Electric Motorcycles: Cool and GreenThere's nothing wrong with "cool", and we have to admit that few vehicles are cooler than motorcycles (at least in theory - not all of us would ride one). You're basically sitting on an engine with wheels. Can't get much simpler than that. They're not always practical, but the people who love their bikes really love them.
But cool is not enough. The vast majority of motorcycles are still running on fossil fuels, and that's a problem. As battery technology improves, we're starting to see more electric motorcycles: Some are commercially available, many are DIY custom jobs. Today we look at some of the coolest ones.
Eva HÃkansson's Electrocat Electric Motorcycle
The bike in the first photo at the top is Electrocat, and the rider is Eva HÃkansson. We're starting with her because she is a true pioneer in the world of electric motorcycles (she describes herself as a "hardcore 'EV geek' with a green heart and passion for power and speed.").
She has built Electrocat with her father, Sven HÃ¥kansson, and it is probably the first street-legal electric motorcycle in Sweden. It is based on a Cagiva Freccia C12R model year 1990, but the insides are pure electric goodness.
In the picture above you can see the Electrocat's "Thunder Sky litihum-iron-phosphate cells and the original Briggs & Stratton Etek motor". The blue box is the Alltrax AXE7245 controller. Charging takes half an hour on a powerful garage charger (longer with the smaller onboard charger - about 7 hours) and range is 80 km (50 miles) per charge at 70 km/h (44 mph).
You can learn more about the Electrocat on Eva's great website.
KillaCycle and KillaCycle LSR Electric Motorcycles
We're not done with Eva HÃ¥kansson yet. She's part of the team that created the KillaCycle, an insanely powerful electric dragbike that set a new world record on October 23rd, 2008. "7.89 seconds @ 168 MPH is a new official NEDRA record and makes KillaCycle the world's quickest electric vehicle of any kind in the quarter mile!" Congrats to Scotty Pollacheck for having the guts to do that run. You can see a video of it below (it's near the end - don't blink or you'll miss it):
The successor to the KillaCycle electric motorcycle should be the KillaCycle LSR:
We are building a brand new motorcycle optimized for high speed — the KillaCycle LSR. (The original KillaCycle dragbike will continue pushing the envelope on the dragstrip). The "warm-up" target for KillaCycle LSR is to reach 200 mph (322 km/h) in the beginning of the 2009 season. The next target, lter in the season, will be to reach 300 mph (482 km/h), and hopefully, take the overall electric record of 314 mph (505 km/h) later during the year. The ultimate goal is to break the overall motorcycle record of 354 mph (570 km/h).