World’s First Electric Touring Motorcycle Takes NYU Tandon by Storm

STORM Wave Motorcycle

On October 25, 2016, a spectacular motorcycle glided through the hallways of Jacobs Hall at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The STORM Wave Motorcycle, dubbed “the Tesla of Motorbikes” made its debut in New York City as part of an 80-day world tour. Day 72 included a stop at NYU Tandon’s very own MakerSpace.

The STORM Wave, developed by a team of 23 students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, is the world’s first electric touring motorcycle. Backed by 48 sponsors, including the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Weather Company, Accenture, and Ernst and Young, the team worked day and night to develop the STORM Wave in just two years.

Its unique design features a modular battery pack that can house a maximum of 24 cartridges, giving it a touring capacity of 28.5 kWh, and offering a maximum range of 236 miles in a single charge. The STORM Wave delivers instant torque, and its suspension keeps the front steady under rough road conditions.

The STORM Eindhoven team said it undertook the 80-day world tour to prove their innovation and show the true potential of electric transport to the world. Beginning in August 2016, the team toured through Europe, Central Asia, and China, then covered the United States from West Coast to East Coast, and New York City was the last stop in the United States. “The most interesting part of the journey was the different cultures we got to experience,” said the motorcycle’s rider, Bram van Diggelen.

Strategy Manager Yuri Steinbuch recalled an earlier leg of the tour involving a forced hiatus in Uzbekistan due to the death of the nation’s president, Islam Karimov, when the team had no choice but to drop the kickstand during the mourning period. When they were finally given the green light to go, it took them two hours of driving in the dark under bad road conditions to reach Kazakhstan for the next leg of the journey.

The team, who partnered with companies, educational institutions, households (where they charged their bikes), and local guides, believes their partners around the world were instrumental in making the tour not just successful, but a memorable journey for them. The World Science Festival, which introduced NYU Tandon to the STORM Eindhoven team, brought over 50 high school students to the event to learn from the STORM team as a part of the World Science Academy — an initiative that inspires young minds to pursue science via explorative interactions with scientists.

NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s Baja SAE team, currently working on their design for the Baja SAE intercollegiate off-road car design competition in California, was impressed by what the STORM Wave’s team had achieved. "We found their use of modular battery packs to be innovative as it allows for the motorcycle's purpose to be changed from pleasure to long-distance driving," said William Bierds and George DeWitt in a joint statement. "As well, with the modular design, charging is made easier in countries with less standardized electrical grids." Added Dewitt, "I also found it great to hear about their story from start to finish. They had begun with just an idea, but through hard work they have reached success, and it really helped to motivate us as a team. Our project is a large one and one not without setbacks, but the chance to see them excited for a team like us was truly inspirational and motivating."

The next destination for the team was Paris, followed by Nivelles, Belgium and finally the Netherlands, where they wrapped up on November 1, 2016. Reflecting on the whirlwind journey so far, Bram van Diggelen said, “When the journey ends, we’ll all be very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

Abhilasha Meshram
NYU School of Professional Studies
Master of Science in public Relations and Corporate Communications
Class of 2017