Advanced battery technologies are enabling a much cleaner alternative to pollution-spewing gas-powered motorcycles and could help promote a larger-scale move toward electric vehicles.
...Electric motorcycles are practical today because of advances in battery technology. Lead-acid batteries, which have been used in electric motorcycles in the past, are very heavy, provide a short range, and last for only a couple of years. The Vectrix scooter ($11,000) uses nickel metal hydride batteries--the same type used now in the popular Toyota Prius hybrid. This type of battery is lighter than lead-acid batteries and more durable: Vectrix claims it has a 10-year lifetime. Lithium-ion batteries, in turn, are lighter than nickel metal hydride, and new chemistries have made them durable as well, lasting as long as or longer than nickel metal hydride batteries.
From MIT's Technology Review