Lightning Motorcycles, the Silicon Valley company that produced the electric motorcycle that won Pikes Peak back in 2013, is at it again with a new ground breaking challenge; complete the San Francisco to Los Angeles drive on a single battery charge. While current battery technology limitations exist, Lightning Motorcycles founder and CEO, Richard Hatfield, is confident they can one day make the dream of a ride without seeing a charging station a reality. Currently, Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors holds the record at 315 miles on a single charge for either electric motorcycle or car. While this is well short of the 500-mile goal, this does not deter Hatfield in the slightest.
Driving Toward The Goal
Producing motorcycles that have that caliber of single charge highway range would give Lightning Motorcycles a significant competitive advantage in the motorcycle marketplace. Instead of forcing riders into predetermined routes based off charging locations and charge time availability, a significantly larger range would add much needed flexibility in their route selection, ultimately fulfilling the rider’s dream of cruising freely. Even though no currently commercially available gas motorcycle can go further than 320 miles on a single tank of gas, Richard Hatfield is insistent on giving this 500-mile moonshot a reality on the asphalt. Without the help of other companies and innovators, this ambitious goal would be nothing more than a wistful dream. The Battery Innovation Center, headed by David Roberts, is a major contributor in what may be the first ‘500-mile Battery’. Roberts notes, “We think that with the technology as it stands right now, the ride is entirely achievable.”. As it stands, the bike is still in the works and will not be available at retail for quite some time.