How much is too much for a custom electric motorcycle? How about $60,000?

The Essence E-Raw version 3.1 coming at you straight on probably wouldn’t seem very different from a standard motorcycle, although you might notice the lack of noise. Viewed from the back or either side, however, you’d realize this bike is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. And that would please the people at Essence Motorcycle in Lyons, France.

When they set out to build an electric motorcycle, Essence didn’t want to just switch a gas motor for a battery. They wanted to change the paradigm, to “Get back to the ‘essence of motorcycle’ … simplicity and authenticity, to keep it raw and pure and intense,” according to BikeExif.

As they worked their way through earlier versions, the Essence vision was to leave behind anything unnecessary while blending modern materials with old-world craftsmanship. Looking at the E-Raw from the side, you see a lot of raw steel, raw aluminum, and wood. The E-Raw’s seat is shaped from plywood using the same techniques employed in traditional surfboard shaping.

Essence kept vital components and made good brand choices including front and rear Ohlins suspension, Beringer brakes and controls, Renthal handlebars, and 17-inch Excel rims.

A 10.1kWh battery with peak 80kW power uses a CCS quick-charging system for a 185 km range (115 miles) in 30 minutes. The Pymco electric motor can take the E-Raw from zero to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a 96 mph top speed.

The E-Raw’s wooden seat is its most noticeable visual difference (if you don’t count the lack of a gasoline engine). Another difference you’ll see when you mount up is the lack of normal gauges. Instead there’s a machined mount for a smartphone. When a phone is in use it displays speed, remaining range, and other useful information.

Essence has no plans to mass produce the E-Raw. Current plans are to build just ten units, customized to prospective owner’s preferences. The cost of each E-Raw will be in the neighborhood of 55,000 euros, or a bit under $60,000.

Even the mention of dumping V-twins for battery power twists many biker traditionalist’s shorts tight. Still, the Essence focus on simplicity, authenticity, and intensity could ring true for some. Sixty-grand price tags won’t find many takers, but Essence’s greatest contribution to the eventual but inevitable power train shift could be in the company’s zero-based design concept. When you lose what you don’t actually need and only add new components based on solid principles, that’s a motorcycle philosophy many can get behind.

Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Movies & TV

How much does Netflix cost? Here’s a pricing breakdown of its plans

Wondering how much a Netflix subscription costs? You're not the only one. That's why we put together a quick-hit guide covering all the Netflix plans, whether you want to opt for 4K streaming or a disc-based option.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Emerging Tech

Lasers and bovine breathalyzer help determine how much methane cows produce

Cow farts and belches don't sound like catastrophic threats, but they contribute to the massive amounts of methane in the atmosphere. Recently, scientists set out to establish the numbers.

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.