Electric motorcycles and scooters are plug-in electric vehicles with two or three wheels. The electricity is stored on board in a rechargeable battery that drives one or more electric motors. Electric scooters (as opposed to motorcycles) have a step-through frame.
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The early history of electric motorcycles is somewhat obscure. On September 19, 1895, Ogden Bolton Jr. of Ohio canton filed a patent application for an "electric bicycle". On November 8th of the same year, another patent application for an "electric bicycle" was filed by Hosea W. Libbey of Boston.
At the Stanley Cycle Show in London, England in 1896, the bicycle manufacturer Humber exhibited an electric tandem bicycle. Powered by a series of batteries, the motor was placed in front of the rear wheel. The speed control was done by a resistor on the handlebar. This electric bike was primarily intended for use on racetracks.
The October 1911 issue of Popular Mechanics mentioned the introduction of an electric motorcycle. It has been claimed to have a range of 121km to 160km per charge. The motorcycle had a three-speed governor with speeds of 6.4 km (4 miles), 24 km (15 miles) and 56 km (35 miles) per hour.