Sodium Cycles Xubaka, a 50 mph light electric motorcycle with a sodium-ion battery

Sodium Cycles, a French manufacturer of motorcycles, has showed off the latest version of their light electric motorcycle, “the Xubaka,” at CES 2021. A vehicle that they have been developing since 2018 is very different from its competitors both inside and out.

Instead of using a typical scooter or small motorcycle design, its creators have opted for a tubular frame similar to a bicycle without pedals. As explained by the brand, “Vintage and pure, XUBAKA’s unique design evokes the mythical motorcycles of the 70s as much as the futuristic lines of the Bauhaus for furniture and architecture.”

Sodium Cycles Xubaka, a 50 mph light electric motorcycle with sodium ion battery.
It is very different from its competitors both inside and out. Credit: Sodium Cycles

The frame is made of Chromoly steel and includes a traditional front suspension fork. With thick tires, a relatively simple body, and a double seat, the Xubaka carries suspension systems for comfortable driving with disc brakes at the front and rear.

The passenger seat does not have any type of cushioning. Sodium Cycles has several accessories to replace that rear seat – for example, a luggage rack or a small wooden cargo space.

Sodium Cycles Xubaka, a 50 mph light electric motorcycle with sodium ion battery.
Sodium Cycles has several accessories to replace that rear seat. Credit: Sodium Cycles

The Xubaka’s engine is located at the rear with a 4 kW continuous and 5.5 kW peak power, which propels the bike to a top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). However, this electric motorcycle is limited to just 50 km/h (31 mph) in the European Union, keeping it street legal in the 50cc class without a full motorcycle license. A very interesting fact about this motorcycle is that it only weighs 50 kg; that is, it has a weight well below most of the comparable gasoline or electric scooters.

Its 1.34 kWh battery gives it a range of between 60-80 km (37-50 miles). Until their official launch, the first Xubaka units will be equipped with a tailored lithium-ion battery like almost all electric bikes and motorcycles on the market today. But Sodium Cycles takes its name from its ambitious plan to equip the bike with new sodium-ion batteries. Sodium-ion batteries are a rapidly developing technology that could present many advantages as an alternative to conventional lithium-ion batteries.

Sodium Cycles Xubaka, a 50 mph light electric motorcycle with sodium ion battery.
Sodium Cycles Xubaka Upper View. Credit: Sodium Cycles

Sodium Cycles intends to use sodium-ion batteries developed by the French company TIAMAT, which has received government backing from the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research).

The Sodium Cycles Xubaka is slated for an initial launch in the EU in 2021 with a price tag of €5,900 (approximately US$7,170). The company also plans to introduce the motorcycle to the American market.

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