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Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Sets Speed Record

Posted: July 12, 2012

Jennifer Holt, professionally trained motorcycle driver and Ohio State student, with the Buckeye Electric Motorcyle

Aaron Bonnell-Kangas

Jennifer Holt, a professionally trained motorcycle driver and Ohio State graduate student, steered the Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team to a new speed record for electric motorcycles on July 8, 2012.

The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle Race Team set an East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) speed record for electric motorcycles on July 8, 2012. The record speed was 144.352 mph at the East Coast Timing Association Ohio Mile Track located in Wilmington, Ohio. The team now holds the title of fastest collegiate electric motorcycle.

The record, an increase of over 30 mph on the 112.349 mph record in 2011, was primarily the result of upgrading the vehicle’s battery pack. The student- led team utilized FlightPower’s lithium cobalt oxide batteries loaned to them by Lawless Industries, completely designing, building, and testing the battery pack with the goal of achieving maximum high speeds. The record was completed in the Modified Electric A3 class by crossing the finish line of the one mile straight track at top speed. Jennifer Holt, a professionally trained motorcycle driver and Ohio State graduate student, steered the team to victory once again as she did for the 2011 record.

“The latest ECTA speed record is a fantastic achievement for the team, and an important learning experience for the design of the new electric race motorcycle,” says Marcello Canova, the team’s faculty advisor and assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. “Most of all, it shows the skills, ingenuity, and resilience of this student group, able to build an electric bike from ground up in less than two years and achieve two speed records.”

The next goals for the team include building a new motorcycle— the second in its series of race vehicles— surpassing the 150 mph mark (as only few professional teams have done so far), and competing in the famous Isle of Man race competition. The students are midway through the design process of the new vehicle, improving on what they have learned during the past two years.

“As the team begins its second electric motorcycle design and build, members now have a much clearer idea of the end goal and the hurdles that they will have to face right up until the starting gun fires,” says Kyle Ginaven, co-team leader/technical team lead.

The Buckeye Electric Motorcycle also holds the title of being the first electric vehicle to compete at the ECTA Ohio Mile Track.

Media contact: Holly Henley, Ohio State Center for Automotive Research, henley.53@osu.edu, 614-292-4217

About 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. Launched in 2010, the team’s vision is to enhance the development of clean, electric powered motorcycle technology. Members aim to acquire skills in electric transportation conversion, energy storage systems, advanced traction system, system integration, and business and communications. The team designs, builds, and races a series of electric motorcycles. Currently the team is designing its second vehicle.

About East Coast Timing Association and Ohio Mile Track
The East Coast Timing Association LLC (ECTA) is the principal sanctioning organization for Land Speed Racing in the Eastern United States. Four times a year, scores of two- and four-wheel racers gather at the Airborne Airpark in Wilmington, Ohio, to speed down the Ohio Mile race track competing for top speed records in various classes. Vehicles range from production cars and bikes (basically off the showroom floor) to exotic, purpose-built racers.