Image courtesy of LAND

It’s An E-Bike, It’s A Moped, It’s An Electric Motorcycle: LAND DISTRICT

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The line between e-bikes, e-mopeds, and electric motorcycles keeps getting blurry as more companies release new models of 2-wheeled electric transportation that offer a wide range of speed options. Case in point: the DISTRICT, from LAND, is available in either a Street version or a Scrambler version, which has several radically different riding modes as defined by the onboard software, and a swappable battery system (in three different capacities).

According to the company website, the DISTRICT can be operated as a Class 2 e-bike with a 27 mph top speed, as an e-moped with a 37 mph top speed, or as an electric motorcycle with a top speed of 70 mph. Buyers can choose between a 1.8 kWh battery with a range up to 40 miles, a 3.6 kWh battery with a range up to 80 miles, or a 4.8 kWh battery with a range of up to 120 miles. It’s not immediately clear how the ranges are calculated, although one might assume that the longest ranges would be achievable in the slowest riding mode (e-bike). It’s an interesting take on 2-wheeled electric mobility, and one which may be able to help transition more people from e-bikes into the electric motorcycle space.

Here’s the pitch that the company founder and CEO, Scott Colosimo, gave at the 2023 SXSW PITCH contest:

So is LAND an EV company, a battery company, or a software and technology company? It appears that the answer is yes, all of the above. With “smart” batteries and Internet of Things connectivity, coupled with a flexible mobility platform like the DISTRICT, the company’s vision might be the most ambitious of any electric 2-wheeler manufacturer, even if at first glance the main focus is on clean transport. Here’s a brief overview of that vision as explained last year:

The LAND DISTRICT models certainly appear to be well-positioned for the current micromobility market, with prices starting at $6995, but there may be some sticky issues to get through or get over when it comes to complying with the regulations surrounded motorized transportation. On just a very simple level, there’s no need for a license or registration or insurance in the US for a Class 2 e-bike, and they are easy enough to fit into the current bicycle infrastructure (though there are debates about the use of e-bikes on bike paths and trails), but once the speed goes up to something like a moped or then a motorcycle, and riders want to take them on the road, then it’s a whole different ballgame. It’s not hard to imagine that a rider who just feels capable of riding in traffic at motorcycle speeds, even if they don’t have the experience or the proper registration and license and insurance, would be asking for a whole lotta trouble from law enforcement, not to mention the dangers they could present to themselves and others. That being said, the company may be onto something here, because an EV that can transition as needed — as opposed to needing to buy a different EV for riding at road speeds — might be an effective tool in decarbonizing transportation. Find out more at the company website.

Image courtesy of LAND

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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