What is the The Lifespan Of Electric Motorcycles?

There’s a big question that hangs over electric motorcycles, how long do they last? It’s hard to say what the lifespan of electric motorcycles is, and this article breaks down what we do know about electric motorbike longevity and what the future holds for the technology.


We’re lovers of classic motorcycles as much as modern motorcycles here at AEMC and it’s interesting to think that, hypothetically, in the year 2070 – will we look back on today’s motorcycles with a similar amount of respect and nostalgia that we have for classic motorcycles? For all we know motorcycles will probably be AI driven flying machines by then, but will we look on a 2023 Energica Experia the same way we look back on a 1960’s Triumph Bonneville Desert Sled? Can electric motorcycles stand the test of time?

While specific data on the average lifespan of electric motorcycles may be limited, anecdotal evidence and our own first hand experience suggests that with proper maintenance and responsible usage, electric motorcycles can last for many years. As the electric motorcycle market continues to mature and technology advances, we can expect improvements in the durability and longevity of the battery and drive train components.

There are plenty of examples of Zero and Energica motorcycles that are 10 years old and still operating well – we have an 8 year old Zero SR at the AEMC HQ which is showing no signs of battery capacity or performance loss with around 40,000 KMs on the clock.

In general, electric motorcycles are known for having fewer moving parts compared to ICE bikes, which can contribute to increased reliability and longevity. With proper maintenance and care, electric motors can last well over 160,000 kms (100,000 miles). However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary and specific factors can influence the lifespan of the drive train components. These factors include the brand, model, usage patterns, maintenance practices, and the quality of components used in the drive train.

Electric motorcycle battery lifespan

Generally, the average lifespan of an electric motorcycle battery ranges from 3 to 10 years, but some batteries can last even longer with proper care.

Battery degradation occurs over time due to factors such as charge-discharge cycle speed, poor temperature management, storing the pack at low charge, pushing the pack to performance failure such as on a track and overall wear/tear.

We have seen lots of changes to battery chemistry over the past 6 years which have improved density, capacity, longevity and performance. For example – early EVs didn’t like being used in the top and bottom 10% of their capacity which left a large portion of the pack mostly unusable if you wanted your battery pack to last a long time.

However, newer generations of batteries are becoming more durable and long-lasting. Changes to the amount of lithium in the battery composition and the shape of the cells resulted in battery packs that should be used to their full capacity for optimum performance – making the whole capacity usable without negatively affecting the life of the pack. Tesla made this change about 3 years ago and Energica have been making the entire pack useful since they started competing in MotoE 5 years ago. There’s constant research being conducted which introduces new chemical components into the battery technology aimed at reducing degradation over time, and sustains the battery performance for significantly longer.

Manufacturers typically provide warranties for electric motorcycle batteries – these warranties often cover a specific duration or mileage, such as 3 to 5 years or 32,000-80,000 kms (20,000-50,000 miles). Just as car warranties jumped to 7 years unlimited 10 years ago – it’s only a matter of time until we see huge battery pack warranties on premium EVs as the industry continues to develop.

Energica offers a guarantee of at least 80% battery capacity remaining after 1,200 charging cycles. With an average mixed riding range of 200 KMs that warranty could be guaranteeing you 80% battery capacity over 200,000 KMs of riding. No petrol motorcycle engine comes with a guarantee like that.

Electric motorcycle battery on Chassis before assembly

To get the most from the lifespan of an electric motorcycle battery, here are a few tips…

1. Proper Charging: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for charging the battery, including using the recommended charging equipment and avoiding extreme high or low charging levels. Overcharging or deeply depleting the battery can accelerate degradation.

2. Temperature management: Extreme temperatures can impact battery performance and lifespan. Avoid exposing the battery to prolonged periods of high heat or extreme cold. This can be a tricky thing to manage in Australia where we are prone to high temperatures. High quality electric motorcycles have advanced cooling systems which keeps the temperature factor in check when they are in operation or in long storage mode. However, if possible, park the motorcycle in a shaded area or use a temperature-controlled cover, which can usually be purchased online. The same goes for pushing an electric motorcycle in a high performance situation such as on a track. Some bikes are made for this like the Energica range which has an advanced heat management system that was developed in MotoE or the Stark Varg which has been developed to compete in the highest level MX competitions. For electric motorcycles that were developed for street riding only – pushing these bikes hard in a track setting is likely to see them overheat and this could have a negative impact on the battery packs capacity long term. Just like petrol vehicles – pushing EVs out of what they were intended to be used for can and probably will affect their longevity.

3. Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, which may include battery inspections, software updates, cell balancing, specific storage modes for periods you don’t use the electric motorcycle for months at a time. Regular maintenance ensures optimal battery performance and helps identify any potential issues early on. Battery packs in reality are much easier to look after than petrol engines – so as long as you look after them, they should last a long time.

