New Electric Motorcycle to Travel 400 Miles on a Single Charge

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Lightning Motorcycles, a maker of electric motorcycles based in California, has said they are planning a test of an electric motorcycle capable of making it from Los Angeles to San Francisco, a distance of 613.16 kilometers (381 miles), without a recharge.

Lightning Motorcycles set the record for the fastest electric motorcycle four years ago, their vehicle hit a top speed of 218 miles per hour. Terry Herhsner rode 300 miles on a streamlined Zero S back in 2015, setting a distance record which still stands. According to Lightning CEO Richard Hatfield, the company wants to break that record by some distance with the prototype for their next production electric motorcycle.

A prototype battery pack will be created by Indiana’s Battery Innovation Center, though it may yet be a while before the battery actually appears in a prototype or production model. Hatfield is currently looking to create a proof of concept that will bring the project from research to the development stage, then to actual production models of the eMoto.

Lightning Motorcycles was started ten years ago when a Yamaha R1 was converted to electric power. In 2012, Michael Barnes won the FIM ePower series while riding a solar-powered Barracuda Lightning. The company has gone on to set several more records since then, and they are hoping their newly planned motorcycle will set even more.

The Lightning LS-218 retails starting at $38,888 right now. Lighting Motorcycles also want to create a smaller model which will sell for around $20,000. Currently, a combination of prohibitive prices and lack of a fast DC charging option means that eMotos are still mainly luxury vehicles. However, as the technology advances and becomes cheaper, this is likely to change.

The test run for the project is expected to happen late this summer or in early fall.