The Arc Vector, the world’s most advanced electric motorcycle, is right on production schedule and the team are busy refining the bike.
Announced at last November’s EICMA show in Milan, the £90,000 neo-café racer will enter full production at the end of 2020 with 399 units to be built to order in the first 18 months. Having prototyped the Vector in Coventry in the UK, Arc is targeting expansion to a 65,000 square feet HQ in St Athan, South Wales, in 2020.
As reported by Bike Middle East, the motorcycle has Human Interface Technology, a carbon monocoque and swing arm, hub-centre steering, power-dense battery cells, bespoke brakes and suspension, and race-inspired wheels. At the centre of the Vector is its lightweight, battery-module carbon monocoque. The motor and batteries are structurally integral to the monocoque, making the chassis incredibly stiff.
Founder & CEO Mark Truman, the engineer behind Arc, has undertaken the lion’s share of track testing himself at circuits and airfields around the UK, fettling the finer points of the Vector’s geometry and handling. A notable design direction has been hub-centre steering. This is characterised by the steering pivot points being inside the hub of the wheel, rather than above the wheel in the headstock as in a traditional layout.
“The system we’ve developed gives the bike low-speed control,” commented Truman. “There are a handful of manufacturers who’ve implemented hub-centre steering in the past, but they did so with an anti-dive system. Riders want the bike to dive under braking, that’s what we’re used to. For the Vector, we’ve created a system that has all the benefits of HCS but which feels like a set of forks. The advantage is stiffness which allows for a steep rake angle and a chassis that enables fast changes of direction with stability at high-speed. What we’ve devised is the best of both worlds with none of the negatives.”
Another rarity that Vector have embraced is the belt drive, which guarantees low weight and low maintenance. It’s also quieter and smoother than a chain drive, and owners will never get oily hands. Arc is also developing its own bespoke motor which saves on packaging space whilst being light and very powerful.
In addition to handling, a lot of development has been done on the powertrain with battery cell suppliers Samsung and on the dyno and the track in order to coax out every last drop of performance.
The bike’s 960 Samsung 21-700 batteries are some of the most energy dense and reliable cells on the planet and aren’t actually available to buy yet. Samsung are prototyping and developing them alongside Arc production.
As far as specs are concerned the Vector has a 399-volt electric motor producing 133bhp and a weight of 220kg, giving the Arc Vector the best power-to-weight ratio of any electric two-wheeler – 650bhp per tonne.
Combined range will be around 270 miles. Zero to 100kph will arrive in around three seconds and the top speed will be 200kph.