Friday, September 30, 2011

EDECRA's 2012 Drag Racing Expo Event has been announced

It will be held on May 18, 2012 at the Lebanon Valley Dragway in Lebanon PA and include


  • EV Car show
  • EV Drag Racing
  • EV Vendors
  • EV Drag racing with cars, motorcycles and even Junior Dragsters

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ohio State Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team sets ECTA speed record

The Ohio State Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team competed a couple weekends ago in a land speed record event held in Maxton NC by the East Coast Timing Association.   They achieved a speed of 112.349 miles/hr setting a record, within the ECTA, for electric motorcycles.

The results show a second team from James Madison University participated.  JMU has not issued a press release.

Ecta 2011 results


Press Release

The Ohio State Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team has set an East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) record for electric motorcycles. The certified record is 112.349mph (180.79kph).

After only 11 months at work, the newly formed team of undergraduate and graduate students built an all-electric motorcycle to compete in ECTA’s Omega class, known as the altered partial streamlined class. Students used real-world engineering process to design, build, re-modify, and test the motorcycle, with the goal of achieving maximum high speeds.

“We’re very happy with our record of 112mph. And with further tuning, our motorcycle can reach even higher speeds with its current load of lithium polymer battery cells,” says Sean Ewing, team captain and fourth year electrical engineering student.

ECTA, located in Maxton, North Carolina, holds five meets per year, at which public, private, and student teams compete with various vehicles in an attempt to break speed records. Vehicles must pass inspections, then are given time on the track.

After this first experience the team is headed back to Ohio State to continue work on the motorcycle. “The ECTA record is an outstanding result, especially considering that the Electric Motorcycle Race Team has barely one year of life. The result obtained at Maxton represents a reward for the hard work and the commitment shown by the team members through the year, but also a great starting point to launch the team into an exciting new season,” says Marcello Canova, faculty advisor and mechanical engineering professor. The team plans to continue work on the motorcycle, improving battery management function and maximizing torque for next season.

Other competition results included James Madison University, which achieved 92mph on an all-electric motorcycle in the same class.

“Although we started as a small team, we have built a solid base of dedicated students,” said Ewing, noting that the team gets its cohesiveness from its diversity of majors, which include engineering, business, and photography. “With this record, we’ve set a benchmark for next year; we have a lot of momentum and a lot of talent.”

About the Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team

The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team is a student-led team at the Ohio State University, based out of the Center for Automotive Research.

Specifications for the 2011 vehicle:

  • Vehicle name: RW1
  • Frame: 2007 MV AGusta F4
  • Motor: Remy HVH250
  • Motor Controller: Tritium WaveSculptor 200
  • Batteries: 460VDC (peak charge), 35Ah battery pack consisting of 784 Lithium Polymer Cells
  • Battery Monitoring System: custom, student-designed, on-board with SD card storage
  • Battery Management System: custom, student-designed, off-board
  • Data Acquisition System: Starlane Stealth GPS-3

About the East Coast Timing Association

The East Coast Timing Association located in Maxton, North Carolina was formed by two Bonneville racers, with the idea of providing its members a place to run speed trials in the eastern half of the United States. Originally a World War II air base runway, it is now an event race course. The one mile long race course has a hard concrete surface with an elevation of 210 feet above sea. The organization will be moving to Wilmington, Ohio for the 2012 season, with details released at a later date.




Ohio State Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team sets ECTA speed record


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Victory & title for Matthias Himmelmann (Münch Racing) in TTXGP Europe 2011 finals

Victory & title for Matthias Himmelmann (Münch Racing)

24th September 2011


Münch continue to dominate Europe's electric racing scene with as yet unmatched performance.

The German rider, Matthias Himmelmann strongly dominated the TTXGP/FIM combined event at the Le Mans circuit, in opening of the renowned FIM 24 Hours Endurance race. After eight laps, the Münch TTE crossed the finish line with more than 34 seconds ahead of Italian Alessandro Brannetti (CRP Racing Team) and Ho Chi Fung, the fastest rider from the Chinese team Zongshen.

In 4th came CRP’s Italian rider Alex Battistini finishing ahead of his team fellow and American, Shelina Moreda and Yang Tu, the second Zongshen rider 

The march of innovation continues with performances of electric powered motorcycles significantly improving since last year. Matthias Himmelmann completed his fastest lap in 1'54.584 and set a time of 1'52.939 as pole position, up from 2’19 in 2010.

