US engineers build world’s fastest electric motorbike

A homemade electric motorcycle has set four records the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials in the US.

With a top speed of 241.901mph and a two-way average of 240.726mph, Eva Håkansson drove KillaJoule to beat the previous electric motorcycle speed record by 25mph.

In addition to being a new electric motorcycle record, the speed is also an overall new record for any kind of sidecar motorcycles, including internal combustion-powered sidecar motorcycles.

‘This is a truly historic event,’ said Håkansson, a PhD student in mechanical engineering at the NSF Center for High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures at University of Denver. ‘It is the first time in over a century that an electric vehicle beats internal combustion for a vehicle type. The last time this happened was in 1899 when the world’s fastest car was the electric car ‘La Jamais Contente’ driven by Camille Jenatzy at 65mph. Since then, internal combustion has dominated everything.’

The record runs at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials on August 28 2014 give Eva and KillaJoule the titles:

  • Fastest electric motorcycle in the world
  • Fastest sidecar motorcycle in the world (including internal combustion)
  • Fastest speed of the event
  • Fastest woman on a motorcycle in the world

KillaJoule took five years to build, with around 80 per cent carried out in Håkansson’s garage.  She and her husband Bill Dube, who is also a mechanical engineer, said in a statement that they are ‘backyard racers with high-level engineering skills’.

 

Techspecs:

Battery: Lithium Nano-Phosphate, 2P112S configuration of 14Ah pouch cells, 375V and 10kWh. 500+ HP

Motor: AFM-240 motor, 500HP

Motor controllers: Two PM100 controllers, 400HP combined

Weight: approximately 1540lb. (700kg) including the driver Eva Håkansson

Dimensions: Length 19ft (5.6m), width 21 inches (0.53m), height 38 inches (0.96m), wheelbase 150 inches (3.8m), track width with sidecar, 45 inches (1.14m)

Frame and suspension: Chrome-Moly steel tubing with “Springer” style leading-link front suspension and classic stereo suspension for rear end

Wheels and Tires: Hard rubber compound land speed tires on custom rims.

Brakes: Disc brakes front and back with two Kevlar ribbon brake parachutes actuated by air cylinders.

Body: Fiberglass composite nosecone, canopy, and sidecar wheel cover. Pre-painted aluminium body panels