The Arc Vector, the world’s most advanced electric motorcycle, is right on schedule and will be eagerly refined. Announced at last November’s EICMA show in Milan, the £90,000 racer will enter full production at the end of 2020 with 399 units to be built to order in the first 18 months. This motorcycle boasts Human Interface Technology, state-of-the-art carbon monocoque, power-dense battery cells, bespoke brakes and suspension, and race-inspired wheels.
At the centre of the Vector is its ingenious battery-module carbon monocoque. Simplicity is key to its design and, countering the weight of the battery pack, the watchword is lightness. The motor and batteries are structurally integral to the monocoque, making the chassis incredibly stiff.
Arc is one of a tiny number of OEMs to develop its own carbon swing arm, in collaboration with MotoGP manufacturers Riba, which enables lateral flex for cornering stability, grip and agility. The liberal use of carbon, and other exotic materials such as quality alloys, exposed copper detailing and aircraft-grade aluminium, helps to keep the machine’s total dry weight down to 220kg.
Founder & Arc CEO Mark Truman has undertaken the lion’s share of track testing himself at circuits and airfields around the Midlands, fettling the finer points of the Vector’s geometry and handling.
The philosophy when it comes to handling is to balance performance with control. It’s an agile motorcycle with plenty of power, but it’s designed to be user friendly and fun to ride both in town and on the open road. It’s a bike designed for life more than racing.
Another rarity that Mark’s team has 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.
The Vector’s brake discs are Brembo and the calipers are their Stylemas, but bespoke in black oxide. The Ohlins suspension is entirely customisable, and the unique BST wheels are as light and strong as a pro race bike’s. Anti-lock brakes have been provided by Continental, Pirelli have made the tyres, the battery package is by Delta Motorsport. Arc is developing its own bespoke motor which saves on packaging space whilst being light and very powerful. All the ECUs are automotive-grade.
The cutting-edge Samsung 21-700 batteries, of which the Vector packs a vast 960, are some of the most energy dense and reliable cells on the planet and the Arc Vector is the first motorcycle to use them. “Right now, you can’t actually buy them,” explains Arc’s Head of Electrical Engineering, Robin Boyd. “Samsung are prototyping and developing them, and have partnered with Arc Vehicle as part of this process. The battery cells rank as some of the most powerful of their kind and have the most longevity. With 960, the Vector has more battery cells and, in turn, power than any other electric motorcycle.“
With a 399-volt electric motor producing 133bhp and a weight of 220kg, the Arc Vector will have the best power-to-weight ratio of any electric two-wheeler – 650bhp per tonne. Combined range will be around 270 miles. Zero to 60mph will arrive in three seconds and the top speed will be 125mph. No clutch, no gears, massive torque, traction control, ABS brakes, variable dynamic modes and ingenious Heads-Up Display and haptic alert systems make the Vector riding experience unique, safe and utterly euphoric.
Having prototyped the Vector in Coventry, Arc is targeting expansion to a 65,000 square feet HQ in St Athan, South Wales, in 2020.