Despite Münch winning the TTXGP World Final in 2010 the European crown was owned by CRP's Alessandro Brannetti who proved to be a fierce competitor especially when the track was more technical and suited to the nimble  Motorcycle built by this Italian Manufacturer… Proof was in the last joint FIM epower round at Laguna Seca where the battle for third place was as fierce as any seen in e racing history with Brammo, CRP and Münch swapping paint as they pasted each other repeatedly.

Reminiscing on this experience  Matthias Himmelman, MÜNCH RACING on winning today commented “This was a start to finish with a victory for the team. I gave it all my power as well as the power of the bike to push for the win and the result for the whole team is excellent.

This is a real team effort; the win belongs to all of us. We have worked really hard to further develop this new bike after a disappointing result at Laguna Seca. I personally am training hard to improve and be better in time for the next race in the World TTXGP Final where I will face my fellow TTXGP competitors from Laguna Seca.  I am really excited to have a rematch in Europe."

The ever gracious 2010 European Champion, Alessandro Brannetti of CRP Racing stated “We are very happy, this is a great result for our team who worked really hard to give me a competitive machine for its class. Of course we know the Münch Motors are in a different league in terms of power and it would be a challenge to beat them so for us second place at this race is an excellent result. We are in front of all the other DC Bikes so we know when racing against the same technology and budget level we are the best.  Our goal now is to work on the power train to gain more power in order to complete our next project, the road motorcycle, which will be launched as a concept vehicle at EICMA in Milan this year.”

Third place on the podium belonged to another 2010 TTXGP veteran, Hi Chi Fung of ZONGSHEN  “I am very happy with the result because although we placed third in the race, the team actually had to work really hard and do their best to even complete the race and finish given it is a longer race than the bike is set up for.  We put on a good show. We will now be concentrating all our efforts on the next race, the
TTXGP WORLD FINAL where we will be racing with the bike dialled back up to full power after only being able to compete at 75% level for this race.  We are looking forward to showing what the bike is capable of!”

Taking part in her first ever European race and her second ever electric race was the charasmatic Shelina Moreda of USA for CRP racing "It is amazing to be here with CRP Racing at Le Mans during the FIM 24 Hours of Le Mans race weekend. I am ecstatic to be racing at such a world known track. I am always impressed with the CRP team and their motorcycles. It is my first time in Europe and my first time ever on this track of course, it is also only my second time riding the eCRP 1.4 motorcycle, so there is a lot wrapped up in this weekend for me, and a tremendous amount to learn."

"CRP Racing always does everything possible to give me the tools to accel during race weekends. Their support and the coaching from my teammate Alessandro Brannetti has helped me drop my times consistently at this track and I am already going 5 seconds faster today in qualifying than my fastest yesterday during practice, which is significant. Europe is amazing, Le Mans is a dream, and CRP is fantastic for bringing me here. I love the track and I am excited for the race, I look forward to getting even faster today. "

An incredible season finale to 2011, for the next generation of motorsport.

TTXGP European Championship Final 2011/FIM epower
Le Mans Bugatti
Pos Team Rider Bike Time Laps km/h Best
1 Munch Racing Matthias Himmelmann Munch TTE 0:15:32.150 8 129.301 1:54.584
2 CRP Racing Alessandro Branetti eCRP 0:16:06.496 8 124.706 1:57.625
3 Zongshen Ho Chi Fung Zongshen 0:16:18.017 8 123.237 1:59.917
4 CRP Racing Alex Batistini eCRP 0:16:52.129 8 119.084 2:02.528
5 CRP Racing Shelina Moreda eCRP 0:17:03.159 8 117.800 2:06.930
6 Zongshen Tang Yu Zongshen 0:17:14.631 8 116.494 2:07.468

The Le Mans race will be on the TTXGP TV distribution on Motors TV and Speed 2 channels. Follow @TTXGP for the latest info.

