Motorsports

State of the Art 2020: Electric Motorcycle Racing

The inaugural season of MotoE just wrapped up a few weeks ago in Valencia, Spain, with the aptly-named Italian Matteo Ferrari taking the widely celebrated first-ever championship in the history of this all-electric racing series. It so very nearly wasn’t so, however– and as such, in this week of Thanksgiving, it seemed like a good time to look back at the state of electric motorcycling in 2019, and take some time, too, to look ahead to 2020 and see what might be looking forward to next year. So with that, here it is: the state of the art of electric motorcycle racing in 2019. 2019 MotoE Season Recap Remember that? The very first season of big-time electric motorcycle racing almost didn’t happen at all due to a massive fire that broke out the series’ pre-season test ...

How Different Racing Series Are Going Green

What is it about racing that we humans find so entertaining? Is it the competition? Maybe it’s the danger? Nerds like me enjoy the technology behind the machines that are involved. Whatever the reason may be, racing is big business. We provided a brief overview of the Formula E Racing League back in August. Please click here to read that article if you haven’t already, (and even if you have). In addition to Formula E there are off-road leagues, motorcycle leagues, and even an all-solar vehicle racing league currently in operation! Today we take a look at how these different racing series are going green. A Bit of History Did you know that they very first vehicle land speed record was set in an all-electric vehicle (EV)? It’s true! La Jamais Contente (The Never Sastisfied)...

Formula E 101

Unlike its well-established older brother Formula 1, the Formula E racing league is just a baby. The concept for Formula E was conceived by Jean Todt, the President of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) in 2011. Todt announced his intention to create an all-electric vehicle (EV) racing league while dining with friends in Paris, and Formula E was born! The inaugural race for the Formula E League took place in Beijing in 2014. Additional races were held in the cities of Buenos Aires, Long Beach, Moscow, and London. Nelson Piquet Jr. became the first ever Formula E champion, winning the title by a single point. All Formula E vehicles are single driver EVs. There are currently 11 racing teams with two drivers to a team in the league. The races are held on the streets of vari...

Watch a Nissan LEAF Plus Outrun a Tesla Model S

The Nissan LEAF is such a mainstream car, I often forget it’s electric. That’s a shame, really, because it’s actually a pretty great little electric car, with just a touch more range than the more popular Tesla Model 3 at a lower asking price. Compared to the bigger, even more expensive Model S, the LEAF not only seems like it’s playing in a different league– it’s playing a different game. That’s why it was so surprising to see a Nissan LEAF Plus barrel past a Tesla Model S on the 11th lap of an all-electric car race. You read that right, kids: the Nissan LEAF Plus will catch– and pass!– a Tesla Model S in a circuit race. Especially if that circuit race involves twist, turns, and (apparently) more than ten laps of action. That’s b...

TeslaCorsa 4 vs. Laguna Seca – Massive Gallery

Say what you will about Elon Musk and Tesla Motors— whether you think he’s the living incarnation of Tony Stark or a sad, angry nerd who got lucky with PayPal and is now in deep over his head– the man makes some seriously quick cars. The cars’ performance is a huge part of what justifies their price premium over, say, a Nissan Leaf or Kia Soul, so it’s only natural that Tesla owners would want to stretch their cars’ legs now and then and experience their awesome ludicrous performance for themselves. Thus was born TeslaCorsa. Billed as “the world’s first, Tesla-only racetrack experience,” TeslaCorsa invites owners to private racetrack outings to push their cars– and themselves!– to the limits of performance. Last weekend mark...

Watch This: Wild Extreme E Odyssey 21 Electric Racer

Get Plugged In In a hurry? Here are the major points in this post. All-new Electric Race Series for Off-road SUVs These new Electric Racers are Seriously Fast Plenty of Big Names Involved The car you see here is called the Odyssey 21. It was built by Spark Technologies using battery technology developed by the Williams Formula 1 race team, and it’s the first example of what a Extreme E racer will look like once the all-electric, off-road racing series launches officially next season. And, before you ask: yes. Yes, the new Extreme E racers will actually be fast. While it took some time for the Formula E cars to get up to respectable speeds, the Oyssey 21-based racers are expected to be seriously fast from the word go. “Straight out-of-the-box in season one, the ODYSSEY 21 and it...

