ROCKLIN, Calif., July 2, 2013—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, Colo. June 30. San Carlos, Calif.-based Lightning Motorcycles, the leading 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.
The solar-powered Lightning SuperBike—under rider Carlin Dunne, now three-time consecutive overall motorcycle champion and King Of The Mountain, who was the top qualifier on Friday (June 28)—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 Lightning team worked around the clock to ensure that we provided the best possible bike for the race. We set this as a goal more than four years ago after our first North American road-racing event. Sunday, we achieved our goal. This accomplishment is a big step forward for Lightning, and we believe this is a giant leap forward for public acceptance of clean, renewable energy-based transportation.”
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 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.”
Last year, the Lightning SuperBike set land speed records for electric motorcycles at El Mirage Lake bed in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino, Calif. and at the Bonneville Speedway near Wendover, Utah.
The SMA Group generated sales of €1.5 billion in 2012 and is the global market leader for solar inverters, a key component of all PV plants and, as an energy management group, offers innovative key technologies for future power supply structures. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented internationally in 21 countries. The Group employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. SMA’s broad product portfolio includes a compatible inverter for every type of module on the market and for all plant sizes. The product range includes both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. SMA is therefore able to provide ideal technical inverter solutions for all plant sizes and types. Since 2008, the Group’s parent company, SMA Solar Technology AG, has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for excellence as an employer and achieved first place in the nationwide “Great Place to Work®” competition in 2011 and 2012. www.SMA-America.com/www.SMA-Canada.ca
About Lightning Motorcycles
Lightning Motorcycle has been involved in researching and manufacturing electric two wheeled transportations (E2W). Lightning builds the fastest production motorcycle in the world, won many road racing competitions and set several world speed records. Lightning’s solutions have been used in various applications, from fuel cell hybrid electric buses, hybrid cars, electric motorcycle, electric ATV, electric yard trucks for ferrying shipping containers, professional ocean racing sailboat and many other areas. Our mission is to build 2 wheel electric transportation (E2W) that has superior efficiency, performance, and affordability than current gasoline alternatives.