4. Appropriate Usage: While electric motorcycles are designed to handle daily riding, excessive strain on the battery, such as frequent rapid acceleration or continuous high-speed riding on a track, can accelerate battery degradation. Again it really depends on which bike you purchase – but riding in a more balanced manner and avoiding extreme usage will help to prolong the battery’s lifespan.

5. Storage: As we alluded to in point 3 – if you plan to store the electric motorcycle for an extended period, ensure the battery is stored at a recommended charge level. Consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper storage procedures to maintain the battery’s health during the inactive period. Many bikes have a built in storage mode which you should select and set up before you leave. This will ensure your battery pack remains at the optimum storage capacity and cells do not get stressed.

Electric motorcycle with wall charger

What happens when electric motorcycles reach the end of its lifespan?


When an electric motorcycle reaches the end of its lifespan, there are a few things that can happen. The most common outcome is the need for component replacement or refurbishment. This typically involves replacing worn-out or damaged parts such as depleted cells. For well built electric motorcycles – the motor is a sealed component that should rarely need any work done to it. The same generally goes for controllers, inverters, onboard charges, etc. Depending on the availability of replacement parts and the specific model, this process can be relatively straightforward or more challenging. It depends on the specific manufacturer’s policies. It really helps if the manufacturer actually makes the battery packs themselves – because they can be serviced. When a manufacturer outsources production as many do – it really limits the amount of rejuvenation that can be done on the pack with warranty support.

AEMC tries to get service accreditation service for all electric motorcycles we work on – ones we sell and ones we don’t. In 2022 We had the chance to completely repair an electric motorcycle which the rider thought was beyond repair due to flood damage. We didn’t sell him the motorcycle, but we know what it’s like to be left out in the rain (pardon the pun) with no support for your bike. If you purchase an electric motorcycle in Australia, no matter the brand, you aren’t being left in the lurch when it comes to support, we have your back. 

It’s important to note that battery replacement or refurbishment is possible once the original battery reaches the end the electric motorcycles lifespan. Some manufacturers offer battery replacement services, allowing riders to extend the life of their electric motorcycles even further. This will become a critical exercise as the bikes age, and perhaps become a practice that sustains the life of your electric motorcycle for decades as battery technology advances. 

Suddenly the idea of a vintage electric motorcycle becomes possible.

CAKE OR Motorcycle after repair by AEMC

Recycling components 

Electric motorcycles are made of a combination of recyclable materials, ensuring resource efficiency and minimizing waste. One crucial component is the battery pack, which contains valuable materials like lithium, cobalt, nickel, and aluminum. Through specialised recycling processes, these materials can be extracted and reused in the production of new batteries or other applications. This recycling approach reduces the demand for raw materials and promotes a circular economy and a sustainable economy.

As we said above though – the first choice would be to re-use depleted cells in a less intense battery setting – such as home battery storage. In fact – a recent study in the UK found the most affordable form of home battery was a used Nissan Leaf which comes with 2 way charging.

Resale value

If holding on to your electric motorcycle for up to 10 years doesn’t sound like something you would do, then good news! Electric motorcycles often retain their value well, comparable to or even exceeding that of internal combustion motorcycles. Factors such as the brand, model, condition, and mileage still influence resale value. As the electric motorcycle market continues to expand and gain popularity, the resale value of these eco-friendly bikes is expected to improve further.

We have evidence of this through a promotion that world leading electric motorcycle manufacturer Energica ran a few months back. It was a limited promotion, but gave us an insight in what’s to come. The promotion was this…

If you ordered any new 2023 Energica Motorcycle within the promotional period – the manufacturer will guarantee a 90% trade-in value if you wanted to upgrade to a 2024 model a year on. When you ordered a 2024 model – you received a discount equivalent to 90% of the price you paid for your 2023 Energica. It not only speaks to the faith Energica had in their product, but also the value retention of electric motorcycles. It’s a relief to see when these days motorcycles lose up to 30% of their value within the first 18 months.
To be clear, this promotion has now finished, we just used it here to make a point.

In our experience of selling premium electric motorcycles in Australia – demand levels are high and supply is relatively low which means most bikes seem to retain their value really well. We know other markets that have seen oversupply are not experiencing as good resale values – but our responsibility as an importer is to ensure Australia has the right volume of vehicles coming in and being used (not sitting as stock on showroom floors).

In conclusion, you can expect 10 years or more from your electric motorcycle battery pack – if you take the time to keep it maintained. When we say more than 10 years – we fully expect to see some of the electric motorcycles we sell at AEMC to be on the road in 20 years time. Upgradeable battery packs could extend that period by another 20 years. The sustainable nature of electric motorcycles and the potential the technology has to develop is an exciting concept for us here at AEMC! If you want to have a chat to us about getting on an electric motorcycle, then get in touch or comment below!


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