New rules and regs are being finalised for the 2012/2013 future. Add your ideas at TTXGP




Victory & title for Matthias Himmelmann (Münch Racing)

Kleenspeed and Zero Motorcycles in head-head E-Kart ScootOut at LeMans Karting in Fremont

Yesterday two Silicon Valley area EV technology companies, Kleenspeed and Zero Motorcycles, took their "Research & Development" go-karts to a go-kart track and, uh, engaged in some competitive research.  It was billed as the E-Kart ScootOut 2011 with Kleenspeed's name all over it, but that it was an "open forum" for any electric go-kart owner to come and race.  Kleenspeed themselves brought one kart, while the Zero team brought 5 (maybe 6) nearly identical karts.  It was a fun day, an impressive display of electric vehicle technology, all the more so because they broke the tracks speed record by a half second.

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The event was held on a Monday afternoon and was organized as a time trial with one kart on the track at any one time.

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The track had a white board on the wall on which they've been keeping a running tally of the track speed record.  Tracks like this rent out karts to club members, and some of the club members get quite addicted.  Apparently the track speed record has been improving by little bits on a regular basis and stood at 33.023 seconds.

The Kleenspeed and Zero team members were setting lap speeds in the 34-36 second range, quite respectable.  However one of the Zero team members was especially good and even broke the lap speed record with a 32.8 (or so) seconds lap.  The track lap record ended up at 32.61 seconds when all was said and done.

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Zero's karts were described as having been bought for cheap off craigslist, and then converted to electric using parts they had lying around the shop.  The karts all used PERM motors (Zero no longer sells bikes with PERM motors) and controllers from Alltrax as well as a box made by Zero to adjust high or low speed.  They of course used the battery packs they sell for the Zero X and MX electric motorcycles.  The look-and-feel was rather gritty, and lacking polish, mostly because their karts seem to have been built solely as "testbeds" for use around their R&D lab.  (uh huh, "test beds", wink wink)

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Kleenspeeds kart used an "AC 15" kit, which is an Leeson AC motor along with an Curtis Instruments AC controller.  The battery pack was filled by cells from GP Batteries, using Kleenspeed's battery management system.

The first time out Kleenspeed's CEO Tim Collins rode but he was having a hard time with having too much power on his hands.  He explained they'd set the kart up for the REFUEL event in June.  There had been an Autocross event the same day and they brought the Kart over to the Autocross track, and while the power level was correct for that autocross track it was too much for this smaller go-kart track with its tighter turns.  They next had a semi-pro racer take it around the track a few times, and also turned down the power, and he did much better.

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After both Kleenspeed and Zero teams were finished with their racing for the day, they let the track owner and one of the top record holders at the track give a go with the karts.

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The track owner owner went out on the Kleenspeed kart and, despite its battery pack being pretty well depleted, he did a good job of tearing around the track electrically.  So good that he broke the record set earlier by one of the Zero team members.

After the track owner, one of the top racers in this club took out one of Zero's karts.  He broke the track record again with a 32.61 speed.

The event showed several things.  Electric can beat gasoline on its home turf.  Electric is quieter (LeMans Karting is in an office parks and routinely gets noise complaints from the neighbors) allowing onlookers to talk with each other during a race.  It's quite possible to have a lot of fun without burning things.

The organizers felt it was a successful day and are planning to hold more of these events.  They intend to make it open to any participant who wants to come, and have dreams of maybe one day widespread mainstream adoption of electric go-karting.

It's unlikely we'll see a Zero Motorcycles branded electric go-kart product any time, but who knows.  Kleenspeed on the other hand seems like a company desperately in need of sales and they might be looking to supply drive train components to go-karting tracks.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MotoCzysz races with OMRRA at Portland International Raceway

In a race pitting the MotoCzysz E1PC electric superbike against gas powered race motorcycles, MotoCzysz ran great until having to bow out possibly due to a shredded rain tire.  The race was held the weekend of Sept 17-18 at Portland International Raceway during round 6 of the OMRRA Championship race series.

The race occurred in the "Middleweight Superbike" class.  They pitted the E1PC against Suzuki SV650's and Kawasaki EX650's.  These bikes are frequently used in AMA Superbike racing by pro racers.

