University engineering graduate Eva Hakansson has ridden her home-built electric sidecar KillaJoule at just over 347km/h at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
In doing so, she also set a new record for electrically powered bikes at the 2012 BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials and came encouragingly close to the world's fastest time ever recorded (352km/h) for a sidecar-style bike with an internal combustion engine.
It’s not the first time Hakansson has dabbled in the world of high-speed electric motorcycles. She and husband Bill Dube were better known for their KillaCycle electric drag bike, which holds the enviable record as the fastest electric powered vehicle on the drag strip. The KillaCycle can accelerate from 0-96km/h in less than a second.
The KillaJoule is a six-metre, three-wheel sidecar and gets its power from a 375-volt, 1800-amp 97-kilogram battery pack made up of 1210 cordless tool cells.
There’s also an AC motor on board, which develops up to 186kW of power via its electric drive.
Inside the cockpit, there’s no seat, so Hakansson has to lie on her back in a five-layer Nomex racesuit with her head on her chest. She's strapped in with a seven-point harness, boots, gloves and a neck-restraint device.
Apparently, Hakansson is chasing a land speed record of up to 645km/h with the KillaJoule by using a larger, more powerful battery pack with twice the current voltage.
Interestingly, the world’s fastest vehicle in 1899 was an electric car called La Jamais Contente, which broke 100km/h on a run near Paris on Michelin tyres.
Watch Eva Hakansson hit over 347km/h in her three-wheel sidecar.