World's Fastest Production Electric Motorcycles. We strive for supreme performance in our development and utilization of electric motorcycles, and our goal is to show the world that electric motorcycles can be more effective, efficient, and exhilarating than traditional gas bikes.
The worldwide motorcycle industry recognizes that the transition to electric transportation is clearly on the horizon. Zero emissions are no longer just a goal; it is rapidly becoming a necessity. Decreasing emissions is even more critical for the motorcycle industry due to the high volume of motorcycles in the world that are not subject to the same stringent emissions rules as cars. However long charge times and inadequate range have limited large scale adoption of electric motorcycles.
To address these challenges Lightning in partnership with the Battery Innovation Center has set a goal to build an electric motorcycle that can go from San Francisco to Los Angles on a single charge. Lightning is excited to demonstrate what is now possible; hi performance, zero emissions, and an end to range anxiety.
As Good As is not Good Enough, is the driving force within Lightning’s culture. “We see ourselves as following in the footsteps of Tesla,” said Richard Hatfield, Lightning CEO,” and accomplishing the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles run on a single charge would show that range anxiety is no longer an issue.”
The SF to LA Challenge is an opportunity to push what is possible to the next level and showcase Lightning’s dedication and passion to build the most advanced electric motorcycles in the world. Read the entire story at Forbes Magazine. Visit www.lightningmotorcycle.com to reserve your own Lightning LS-218 today.
About Lightning Motorcycles
Lightning Motorcycle has been involved in researching and manufacturing electric two wheeled transportations (E2W) since 2006. Lightning builds the fastest production motorcycle in the world, has won many road racing competitions and set several world speed records. Lightning’s solutions have been used in various applications, including fuel cell hybrid electric buses, hybrid cars, electric motorcycles, electric ATV, electric yard trucks for ferrying shipping containers, professional ocean racing yachts, and many other areas. Our mission is to build electric 2-wheel transportation (E2W) that has superior efficiency, performance, and affordability than current gasoline alternatives. www.lightningmotorcycle.com
The Battery Innovation Center (BIC) is a collaborative initiative designed to incorporate leadership from renowned universities, government agencies, and commercial enterprises to focus on the rapid development, testing and commercialization of safe, reliable and lightweight energy storage systems for defense and commercial customers. http://www.bicindiana.com/
You may be eligible for a credit under Section 30D(a), if you purchased a car or truck with at least four wheels and a gross vehicle weight of less than 14,000 pounds that draws energy from a battery with at least 4 kilowatt hours and that may be recharged from an external source. You must have purchased it in or after 2010 and begun driving it in the year in which you claim the credit. The credit ranges between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the capacity of the battery. The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer, when that manufacturer sells 200,000 qualified vehicles.
You may be eligible for a credit under section 30D(g), if you purchased a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle that draws energy from a battery with at least 2.5 kilowatt hours and may be recharged from an external source. You must have purchased the vehicle in 2012 or 2013 and begun using it in the year in which you claim the credit. The credit is 10% of the purchase price of the vehicle with a maximum credit of $2,500.
More Female Riders Than Ever According to Latest Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey
Ownership by Women Doubled During the Past Decade
IRVINE, Calif. – Female motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high according to the latest data from the Motorcycle Industry Council. The MIC’s latest Motorcycle Owner Survey found that women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998.
“Women continue to embrace motorcycling like never before,” said Sarah Schilke, national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad USA and chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. “Of the 9.2 million owners, more of them are women than we’ve ever recorded. In fact, the number of female owners better than doubled from 2003 to 2014. And, among the more than 30 million Americans who swung a leg over a motorcycle and rode at least one time in 2014, a quarter of these riders were women.”
Among younger generations of owners, the percentage of women is even higher. Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners, and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners, are women. Among Boomer owners, women make up 9 percent.
“It’s encouraging that we’re seeing more women among the riders who are entering the sport,” Schilke said. “Motorcycling is for anyone and that’s being recognized by younger generations and non-traditional customer segments.”
The Owner Survey also revealed what type of bikes women prefer. Cruisers are the choice of 34 percent of female riders. Scooters rank a close second at 33 percent, followed by sport bikes at 10 percent. In the survey, of some 48,000 American households, women were also asked to share their top three reasons for riding motorcycles. They answered “fun and recreation,” followed by “sense of freedom” and “enjoy outdoors/nature.” When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, women rate “Fuel Economy” and “Test Rides” as the most important decision-making factors.
