On June 6th 2012, the world changed just a little bit more.
Although Electric motorcycle racing might seem a little remote from the world of solar energy, the technological advancements that racing brings should not be underestimated.
The TT Zero series which runs at the infamous Isle of Man circuit, took place this week and there are two pieces of big news that demonstrate how fast our world is changing.
Firstly it is that lap speeds for the all electric class are tumbling with a new world record set this week at an average lap speed of 167 km/h around the Isle of Man’s demanding 60km-long circuit.That’s the average speed remember, around a hilly, fast and often deadly circuit.
For the third year in a row Team Segway Racing MotoCzysz and rider Micheal Rutter won the day, Rutter completing an impressive 4 laps of the circuit in 21minutes 45.33 seconds and a total distance of 241kms. This is no commuter bike.
To put that in perspective, its only around 20% slower than a fully fledged factory race bike time, in a series that is in its third year with mostly (well funded) private team bikes. The potential is enormous.
More big news is that this year saw the entry of the first major manufacturer into the class, with Honda’s satellite Mugen Team entering, with a highly impressive second place result. Expect enormous progress from them in the next year.
Its also worth noting that the recently held European round was won by Schott Solar sponsored Team Munch, also with impressive results.
Electric motorcycle racing is demonstrating that record breaking, rapid technology advancements will come and the worlds major companies know it.
The knock on effects for solar energy will obviously come first through advanced storage technology but typically it also comes from miniaturisation, communications, diagnostics, massive R&D scale and the potential for mass production of course.
And almost as if to to prove the point about electric development, Toyota’s Prius became the worlds 3rd most popular selling car in the first quarter of 2012, against all other cars – not just hybrids or electric vehicles.
Bob Dillon was right.