Last year, Lightning Motorcycles shattered the land speed record for electric bikes, when rider Paul Thede achieved an amazing average of 206.079 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The team later set a higher speed of  215.960 mph. Now, Lightning Motorcycles has broken the speed record for a production motorcycle (a street-legal bike that was produced in a series for purchase by the public) with a solar-powered bike at the El Mirage dry lake bed in Southern California.

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Instead of Bonneville’s five-mile course, El Mirage is 1.3-mile in length. Working with solar technology company SMA America, and with veteran rider Jim Hoogerhyde, the company managed to achieve an impressive speed of 189.086 mph. While it is less than their previous records, their efforts this time round are solar powered.

The energy provided for Lightning Motorcycles’ three runs were all solar-powered with sun rays powering a 48-kWh battery pack attached to a DC Solar Solutions Solar Eclipse mobile power unit featuring Sunny Island inverters, which charged the bike’s on-board batteries.

“We are passionate about promoting alternative energy and are excited about having this opportunity working with SMA,” said Richard Hatfield, owner of Lightning Motorcycle. “We believe people interested in electric vehicles are also attracted to powering them with clean solar power.”

Solar tech company SMA were also happy with how their technology performed. Henry Dziuba, president and general manager of SMA America, said: “This event is a testament to how far electric vehicle and solar technology has come. It is a thrill to see solar energy powering record-breaking vehicles, and it was a pleasure working with Lightning Motorcycle and DC Solar Solutions to achieve this great goal.”

+ Lightning Motorcycles / SMA America

via Green Autoblog