The study revealed that female riders are safety-conscious. While 60 percent of women took a motorcycle safety course, only 42 percent of men had any formal training. In some state motorcycle safety training programs, women make up 30 percent of the student population.
Other key survey results:
•The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males
•More than 49 percent of women motorcyclists perform their own maintenance or have a friend or relative do it, instead of taking their bikes to a shop
•New bikes are preferred over used by 57 percent of female riders
•49 percent of female motorcyclists are married
•47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree
The MIC Motorcycle Owner Survey is free to MIC members, but can be purchased by non-members for $12,500.
The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.
The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at mic.org.
The news from the Frankfurt Auto Show underway in Germany is that Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen’s Porsche and Audi will join Tesla and BMW in the luxury electric car segment
Mercedes already has three electric models but Volkswagen’s plans raised eyebrows among industry watchers as manufacturers usually start off with a mid-priced electric vehicle (EV). However, the German companies had seen U.S.-based Tesla not only enter the EV industry with a luxury car but enter the auto industry that way.
Tesla “really succeeded in a moonshot” at creating the ultimate automobile, says industry watcher Matthew Klippenstein, who works as a professional engineer at SgurrEnergy in Vancouver and covers the EV market in Canada for the U.S.-based Green Car Reports..
In addition, Tesla was eating into Mercedes’, Porsche’s and Audi’s high-margin sales, even in countries like Germany and Switzerland, which don’t subsidize EVs.
So the Porsche Mission E and the Audi e-tron Quattro, which will launch in about 2018, are an attempt to hang on to their existing customers by competing with Tesla’s offerings.
“The luxury makers have realized the EVs offer a superior driving experience, as long as there’s adequate range for people’s needs,” Klippenstein says. The new luxury EVs can go at least 400 kilometres on a full charge.
Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, an automobile industry expert in Germany, says that Tesla’s Model S already outsells the Porsche Panamera and the Audi A8 in many markets. He expects the all-electric vehicle will surpass the plug-in hybrids and manufacturers will soon stop making hybrid EVs.
Telsa Model S top-selling EV in Canada in 2015
Over the first seven months of 2015, Tesla sold 1,132 Model S cars in Canada, nearly double the sales of both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt, making it Canada’s bestselling EV this year.
The Leaf has been the best-selling EV internationally, while the Volt is to-date the bestselling EV in Canada, at nearly 4,700. A spreadsheet that Klippenstein maintains has total new EV sales in Canada at 14,224 from 2011 to 2015.
Tesla benefits immensely from subsidies, Klippenstein says.
The Canadian government doesn’t offer an EV subsidy but the Quebec government offers up to $8,000 when you purchase or lease an eligible EV and Ontario offers $8,500. Both provinces also offer a $1,000 subsidy if you purchase and install an eligible charging station.
In B.C., where Klippenstein drives a plug-in Toyota Prius, EV buyers can get up to $5,000 from the province’s clean energy vehicle rebate program, which resumed in April after a one-year suspension.
Klippenstein says sales of the Leaf and the Volt fell in B.C. after the rebates were suspended and went back up after they resumed. Sales of the much-higher priced Tesla showed little effect.
U.S. subsidies for EVs
U.S. subsidies for EVs probably helped drive the new luxury electric car programs. There’s a federal tax credit of $7,500 for battery-only EVs, plus the possibility of state and other subsidies. In California, which accounts for nearly half the country’s EV sales, there’s another $2,500 rebate available for electric cars. But for low-income buyers, that subsidy rises to $4,000.
Two months ago, the state eliminated the rebate for Californians with very high incomes, above $500,000 for households, half that for individuals.
A 2015 survey by the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project had found that 77 per cent of the households receiving the subsidy had incomes of $100,000 or more and 40 per cent of households reported $200,000 or more in income.
“The primary beneficiaries of the subsidies have always been the automakers, who are required by CARB [California Air Resources Board ] mandates to sell a minimum number of electrics and plug-in hybrids or face fines,” writes Brad Berman at PluginCars.com.
The tax credits are supposed to help the carmakers sell their EVs while finding ways to cut production costs, so they eventually can compete on price with gasoline-fuelled vehicles.
