KillaJoule Electric Sidecar Sets 241 mph Speed Record

Last Thursday at the Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials, engineering PhD student Eva Håkansson set several world land speed records in her “KillaJoule” streamlined electric sidecar motorcycle.

Håkansson’s home-built EV smashed the previous fastest electric motorcycle record by 25 mph, and established an all-time best among sidecars of any type.

The KillaJoule was clocked at 241.901 mph (389.219 kph) with two-way average of 240.726 mph (387.328 kph). The former sidecar record was 224.201 mph, set by John Stege using an internal combustion engine.

 “Although the KillaJoule is a fun hobby project, its real purpose is to be eco-activism in disguise,” said a statement from killacycleracing. “The main purpose of this 19-foot, 400-horsepower, sleek, sexy motorcycle is to show that eco-friendly doesn’t mean slow and boring. Eva is also on a mission to encourage girls and women to pursue a career in science and engineering.”

“Although the KillaJoule is a fun hobby project, its real purpose is to be eco-activism in disguise. The main purpose of this 19-foot, 400-horsepower, sleek, sexy motorcycle is to show that eco-friendly doesn’t mean slow and boring.”

All records are yet pending certification by the American Motorcycle Association, and assuming the times are made official, Håkansson will own the following:

• Fastest electric motorcycle in the world
• Fastest sidecar motorcycle in the world (including internal combustion)
• Fastest speed of the event
• Fastest woman on a motorcycle in the world

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Håkansson, 33, was born in Sweden and is the daughter of a champion racer, motorcycle designer, EV enthusiast and she has degrees in mechanical engineering, business and environmental science along with a long-time passion for technology and the environment.

She also is married to Bill Dube of KillaCycle electric drag-bike fame, and she is personally credited with building 80 percent of the KillaJoule in their two-car garage in Colorado over the course of five years on a limited budget.

Photo by Anthony Olway.

Photo by Anthony Olway.

“This is a truly historic event. It is the first time in over a century that an electric vehicle beats internal combustion for a vehicle type,” said Håkansson. “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. Since then, internal combustion has dominated everything.”

Until now, that is.

Dube’s day job is as a mechanical engineer and research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA.

The two say they are “backyard racers with high-level engineering skills” and did “the math” to calculate what would work “instead of relying on luck, intuition or anecdotal information to find the optimal solution.”

KillaJoule’s record is not very far behind the fastest electric car – also a streamliner – the Buckeye Bullet which holds the U.S. electric vehicle speed record at 314.958 mph, and International record at 271.737 mph.

You can also see more info on KillaCycle’s Facebook Page.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

About "400/500" stated horsepower: "The motor controllers have a limit of approximately 400 HP. They just happen to set the upper limit of the HP. One of the components has to set the limit. (It is typically the controller.) The next size up controller is about twice the size. This is way too large. We were trying to strike a balance," said Bill Dube.

About “400/500″ stated horsepower: “The motor controllers have a limit of approximately 400 HP,” said Bill Dube. “They just happen to set the upper limit of the HP. One of the components has to set the limit. (It is typically the controller.) The next size up controller is about twice the size. This is way too large. We were trying to strike a balance”

"Eva Håkansson is a hardcore 'EV geek' with a green heart and passion for power and speed ... She is also on a mission to encourage girls and women to pursue a career in science and engineering." Photo: Phil Hawkins.

“Eva Håkansson is a hardcore ‘EV geek’ with a green heart and passion for power and speed … She is also on a mission to encourage girls and women to pursue a career in science and engineering.” Photo: Phil Hawkins.