Electric cars? Generally a bit boring. Electric superbikes? That’s a bit more like it… A fully rain-proof electric superbike with blistering acceleration, potential 300 mpg-equivalent efficiency and comfy car seats? Amazing stuff!

Although it’s not entirely clear whether it’s a motorbike or a car, that’s not a bad thing – the E-Tracer seems to offer the best of both worlds. Designed and built in Switzerland, the machine was awarded the Progressive Automotive X-Prize in 2010 for demonstrating three times better efficiency than any other electric vehicle with the same battery power. This is largely due to its ultra aerodynamic design and excellent power to weight ratio, a concept inspired by a hummingbird.

E-Tracer interior

The full Kevlar monocoque shell, complete with doors and everything car-owners love, does away with the major pitfalls of motorcycling, namely getting wet and falling off. Automatic stabilisers even relieve you of the need to put your feet down at traffic lights, while nice big bucket seats allow you to sit cocooned in the E-Tracer for hours of cheap fun without getting saddle sore.


But enough of practicalities. As you can see in the video below, this is no mere glorified mobility scooter. It does 0-60 mph in less than five seconds, 60-120 mph in less than three seconds, and has a top speed of 150 mph. Hailing from the land of mountain passes and hairpin bends it is also no slouch through the corners, achieving 52-degree lean angles with its eyes closed. Well, definitely achieving them.

The best thing of all? This is not a concept. The E-Tracer is on sale now for about €80,000. Okay, so that makes it a concept for most of us, but it does have a cheaper, fuel-sipping brother called Monotracer. Both are manufactured by Peraves, a company founded by a former jet pilot and aircraft designer. Listen to the E-Tracer take off in this video, and everything will fall into place…

Pics via The Register, and Consumer Energy Report
Vid via LA Times

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Well, the answer is that they currently operate manually, however they ‘could’ be set up to work automatically. There are some computer controls which keep the stabalizers from either going up or down by at a time when you wouldn’t want them to, if you accidentally hit the switch, thus those same controls could make the operation totally automatic. However, the manufacture has found that it is better for the “pilot” to decide when to bring them up or put them down, since a computer does not know what the pilot is thinking, nor what the road or traffic conditions ahead are.

Don’t worry about having passed on some inaccurate information. This vehicle is such a new concept, many times things are written about it which are not exactly correct.

Even with the mis-information, GREAT WRITE-UP!

Thanks for the info!

MonoTracerFFan says:

If you’d actually ridden a Monotracer, whether electric or gasoline/petrol, you’d realise that automatic stabilisers are a bad idea on what is most definitely a motorcycle, which is why Monotracer stabilisers are NOT automatic!

I wish I had ridden a Monotracer. Unfortunately the opportunity hasn’t presented itself…

From info on the Progressive Automative X-Prize website:

“To stabilize the vehicle at low speed and to keep it safe and stable on a slippery surface two springed and damped lateral stabilizer wheels automatically lower to the ground in less than 0.5 seconds. These are retracted at higher speeds and if road surface conditions do allow.”

It sounds like the stabilisers do operate automatically. Maybe they can also be manually controlled?