The History of Electric Motorcycles: Timeline

This site started as “notes to myself”, and so that’s what I’m going to do with this post.  Now that one book is pretty much done, I think it may be time to start on a History of Electric Motorcycles.  Here’s a timeline I dug up a while ago:

  • Late 1860s: Earliest references to electric motorcycles can be found in patents.
  • 1911: Electric motorcycle available according to early Popular Mechanics article.
  • 1920s: Ransomes, current makers of forklifts, explored the use of an electric powered motorcycle. This and other developments helped pave the way for the company to use electric mining cars and lorreys.
  • Early 1940s: Fuel rationing in United States caused Earle Williams to convert a motorcycle to electric power. This became the basis for the formation of the ParCar from the Marketeer Company.
  • 1941: Fuel rationing in Occupied Europe encouraged an Austrian company by the name of Socovel to create a small electric motorcycle. Approximately 400 were manufactured.
  • 1967: First Fuel Cell powered electric motorcycle created by Karl Kordesch at Union Carbide debuts. Demonstrated the feasibility of fuel cells as a power source. This particular fuel cell was an alkili fuel cell that operated with hydrazine, a rocket fuel propellant.
  • 1967: “Papoose” moped sized electric motorcycle prototype is created by Indian Motocycle Company under the direction of Floyd Clymer.
  • Early 1970s: Aurenthetic Charger moped sized mini bike (small motorcycle) sold.
  • 1973: Mike Corbin sets first electric motorcycle land speed record of 101 mph.
  • 1974: Corbin-Gentry Inc. begins sale of street legal electric motorcycles.
  • Professor Charles E. MacArthur makes first electric vehicle ascent on Mt. Washington, NH using a Corbin Electric motorcycle. The event evolved into an annual rally called the “Mt Washington Alternative Vehicle Regatta”.
  • 1978: Electric Harley Davidson MK2 created by Transitron manufactured in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • 1988: Eyeball Engineering creates KawaSHOCKi electric dragbike and is featured in a major magazine.
  • 1996: Peugeot Scoot’Elec was the first mass production of an electric motorbike.
  • Late 1990s: EMB Lectra VR24 electric motorbike pioneered the use of variable reluctance motors (hence the VR) and was marketed as street legal.
  • 2000: Killacycle made a record run of 152 mph (245 km/h) at 9.4 s quarter mile (400-metre) time at Woodburn Drags 2000, OR.
  • 2000s The development of lithium-ion batteries and powerful electric motors (originally for military applications) made mainstream electricmotorcycles more feasible.[12]
  • 2007: A123 Li-Ion cell-powered Killacycle set a new quarter mile (400-metre) record of 7.824 seconds and 168 mph (270 km/h) in Phoenix, AZ at AHDRA 2007.[13]
  • 2008: Electra Green made by Orlando Tony Parker in Omaha, Nebraska was the first electric motorcycle made in the state of Nebraska.
  • 2009 “The 24 Hours of Electricross”, the first all electric dirtbike race.
  • 2009 The first Time Trial Xtreme Grand Prix (TTXGP) all electric street motorcycle race took place on the Isle of Man.
  • 2010 ElectroCat was the first electric motorcycle to climb pikes peak and set a record time in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

edit- Found the source: Electric Vehicle News

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One response to “The History of Electric Motorcycles: Timeline

  1. Pingback: The Electric Garage: The Lectra VR24 | The Electric Chronicles: Power in Flux·

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