Moto-Electra LLC set a coast-to-coast world record for electric vehicles by crossing the United States in 3.5 days (84.5 hours). There was no battery swapping, and the vehicle made the entire trip under its own power.
This record was established using the same standard motorcycle design used by the Moto-Electra team for all-electric grand prix racing, land speed racing and everyday riding. The motorcycle is said to have performed flawlessly, without any issues related to the batteries or weather. “We could have done it faster,” said Moto-Electra builder and team manager Brian Richardson said. “If we were to do it again, we would travel farther between charging the batteries, and increase the speed a bit — something learned.”
“The technology for electric vehicles may be 20 years out before it takes hold as a solid, feasible addition to gas-fueled machines,” Richardson said. “But in today’s fast-paced world of technological changes, who knows?”
The team gave high praise to Will Hays, a sophomore at James Madison University. “He was exceptional,” Richardson said. With a laptop and other equipment, Hays captured data every second, including wind speed/direction, volts, amps, temperature and GPS location/speed/elevation. “If you wanted to start installing charging stations across the U.S., Will has the database,” said Richardson.
Former AMA PRO Thad Wolff rode the motorcycle for the coast-to-coast record. Thad also raced this bike successfully in the 2010 and 2011 TTXGP series, where Moto-Electra was ranked second in North America for the 2011 season.
“The funny thing is,” Richardson said, “when we said we could do this, many said it was impossible. Already people are saying that it’s easy and anyone could do it. I think that was the whole point — to change perceptions. Once you do it, you show it can be done.”
Earlier in the week, another motorcyclist traveled from west to east using a different style all-electric motorcycle. His time was just under 6 days, and the combination of the two crossings showed that the use of electric vehicles for long-range transportation is now on the horizon.
“At the turn of the 20th century, gasoline-powered vehicles were useless for long-distance travel,” said Richardson. “There were no roads, no filling stations, and the vehicles were not dependable. Gas-powered vehicles could never replace the horse for long-distance travel. Fast forward 100 years, and our goal is to challenge perceptions about the useful range of electric vehicles. We did just that. I think it’s only a matter of time when charging stations will allow cross country travel by anyone with an electric vehicle.”
To see pictures of the trip along the way, visit https://twitter.com/ecannonball, or the Moto Electra Racing page on Facebook.