The Wall Street Journal reported in August that, “Tesla’s entire market capitalization of $34 billion is nothing but the discounted present value of its expected future subsidies.” The Journal also said that Tesla generates millions of dollars in revenues by selling emissions credits to other carmakers.
Earlier, the Detroit Free Press quoted a Tesla executive proposing that automakers that don’t want to produce EVs “buy credits from us, and we will invest in electric vehicles for them.”
University of California Berkeley released a study in July that looked at the U.S. tax credits for EVs issued from 2006 to 2012 and found that 90 per cent of the credits went to the top 20 per cent of income earners.
Klippenstein says that Tesla’s cars are among the best in the world and would still sell well without subsidies. “The fact that EVs are superior to combustion vehicles means that the absence of subsidies will only slow the trend, it won’t stop it.”
Some states are concerned about losing income from the taxes they charge on gasoline. They say those taxes help pay for maintaining the roads which EVs also use, so they levy an annual fee on EVs.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has argued against those fees, saying they make drivers less likely to buy EVs.
The group Taxpayers for Common Sense points to the hundreds of billions of dollars the U.S. oil and gas companies receive in deferred tax liabilities.
On Jan 26th, we released a 360° rotator for the LS-218 the world’s fastest motorcycle –the first of its kind for motorcycles. The new function allows users to see the current color options for the LS-218 from every angle.
The electric motorcycle LS-218 is now available in colors blue, purple, red, copper, silver and black. Don’t see your favorite color yet? No worries, custom colors and custom wrap are available upon request. Many new features yet to come! Go ahead, take it for spin! Please Like, Share, and Tweet your favorites.
On June 11th, Greg Winfree, the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), and his team visited Lightning. The objective of the meeting was to begin discussing how the DOT and Lightning could work together to accelerate the mass adoption of electric motorcycles as daily transportation. Lightning presented our electric motorcycle solutions and shared our vision for electric two wheel transportation.
We are looking forward to working with the Department of Transportation and explore ways to contribute to the effort to increase usage of electric transportation. Mr Winfree, a lifelong avid motorcyclist himself, has ridden his personal bikes across the continental United States. During the visit, Mr. Winfree took a test ride on the Lightning superbike during his visit and suggested that our electric motorcycle LS-218 might be a great anniversary present from his wife.
To win Pikes Peak it takes a great motorcycle and a great rider. We invited Carlin Dunne to test our bike at Thunderhill. He had won Pikes Peak the last two years and was interested to ride our bike this year. First we had to get him used to the bike. In March of 2013, we went to Thunderhill in Northern California for a track day. Carlin was surprised and intrigued by the potential of the bike. We worked with him to dial in the suspension and torque. The goal was to get him used to what he could and could not do on the bike. How far could he push it? How much could he slide it in the turns? How much throttle vs. traction? This practice was essential for him to build up the confidence and experience to push the bike to the limit at Pikes Peak.
Next we went to California Speedway in Southern California in early May for another track day. Paul Thede and the Race Tech engineers made a major contribution to our Pikes Peak victory by bringing his complete Race Team support truck to fine tune the suspension to Carlin’s exact specifications. By the end of the day he gave us a huge thumbs up.
Getting to Pikes Peak
In late May, we headed out to Colorado Springs to begin practicing on the mountain. We loaded up the Sprinter van with two bikes and all our gear. The route was I-80 through Northern California, Nevada, Wyoming and then down into Colorado. Unfortunately we ended up getting a flat tire in Wyoming on Route 80. We had to take everything out of the Sprinter to put the spare tire on it and then put it all back in. However we needed to get a new tire to finish the journey to Colorado and get to the practice sessions. It was late and everything was closed. Finally we found a GM dealer that was open 24hours a day. It turns out that they employed Wyoming Tech students working the night shift. They helped us change the tires and even took us to dinner.
At 11pm we left Wyoming and had to be on the mountain in Colorado at 4am. We arrived at the motel at 3:30am and met Carlin who had flown in from Santa Barbara. We showered and went up to the mountain. We did a full practice with Carlin. After practice we would often go for breakfast with the Ducati Team. We would then go back to the motel and collapse. This became a daily routine.