The event was held in rainy conditions (hey, it's Portland).  The E1PC proved itself safe in the rain, and proved itself a worthy adversary of gas-powered superbikes.  Michael Czysz was riding and "started from the pit lane behind the entire grid".  He passed half of the pack before hitting turn one, and passed the remainder of the pack on the long straight at the end of the first lap.  He then just kept on going.  He "went faster than every 600cc and 750cc machine supersport or superbike that entire weekend" and "turned a faster lap than all but three 1,000 cc machines".  Over the next seven laps he made a 30 second gap over the gas-powered bikes.

Unfortunately in lap 8 the bike pulled out for a variety of reasons including shredded rain tires.  The quotes above are from e-mail correspondence with Michael Czysz.

He shared these thoughts

It was good fun, I do like riding in the rain but to be honest, riding an elec. in the rain is pretty stressful, especially at this stage in their development.

I can tell you racing the ICE bikes, even at club level was way more exciting for the observers than a full electric race ever could be.  I think this is the natural transition.  People were interested, excited and impressed.

OMRRA is the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association.

A message from Motoczysz (OMRRA Forums)


I wanted to pass on a heartfelt thanks to the entire OMRRA organization and family, including the corner workers, the commentators and especially the Middleweight Superbike racers.

Last weekend was a return to our roots- OMRRA was where I started racing and were I started cultivating the thoughts and ideas that are MotoCzysz.

Sunday was all too familiar, constant changing weather and (7) tire changes later we still did not have it right but what was right, was the venue. This year OMRRA lead the Nation by adding an electric motorcycle class to their road racing program. Either a product of forward thinking or green sensibilities or just to keep Portland weird, OMRRA was first, then waited. I don’t think anyone expected anything too exciting to come from this class for years, if ever.

Last weekend, MotoCzysz brought to OMRRA for the first time, an electric grand prix machine. The goal was to not embarrass ourselves amongst all the internal combustion race bikes and let down those who pioneered the class, the dream was to push hard, race and go fast.

I and the entire MotoCzysz team want to thank the Middleweight Superbike grid and the club overall for their support and hospitality. Let’s see who next follows OMRRA.

It is great to be a licensed OMRRA racer again.

Best,Michael CzyszOMRRA #11X



Rain complicates round six of OMRRA Championship at Portland International Raceway

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Czech scooter company AKUMOTO sets range record in 24 hour endurance test

Czech scooter company AKUMOTO is claiming to have set a world record for the longest distance covered by an electric scooter in 24 hours.  The endurance run was made during European Mobility Week, the 19-20th of September 2011, at the Prague Strašnice.  The team rode the electric scooter 1136.3 kilometers, or 706 miles, which is the distance from Prague to Paris.  They consumed 40.8 kilowatt-hours of electricity, at a cost of Kč 190, around €8, in terms of normal electricity prices.

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“The aim of the action was to demonstrate the traveling qualities and uses of electric scooters,” said AKUMOTO’s sales manager Lukáš Drahovzal. “Given that modern electric scooters in principle have exchangeable batteries, we were interested in learning just how far electric scooters could go in a set period,” he added, saying that the final result was beyond their most optimistic forecasts.

Their scooter design is on the smaller end of the scale and uses a "three pole brushless motor" embedded in the rear wheel.  They don't publish spec's on their website like speed, range, motor power, or battery pack capacity.  However the design includes regenerative braking, and most importantly for this endurance run the battery pack is easily swappable.

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The battery pack is a small unit with a handle that fits under the seat.  Hence one method to recharge the bike is to stop, open the seat, pull out the battery pack, and insert a new one.  No word on whether there's a network of stations at which you can swap battery packs.  However during the 24 hour endurance event they clearly would have utilized the quick swap capability of the bike to keep the bike on the track, while keeping several packs freshly charged in the pit area.

Assuming the pack capacity is a fairly typical 4 kwh, they would have swapped packs 10-15 times during the 24 hours.

This isn't the first endurance test with electric bikes.  In April 2009 Zero Motorcycles ran an 24 hour endurance race at a dirt bike track in South San Jose, CA.  In that case they also relied on quickly swapped battery packs to keep bikes on the track.  Not to diminish AKUMOTO's achievement, but to remember our history.

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Czechs set electric scooter world record - Prague-to-Paris equivalent on 40.8 kWh or €8 electricity cost

The Zero Motorcycles 24 hrs of Electricross

Video from the 24 Hours of Electricross race