A lucky and wealthy few drivers will soon be speeding around town in Tesla Roadsters, but fast electric vehicles are also tearing up amateur racetracks across the country. This past weekend, a rider pushed a lithium-ion-battery-powered motorcycle to 156 mph at the Portland International Raceway in Oregon.
The bike, known as the KillaCycle, cranks out 350 horsepower, and squeezes all that juice out of 990 laptop-like batteries made by the power pros at A123 Systems. The KillaCycle gets from 0 to 60 in just under a second. In other words, it's already catching up to the quickest drag motorcycles, which do it in about 0.7 seconds.
Yet this could just be the start. One battery expert even thinks that electrics could challenge the toughest drag-racing records within five years.—Gregory Mone
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.