-racing event – the eGrandPrix, a zero-emissions race featuring many of the machines showcased at the TTXGP.
Make sure to check out the races and read the electric race results right here at MotorcycleUSA.com.
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