Electric Motorcycle Wins International Race

An electric motorcycle has won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb against petrol powered competitors, with the help of solar power and solar inverter manufacturer SMA.

The Lightning SuperBike, ridden by Carlin Dunne, not only blitzed the field in the Exhibition Powersports division, but was also faster than all other bikes in the race.

Mr. Dunne set a time of just over 10 minutes to complete the 12.42-mile course, which incorporates 156 turns before ending at the 4,302 metre summit of Pikes Peak. The race is the second-oldest in America, behind the Indianapolis 500.

The Lightning SuperBike’s battery pack was charged with solar electricity generated by a mobile charging station provided by SMA, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar inverters. The mobile charging station features two SMA Sunny Island off-grid inverters and was developed by DC Solar Solutions.

“The merger of solar power and electric vehicles is exciting to witness and we are thrilled with the success of the impressive SuperBike,” said Henry Dziuba, president and general manager of SMA America.

The street-legal version of the Lightning Electric SuperBike has a usable freeway speed range of over 160 kilometres and a combined city and highway EPA range of over 240 kilometres. The bike is powered by an IPM liquid cooled 125kw+ 10,000 rpm electric motor and a 370V 12kwh battery pack. The bike also features user-programmable regenerative braking.

According to Lightning Motorcycles,  the SuperBike can achieve “more than 100 miles of range on just $1.20 of electricity. This is the equivalent of over 250mpg.”

The SuperBike was the first electric motorcycle to exceed 200 miles per hour and in November last year set a new speed record for electric motorcycles, attaining a speed of just over 304 kilometres per hour.

As well as the SuperBike, Lightning is working on producing prototypes of electric commuter bikes, scooters, and ATVs.