Husqvarna Releases its First-ever Electric Motorcycle

It may not be setting the world on fire with a high-output, super go-fast electric motor like Honda Mugen or Zero, but Swedish motorcycle builder Husqvarna has just launched its first all-electric motorcycle. It’s called the Husqvarna EE 5, and it’s designed for young riders taking their first steps rides into an electrified, two-wheeled future that, Husqvarna hopes, will have them coming back to the brand for a lifetime of purchases. Husqvarna is targeting the 50cc class of bikes currently dominated by Honda’s CRF50F and Yamaha’s TTR50– but the Swedish bike is very much targeting the high end of that class with 35 mm WP XACT forks that offer 205 mm of travel up front paired to a single, fully-adjustable rear shock (also from WP) to ensure exceptional damping ...

VW ID.R Set to Defend Goodwood FOS Title

Volkswagen’s ID.R electric race car continues to re-write the rules of what electric cars are supposed to be capable of. In the last few years, the car has set records at both the perilous Pike’s Peak hillclimb and the Nürburging’s “Green Hell”, as well as at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Now, VW and its increasingly legendary driver, Romain Dumas, are headed back to Goodwood to defend their 2018 title. Dumas’ 2018 run up the world’s longest driveway was the third quickest in the history of that great event, and is 100% worth watching if you haven’t seen it, already. You can check out the 2018 run at this link, then read the official 2019 press release on the ID.R’s return, below. Enjoy!   Volkswagen ID.R Returns to Goodwood to D...

Video: Watch the VW ID.R Blast the Nürburgring Record

Last week, Volkswagen dropped acclaimed racing driver Romain Dumas behind the wheel of the ID.R– one of the most powerful electric race cars ever built. Once he was trapped in, they pointed the pairing at Germany’s famous Nürburgring, where they promptly set a new track record for electric cars. The ID.R didn’t just set a new record, though. Along the way, it thoroughly obliterated the previous electric record set by the NIO EP9 back in 2017 by more than 40 (forty) seconds. Volkswagen has been pushing hard to shed its well-earned image as a manufacturer of emissions-cheating, high-polluting, diesel-engined crapwagons crapwagens with always-on check engine lights. Part of that push has been a commitment to developing high-performance electric motors, and that’s where...

It’s Back! MotoE Announces Revised 2019 Race Calendar

A few weeks ago, the future of MotoGP’s all electric motorcycle racing series, MotoE, was thrown into doubt after a massive fire. The blaze destroyed not only the slick electric racebikes that were set to race in the series, but a huge amount of tools, equipment, and support machinery as well. Because of the devastation caused by the fire, race organizers, Dorna, were forced to cancel the first two rounds of what was to be MotoE’s inaugural season. The causes of the fire are still being examined, and a press release with more details on the fire is promised once the investigations have been completed. Better to focus on happier things, however– so, the new 2019 MotoE calendar is as follows: Race 1 – July 5th -7th – Sachsenring, Germany Race 2 – August 9th -11th – Red Bull...

Honda Reveals Electric CRF Concept (10 Photos)

If there was any lingering doubt that the future is going to be electric, Honda just put another nail in the internal combustion future’s coffin with the release of an incredibly sexy and obviously capable electric motorcycle concept this past weekend. Meet the Honda CR Electric concept, and understand that this isn’t a 125-equivalent trainer, like Yamaha’s electric concepts. This bike is intended to be a direct replacement for Honda’s awesome, bigger, and race-ready CRF250R. (!) Launched at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show a few days ago, the concept seems to be based on a modified CRF250 aluminum frame. The electric motor appears to be liquid-cooled, with a pint-sized radiator featured prominently behind the race-spec suspension. Other bits, too– from the Renthal F...