In an international effort, French electric motorcycle maker Voxan will attempt to break the land speed record for an electric motorcycle in Bolivia with an Italian racing driver next summer. Truly, the electrified future will be a global effort.
Now that electric motorcycles are becoming faster, cheaper, and more prevalent, they are starting to be considered for the kinds of record attempts that gas-powered motorcycles achieved half a century ago.
To that end, Voxan, maker of the world’s most powerful electric motorcycle, the Wattman, will attempt to break the land speed record on the Bolivian Uyuian salt flats in the summer of 2020.
If you know anything about land speed records, you’re aware there are many. So the one Voxan and the Italian motorcycle racing champion Max Biaggi, who will be piloting the Wattman are going for is the “electric motorcycles propelled by the action of one wheel in contact with the ground, partially streamlined, under 300 kg” record.
On the specially modified Wattman, 44-year-old Biaggi will attempt to whiz past 205 miles per hour, which is the current record in that highly specific category.
Voxan hasn’t specified the details of the modified aerodynamically modified Wattman pictured above. The standard model, however, churns out 200 horsepower does and 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds and 0 to 100 mph in 5.9 seconds. We can assume the land-speed version might be slower off the line, as it is likely geared for higher speed.
So why break this record? Why does anyone smash any record? For brand bona fides.
Electric motorcycle brands, save Harley-Davidson, are in the fledgling years. And they’re keen to make a name for themselves in any way possible. Most motorcyclists, I’d wager, won’t switch over to electric bikes solely for the environmental benefits. So brands have to demonstrate other advantages. Speed and range are certainly part of that equation.