All-Electric Motorcycle Makes Historic Cross-Country Ride

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Last month, Virginia-based Moto-Electra Racing set a coast-to-coast world record for electric vehicles by making a trans-continental run in 84.5 hours on one of its electric motorcycles. Photo: Moto Electra Racing

Last month, Virginia-based Moto-Electra Racing set a coast-to-coast world record for electric vehicles by making a trans-continental run in 84.5 hours on one of its electric motorcycles. Photo: Moto Electra Racing

Driving across the country on a motorcycle is a long-held dream for free spirits and travel junkies alike.

With implications for the future of the American road trip, a start-up racing firm recently made the fabled journey a reality with an historic eco twist.

Last month, Virginia-based Moto-Electra Racing set a coast-to-coast world record for electric vehicles by making a trans-continental run in 84.5 hours, or about three-and-a-half days.

Former AMA Pro Racing driver Thad Wolff completed the trip using the firm’s standard electric motorcycle design. The vehicle made the entire trip under its own power and there was no battery swapping, the firm said.

Personnel from James Madison University monitored the ride, and verification for the record is also available via on-board data acquisition systems.

Photo: Moto-Electra Racing

Moto-Electra founder Brian Richardson (third from right) and record-breaking driver Thad Wolff (third from left) pose with the rest of the team on the Santa Monica Pier in California. Photo: Moto-Electra Racing

The record-breaking feat is even more impressive considering the racing firm got its start a mere four years ago in a sheep barn in Blue Grass, Va.

Its founder, country lawyer Brian Richardson, built the firm’s first all-electric racing bike in his kitchen with the aim of boosting awareness for electric vehicles and now he’s giving himself – and the rest of his team – a well-deserved pat on the back.

“At the turn of the 20th century, gasoline-powered vehicles were useless for long distance travel,” Richardson said. “There were no roads, no filling stations, and the vehicles were not dependable. Gas-powered vehicles could never replace the horse for long distance travel.”

“Fast forward 100 years, and our goal is to challenge perceptions about the useful range of electric vehicles,” he continued. “We did just that. I think it’s only a matter of time when charging stations will allow cross-country travel by anyone with an electric vehicle.”

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