We do try to cover as many news related to low fuel consumption, hybrid and electric vehicles on our blog, and while talking about the major car makers’ efforts is most useful to the future potential consumer, we also must take a break on occasion and talk about some special realizations in the field, and today is one such day.
Eva Hakansson, a university engineering graduate successfully rode her home-built electric sidecar – named KillaJoule – at over 347 km/h on the world famous record-making racing grounds of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Now that sounds truly fast, and it is. In fact, she set a new record for electrically powered bikes at the 2012 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials and came very close to the world’s fastest time ever – 352km/h – for a sidecar-style bike, but with an internal combustion engine.
Eva is no newcomer to the world of high-powered vehicle contests, because she and her husband, Bill Dube, are quite well-known in the drag bike world, because of their KillaCycle, an electrically powered drag bike – this one holds the record for fastest electric powered drag vehicle being capable of accelerating from 0-96km/h in under a second.
The KillaJoule is a three-wheel sidecar only in the strictest of definitions, because it has no seat, Hankansson has to lie on her back, clad in a five-layer Nomex racesuit with her head on her chest. She’s then strapped in with a seven-point harness, as well as boots, gloves and a neck-restraint device – it’s good to see that they’re not skimping on the safety features at those speeds.
The six-meter sidecar is powered by a 375-Volt, 1800-Amp, 97-kilogram battery pack, as well as an AC motor which develops up to 186 kW of power.
Hakansson’s goal is to reach the land speed record of 645 km/h with her KillaJoule; an interesting piece of historic and related trivia is that back in 1899, the world’s fastest vehicle was in fact an electric car, with a then mind-blowing record of 100 km/h.
When it comes to automobile hybrid technology there's a very valid conversation being held in regards to whether or not they are indeed more energy efficient when you take into account the entire production process, especially when you look at the environmental impact of producing and transporting the actual hybrid car batteries. We'll talk about this issue in a future article, today however we'll take a quick look at one of Volvo's newest hybrid solutions, the hybrid truck known as the “Mean Green” at the moment.