Our operations center in Colorado Springs was the Mecca Motel. All the bike racers stayed there. We spent a lot of time hanging out with the Ducati Team. The Motel owners were great to the bikers. They let us take our bikes into the rooms to work on them overnight. They also set up some chargers near the pool so we could charge the bikes and the Sprinter overnight to be ready first thing in the morning.
Practicing at Pikes Peak
Pikes Peak is one of the leading tourist attractions in Colorado. It is a National Park. So if you want to use the road you have to do it before the park opens at 9:30am in the morning. Our days would start at 3:30am. We would hit the 7-11 for coffee and get to the gate at 4:30am. As the sun was coming up at 5:30am we would begin our runs. We would get in 9 to10 runs each morning. Carlin would head out on our first bike and the other bike would be on the tire warmers and the charger. All the bikes would run a lap (on some days this would be over 90 bikes) then they would all come back down the mountain. Carlin would then hop on our second bike and go back up. We would plug in the first bike and recharge it and keep the tires warm. We spent every weekend in June in Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak practicing and then the entire last week we were there every day. The other interesting point is that you don’t get to run on the entire course. It is set up so the bikes are on one half of the course and then the cars on the other half. The next day you would switch. We did not get to run the full course until the final week.
Pirelli provided us with the tires for Pike Peak. They were key to our win. The Pirelli tires were perfectly suited to the Hill Climb and their race engineer worked with us to make sure they were functioning at their highest possible levels. We were fighting the brakes all the time. There are 156 corners in 12.5 miles of the course. On some of the short straights we would hit over 150mph and then brake for the tight turns. The thin air at the high altitude did not help either since it did not provide as much cooling as at sea level. Enerdel continued to be our battery sponsor as they had for the past three years and those systems performed flawlessly.
SMA was our Solar sponsor. While we were in Colorado SMA sent several of their top engineers to install and complete the SMA solar panel and Sunny Island charger on the Sprinter. They often worked into the middle of the night to get the job done. We have nine solar panels on three platforms on the top of the Sprinter van that unfold and charge the battery packs in the Sprinter. This was the first time that we had everything built into the Sprinter for solar charging. We were completely self-sufficient. No need for power or gas. We were able to compete and win at Pikes Peak by using only the sunlight that fell on our Sprinter.
Every day in practice Carlin and Lightning were the fastest. One day Richard was standing at the leader board checking the timing and as always, we were the fastest. He was wearing his Lightning jacket. Several of the Honda factory engineers were there and at that time they were running 14th place on their CBR1000s. They said to Richard… “Oh! You’re from Lightning. Next year we will bring more horsepower.” Richard turned to them and said, “Next year you should bring batteries.” One engineer looked at the other and said, “He’s right. Next year we should bring batteries.”
Dana Brown, the director of Step Into Liquid (2003) Dust to Glory (2005), and Highwater(2009) was at the event to film Endless Summer Revisited. They were shooting film of Carlin and Lightning for part of the movie scheduled out in the fall of 2014. Dana is quoted in one of our videos from the event.
June 30th, 2013 – The day of the race.
We worked on the bike most of the night and arrived there just as the gate opened. Carlin was one of the last people to run in the open bike class on the day of the race. To prep for the race he spent most of the morning deep into “the zone”… almost meditating and running the race through his mind – totally focused.
The racing started in the morning and it was still very cold and wet on the course. Several of the riders had crashed that had gone before Carlin. So times were slower than normal.
We had to put a siren on the bike to make sure that people could hear Carlin and the bike coming up the mountain. Even with the siren blasting away he lost several seconds slowing down because people stepped in front of him on the track. From the very start of the race Carlin was in the lead. His performance and times continued to be the fastest. All the practicing paid off. At the finish he was in the lead by 21 seconds over the 2nd place bike.
Lightning Makes History At Pikes Peak - YouTube
The first time in the world that an electric vehicle competed and won in an open class, international race versus conventional internal combustion vehicles.
Bonneville August 2013
In addition to Pike Peak, we made our usual trip to Bonneville in 2013 and in the process set the FIM and AMA Land Speed records.
There was an incredible cloudburst and windstorm and the dry lakebed became a real lake. It took a day for it to dry out. Wind was rocking the vehicles and we had to all hold onto the canopies. 20 minutes of intense rain and we had a lake.
We used the SMA solar power the whole week – 5-6 days. Everyone else was running on generators to power their RVs and race vehicles. They also had to transport fuel to the race course.
