Recently, we reported on Moto-Electra’s attempt to break the record for a coast-to-coast trip on an electric motorcycle. Well, the attempt has come and gone and a new record has been set. Thad Wolff completed the journey from Florida to California in 3.5 days, or 84.5 hours, without swapping a single battery.
“We could have done it faster, but we wanted to be safe,” said team manger Brian Richardson. “If we were to do it again, we would travel farther between charges, and increase the speed a bit.”
Technical assistance was provided by students from James Madison University, especially sophomore Will Hayes, who logged every conceivable data plot imaginable, including wind speed/direction, volts, amps, temperature, GPS location, speed and elevation.
The motorcycle is largely the same as the one Moto-Electra used to compete in the TTXGP series in 2010 and 2011, with strategic, one-hour charging breaks planned along the way. These stops weren’t planned around the existing grid, instead a chase vehicle with a generator provided the charge. Wolff would travel anywhere from 100 – 120 miles before a precautionary refill, but the team are confident he could have gone 150 miles if he had to.
Richardson admits it’ll likely be 20-plus years before electric technology can compete on equal footing with its gas-powered counterparts, “but in today’s fast-paced world of technological changes, who knows?” he says. Still, the point of the coast-to-coast trip was to change perceptions about electric motorcycles and their capabilities. Something Moto-Electra, Lightning, Zero, Brammo, MotoCzysz, Mugen, and a host of others are slowly achieving.