They say there is nothing new under the sun, but the Jahammer J1 electric motorcycle comes about as close as you can get. Johann Hammerschmid, founder of Johammer E-mobility Inc, says of his oddly styled creation, “This is a natural return to the concept of the horse, before there was noise and pollution from engines.” Some have compared its looks to a giant peanut or a horse used for jousting in the Middle Ages, but it also looks a lot like a cross between a Cushman motor scooter from the 1950’s and a Quonset hut.

Johammer J1 electric motorcycle

The bike features a 12 kWh battery that is good for up to 186 miles of range on the highway — less in hilly terrain or off road use. That makes it the longest range electric motorcycle on the market. Some 60 Johammer J1’s have been sold in Europe since 2014. Hammerschmidt says he first started thinking about building the bike in 2017. His factory is located in eastern Austria near the Czech border.

Two striking features of the bike are the corrugated polypropylene bodywork and the center hub steering system. Hammershcmidt says it takes just a few miles aboard the J1 to get used to its handling characteristics. The J1 has no dashboard. Data displays are included in each rear view mirror instead. Rotating the throttle away from the rider engages regenerative braking. The more twist, the more the bike slows. There is also a reverse gear to assist in parking. Wheels, brake discs and tires are purchased from outside suppliers to make sure the bikes are road legal. Everything else is built and assembled in house.

But that’s only half the story of the Johammer J1. With a battery only slightly smaller than the latest Tesla Powerwall, it can be plugged in when riding is done and serve as a storage battery for a home or small business. That makes it ideal for those who have a residential solar panel installation. “A motorcycle like this is weather-dependent, so no vehicle is better suited for a secondary role as storage,” Hammerschmidt says.

He is proud of the fact that his invention does not quite fit any conventional description. Is it a storage battery on  wheels or a motorcycle that is also a storage battery? “We’re at the stage cars were at 100 years ago. The infrastructure was limited but it grew quickly,” says Hammerschmid. “The same will happen with e-vehicles, and it won’t just be gas stations used for recharging.” Homes, workplaces, shopping malls, parking garages—all will become places to recharge. “The change of pace will be quicker than we currently imagine,” he says.

The top of the line Johammer J1 is priced at around $27,000 and the company has begun a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for an expansion of production. Hammerschmidt says he is riding the early wave of multi-function green transport. “This trend is irreversible, we are seeing it in all sectors and especially those connected with mobility.”

He may be correct, but his creation still looks weird from every angle. Perhaps that is the price of innovation.

Source: Bloomberg Pursuits