Let’s do some math. Don’t worry, it’s the easy kind. A recipe, really. Imagine you have a small Swedish woman, two engineers, access to the latest batteries from A123 Systems, three tires, some ingenuity, and a serious workshop. Now add in some spice like, say, experience with the world-famous KillaCycle electric dragster. Throw in a dash of salt from the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. And maybe a need for speed and a parachute for safety. What do you get?
You get the KillaJoule, which just did a top speed of 241.910 miles per hour at Bonneville with a two-day average of 240.726 mph. That sets a few records. Three, in fact. The KillaJoule and Eva Hakansson are now the:
*Fastest electric motorcycle in the world
*Fastest sidecar motorcycle in the world (EV or not)
*Fastest woman on a motorcycle in the world
“This is a truly historic event,” Eva Håkansson says. “It is the first time in over a century that an electric vehicle beats internal combustion for a vehicle type. The last time this happened was in 1899 when the world’s fastest car was the electric car ‘La Jamais Contente’ driven by Camille Jenatzy at 65 mph. Since then, internal combustion has dominated everything.” She also cannot think of a better birthday present than hitting this high note.
Eva herself holds a master’s degree in engineering and is working towards a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Denver (NSF Center for High Voltage/Temperature Materials and Structures). Her husband is Bill Dube, whose KillaCycle is the most well-known electric drag racing bike in the world and who himself is a mechanical engineer and NOAA scientist. The batteries for the KillaJoule are from A123 Systems, the tires from Goodyear, and the salt from Bonneville last weekend. Five years in the making, most of the build for the KillaJoule took place in Eva and Bill’s garage near Denver, Colorado.
The KillaJoule (click photo at right to enlarge) is a 400 horsepower, 19-foot three-wheeled streamliner conceived by Eva, designed by Dube and largely built by Hakansson. Even down to the battery packs and custom framing and welds.
The framing for the KillaJoule is chrome-moly steel covered in fiberglass composite and aluminum. The bike measures 19 feet long, 21 inches wide, and 38 inches high with a wheelbase of 150 inches. It was literally designed and built around Eva and the massive EVO Electric AFM-240 motor that sites on its chassis. The batteries are a 375 volt, 10 kWh pack of 14 Ah pouch cells of lithium nano-phosphate from A123 Systems.
The records the electric motorcycle now holds are pending certification, which should be had soon. Meanwhile, the team plans to return to the Salt Flats for another run soon and Eva says that in the cockpit, she can definitely tell that the KillaJoule has more than what she’s used so far as race-day conditions held it back this time around.
If you can call 242 miles per hour “holding back,” that is.