Remember the unmodified Nissan Leaf that dared to take on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb? No, it didn’t win the electric vehicle class, but it did have the honor of playing second fiddle to a new paladin. By pairing the motor they used to set last year’s EV record with a new high-performance cooling system, Team Yokohama managed to shave nearly a minute off of their previous record-setting time, completing the course in 12 minutes and 20 seconds. The Leaf? It leisurely drifted through the finish line at 14 minutes, 33 seconds. Not the quickest way to the top, but let’s be fair — if it’s a choice between being comfortable or being king of the hill, we’ll stretch our legs, thanks.
This Electric Superbike Packs Enough Juice for 185 Miles of Cruising
Sam Biddle — When you think electric vehicle, you might think of some piddling, golf cart-like geezer, humming its way along gently. Not a futuristic, 125 mph super-cycle. The Lito Sora motorcycle hardly looks like what it is—100% electric and fierce.
The Canadian-made Sora not only looks like it drove out of Blade Runner, but has some real world specs to lust after: 12 kilowatt-hours of lithium polymer battery life, a touch dashboard with GPS, and a 185 mile range off one charge. And that GPS? It’ll adjust power consumption on the fly, depending on how distant your destination is.
That one charge, however, will take some time—eight hours to juice ‘er up again. The Sora also only exists at the prototype right now, and you can bet on Tesla’s sizzling grave that the thing will probably cost extravagantly more than anything you’ll ever dream of affording. But you can drool! That’s always free. [Lito via GizMag]
Electric motorcycles are taking a big step forward.
Brammo announced this morning that it is rolling out a new line of electric dirt bikes featuring six-speed transmissions, an unprecedented development that promises to boost performance and increase range. Until now, electric motorcycles have used direct drive, providing optimal acceleration or top speed but rarely both.
By introducing multiple gears, the Oregon company’s line of Engage and Encite motorcycles can offer wheelie-inducing acceleration and grin-inducing top speed. Company boss Craig Bramscher claims its top-tier motocrosser rivals the performance of a 250cc four-stroke gasoline motorcycle and hopes to prove it this weekend at the big MiniMotoSX race in Las Vegas.
“The acceleration of these bikes is just amazing,” he says. “We’ve had some professional riders on it and they’ve been blown away.”