August on the Salt Flats gets very warm so everyone would hang out at the Sprinter because we had the solar panels deployed and they created the only shade for several miles. We ended up bringing extra water and handing them out to the people that would come for the shade and we would pitch them on electric motorcycles. It was a great week and we came away with two more records.
Race Engine of the Year Nomination
To close out the year, in October of 2013 we were notified that we were nominated for the Race Engine of the Year Award by Race Engine Technology magazine.
2013 was a record year for Lightning and we’re looking forward to 2014 to be even bigger.
In 2012, we took all the learnings from the past years with batteries and riders and used it to dominate the competition. We won every race that we entered. This was our 2nd year with Enerdel as our battery sponsor and our first year with Barracuda Networks. We started the year with a yellow color theme and then shifted to blue with the sponsorship of Barracuda.
We entered the TTXGP eGran Prix series with the first race taking place as part of the AMA Pro Race at Infineon Raceway, Sonoma CA. We took 1st place in the TTXGP in the 2 races at the event. Michael Barnes and Tim Hunt from Race Tech were our riders. Below are the links to the videos from the race including Michael’s victory burnout in front of the podium and him passing one of the Zero bikes like it was standing still.
Michael Barnes Wheelies & Qualifying Infineon TTXGP North American Championship 2012.mp4 - YouTube
Tim Hunt Lightning Motorcycle Practice 2 Infineon TTXGP North American Championship 2012.mp4 - YouTube
Electric Motorcycle Burn-Out Michael Barnes TTXGP North American Championship 2012.mp4 - YouTube
The second race was at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. Michael Barnes was our primary rider and this was the first event with our blue colors and Barracuda Networks as our sponsor. We did not disappoint. We won the race and dominated the competition. Michael gave the team some major anxiety because on the warmup lap he crawled around the track to conserve battery power and came up to the starting line 2 minutes after all the other bikes had been placed in the starting grid. Michael pulled up to his pole position, stopped the bike, lifted his visor and gave the team a big smile and a thumbs up. Our hearts started beating again. After running out of juice last year he wanted to make sure that did not happen again. When the flag dropped, he took off and never looked back. The end result was another 1st place in theFIM ePower series. See below the link to the video from the race. This was also the first time that we used a solar energy trailer to power our bikes.
1st place FIM ePower –Europe, Le Mans, France – Rider – Miguel Duhamel
This was a big trip for the team. We had to ship the bike to Europe and assemble it in France. We designed a specific battery pack that would last the entire race. We selected Miguel Duhamel as our rider, a legendary racer and winner. The plan from the start was to fall behind the Munch Racing Team Rider (the reigning world champions from Germany) and draft him to conserve battery. After the start the Munch rider slowed down to make Miguel pass him, but Miguel just slowed down even more to stay behind him. They both continued to slow and fell behind the pack. The German lost site of field and then decided to take off and repass the field.
Miguel stayed right behind him, then the German rider ran off the track after looking back at Miguel. The German got back on the track and caught the pack and passed Miguel. Miguel again fell in right behind him. This cat and mouse continued for another lap until the German rider ran off the track again and went into the gravel. Here we have to digress into the regulations of electric motorcycle racing… each bike must have a Kill Switch or button prominently located so the corner workers can power off the bike in case of an accident. Our bike had the button on top of the tail. The German bike had it under the tail so when the bike went into the gravel it threw a piece of rubber and hit the kill switch under the tail, stopping the bike.
Again the German rider restarted the bike and caught up and passed Miguel. Miguel stayed with him again until the last lap and at that time he still had 40% of the battery left so he took off and sailed away from the German rider and then had enough battery left to do a wheelie down the front straight after the finish.
The German rider came up to us after the event and claimed that Miguel had turned off his bike on purpose. We looked at his bike and found that there was a black mark on his kill switch where it had been hit by the rubber chunk.
After the race John McGinness (the reigning TT Zero Isle of Man winner) came over to meet Miguel and Lightning and half-jokingly asked us not to bring our bike to the IOM in 2013 because he wanted to win it.
We actually complied with his wish and instead we went on to race and win the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2013.
Lightning Qualifying - FIM ePower at Le Mans 2012 - YouTube
We also began working to develop relationships with supply chain partners in Asia for sourcing the major components of the production versión of our bikes. This would pay off in 2013 and 2014.