BY OYAOL NGIRAIRIKL
With gas and power prices rising, Sun Energy Motors offers two-wheeled electric vehicle options residents may want to consider.
The Guam-based electric motorcycle company has a retail shop at the Franquez Building on Marine Corps Drive in Tamuning offering a series of Evoke Motorcycles. Sun Energy also has a service shop in Upper Tumon, near the Harmon Industrial Park entrance. The shop also has a range where people can test drive motorcycles, said Walter Ulloa, general manager.
The company opened its doors last year and Ulloa said they expect to hold their grand opening this fall.
Sun Motors is dealing with challenges caused by COVID-19 and other issues. Currently, the company is waiting on more electric motorcycles as well as helmets, gloves and other accessories to arrive.
“We’ve had supply chain issues, like many other businesses. But also, electric vehicles are so much in demand now, and anything that requires chips are being delayed,” Ulloa said. He said electric vehicles require more chips than typical gas-powered cars. “Also, batteries are in real demand, because everyone now wants to make electric vehicles.”
The delays are also exacerbated by the heatwave in China, as factories are only able to manufacture computer chips at certain times of the day when temperatures are below 40 degrees Celsius, he said.
In line with the grand opening, the company also will offer free motorcycle classes to help people get their motorcycle licenses. It will also partner with Guam Police Department officers to lead classes on motorcycle safety.
Ulloa said while Evoke Motorcycles — ranked third in the electric motorcycle market — is easier to drive than a typical motorcycle.
Based on the models the store will have available, residents can expect to spend about $15,000 to $16,000 for their motorcycles, Ulloa said.
“It’s going to have competitive prices,” he said, reiterating the growing popularity of electric vehicles in general, but also electric motorcycles in the United States. He said the two-wheeled electric vehicles have been popular in various Asian countries and have started catching on in North America.
“Anything electric vehicles is hot — whether it’s a motorcycle or light-duty electric car. Even medium and heavy-duty vehicles are getting higher in demand. That’s why there’s a delay in the supplies, because of the increase,” he said.
Steady growth is expected to continue. Part of that growth, particularly with these products, is how easy it is to ride electric motorcycles, Ulloa said.
“I think you can find older rider and younger riders for our products because the lack of need to shift gears … it’s easier to ride and so it’s much more accessible. As long as you know how to balance on a bike you can ride these,” he said.
Also, riders who are involved with power sports and taking their vehicles out to the track or dirt trails could soon find some options at Sun Energy Motors.
“We’re basically starting with street motorcycles, but we may be opening up in the future to offering smaller off-road (electric motorcycles),” Ulloa said.
The company is looking to expand to Saipan, but details are not solidified yet.
When Sun Energy first opened doors in Guam last year, the company introduced the Evoke Urban Classic. It’s a mid-size motorcycle built for most riders, comparable to a 400 CC to 600 CC gasoline-operated motorcycle.
It’s a good-size street bike, according to Ulloa.
“Most Harleys are cruiser type motorcycles. And those are built a lot where you can sit and lean back like you’re cruising. Then you also have your racers — these go super-fast, and you see those on the racetrack. You see people leaning over the gas tank, into the handlebars. (The Evoke motorcycle) is something in the middle … here you’re more vertical on the bike and the build provides more rideability on commutes,” he said.
The motorcycle can also go from 0 to 60 mph in 5 or 6 seconds, but it’s engineered for new riders “so you’re not going to pop-a-wheelie” by accident, he said. There’s “no shifting, no clutch, no gears,” which makes for the smooth and easy ride, Ulloa said. He added that because it’s an electric motorcycle — which means it doesn’t have a fuel-powered engine — there’s no heat, no emission, and it’s quiet. mbj