Thursday, July 4, 2013

Electric vehicles: Solar-powered motorcycle wins 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Carlin Dunne rides to victory on the solar powered Lightning SuperBike
For the first time at a major motorsports event, an electric motorcycle beat all similar gas-powered competitors at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs June 30th, SMA Group (Rocklin, Calif.) reports.
San Carlos, Calif.-based Lightning Motorcycles, a pioneer in electric motorcycles, not only finished first in the Exhibition Powersports division, but also was faster than the 82 other motorcycles entered in the legendary race. Adding to the achievement, the Lightning SuperBike was powered by clean, renewable solar energy.


Solar power supplied by SMA America
The Lightning SuperBike, the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, was powered with solar energy provided by Rocklin, Calif.-based SMA America, which manufactures solar inverters. This energy, channeled through a mobile charging station, fueled the motorcycle’s onboard battery pack, providing the vehicle with enough power to win the race and beat the previous electric motorcycle record.
The solar-powered Lightning SuperBike under rider Carlin Dunne posted a time just over 10 minutes (10:00.694). The challenging 12.42-mile, fully-paved course includes 156 turns ending at the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second-oldest race in America, behind the Indianapolis 500.
“We are incredibly gratified with the performance by Carlin,” said Richard Hatfield, founder and CEO of Lightning Motorcycles.
“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 win at Pikes Peak shows that superior, world-class performance can be achieved today with clean technologies.”