It's electric: 3 electric vehicle breakthroughs

The world's speediest electric motorcycle; an electric car that charges itself; and slow and steady breaks the EV range limit.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

[Note: Post updated to address a technical detail about product motorcycles pointed out by commenters.]

For those of you out there who crave to be the guy or gal on the block with the coolest electric vehicle imaginable, I bring you three fun electric vehicle developments that I read about this week over at SmartPlanet, the ZDNet sister site bringing you all manner of information about technologies, people and philosophies that make the planet a smarter place.

Rider Paul Thede from Race Tech (Photo: Richard Hatfield)

Rider Paul Thede from Race Tech (Photo: Richard Hatfield)

#1: The world's speediest electric motorcycle This is something I will NOT share with my husband, who already endangers himself on two different motorcycles. (Note: he's a good driver, I don't trust the other people on the road.) But for those of you who have a need for speed, I just read that the Lightning Electric Superbike just broke the land speed record for electric bikes.

The record was broken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, where the bike hit 206.079 miles per hour, which was more than 30 miles per hour faster than the 2010 record -- which was also held by Lightning Motorcycles.

One of these custom built bikes will run you about $38,000, and that's if you don't decide to trick it out like my husband has done with both of his motorcycles.

#2: A car that charges as you go? SmartPlanet contributing editor Mark Halper reports from the England that a British car-racing team will soon start easing a technology for dynamic or "on-the-go" charging. The idea is that the roadway would include power strips that would charge a vehicle as it moves along. Yes, kind of like those toy car and train sets that you used to have when you were a kid.

Halper reports that Drayson Racing Technologies is working on the concept with HaloIPT, a company in London that develops wireless charging technology for electric vehicles.

A double shot of fun for those who have range anxiety and those who want something a little sportier in their electric vehicle design than the Nissan Leaf.

#3: My EV gets 1,000 miles to the charge. Yours? This third item originates in Germany, where a car called the Schluckspecht, apparently just managed to travel 1,000 miles on a single charge on a Bosch test track.

This is a concept car: it was developed by Pforzheim University, the Fraunhofer Institut EMI and the University of Offenberg. The test run took 36 hours; the previous single-charge record was 623 miles.

This design is something that you are not likely to see on real roads anytime soon. Consider that it took 14 lithium-cobalt battery packs to best the record. That is one seriously heavy battery load.

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