About this project
Remember the first electric motorcycle you ever saw? I do. In 2006, the Killacycle, a battery-powered drag bike changed the way I saw electric vehicle technology forever. From that moment on, I was obsessed.
Electric vehicle technology began in the earliest days of cars - losing the battle with gas engines as far back as the early 1900s. After a short-lived rekindling of interest in the latter days of the 20th century, we saw an explosion of electric vehicle technology, with motorcycles at the forefront, starting with the dawn of the 21st century. Today, electric motorcycles compete on the same field as gas bikes - and often surpass them.
The story of electric motorcycles is the story of scientific research, technological innovation and the confluence of technologies. ...but it's another story too. It's the story of how the power delivery of a high-performance, no-compromise, pure-electric drivetrain can redefine transportation, motorsports and the perception of renewable energy. It's the story of power in flux.
Join me on a very personal journey within this small community of innovators - from industry leaders to garage mechanics - to experience how a revolution in motorsports - as well as technology and innovation - happens.
The Project - Power in Flux: The History of Electric Motorcycles
8.5 x 11", ~250pp, full color printing with perfect-bound hard and soft-cover.
The chapter outline is a work in progress, but here are my current chapter summaries:
• Battery development • Brand development • Community/forums • Racing
The Pre-history – makes and models, tests and development:
• The Age of Lead • 1900 to 1950 • the late 20th century • The Dawn of Lithium • The 2000s
Battery and Supporting Tech Development:
• A Short History of Lithium Battery Research • The BMS • The Motor and Controller Equation
The People (notable cast and characters of the 2002-present period):
• Mike Corbin • Michael Czysz • Terry Hershner • Chip Yates • Craig Bramscher • Livia Cevolini • Jeff Disinger • Carl Vogel • Shawn Lawless • Luke Workman • Azhar Hussain • Cedric Lynch • Neal Saiki • Brian Richardson • Bill Dube and Eva Håkansson • Craig Vetter •Richard Hatfield
The Student Teams: Ohio State • Purdue • Virginia Tech • Kingston University (others)
The Australians - A continent in flux:
• Danny Ripperton • The Voltron • Racing
Europe and the UK
Endless Sphere (and the e-bike crossover) • Elmoto • ElectricMotorcycleForum • V is for Voltage • DIY Electric Car • Brammo Owners Forum
• The Early Years (Team Bettimoto and the EVN CUP) • The Isle of Man • TTXGP • FIM • eMotoRacing • MotoE • eFXC • Land Speed Racing • Drag Racing
• Zero • Brammo • Energica • Harley Davidson • Electric Motorsport • Agility Saietta • Quantya • KTM • Mission Motors • BRD • Vectrix • Electric Moto • ELMOTO • MotoCzysz • Oset • Roehr • Bell • Lito • Sarolea • Lightning • Amorak (others)
World's Firsts, Records and Feats:
Mike Corbin • The NEDRA • KillaCycle • Chip Yates • Shawn Lawless • Lightning • Mission • Nathan Abbott • Terry Hershner • Team MotoElectra • Pikes Peak • Charlie MacArthur (more)
The Medicine Show: Snake Oil, Magic Batteries and Perpetual Motion - the PT Barnum Effect.
The Future of Electric Motorcycle - Overtaking a century of carbon-fuel development: Mainstream Manufacturers • Emerging Brands • Custom Builders
• • •
Much of the research I've compiled can be seen here: The Electric Chronicles: History category.
The final result will be a full-format book, 8 1/2 x 11, and 250 pages in full color. The details of the design can change, but the scale and scope of the book will remain the same: a conclusive, complete history.
Risks and challenges
The challenges of this book are the challenges faced by anyone putting a work like this together - gaining access to sources, compiling information, writing, editing and designing the book itself. I have a few things going for me.
I've done it before. My "Pipeline Series", published by Sterling Publications, was a 2-year project of four 250+p books, all devoted to digital photography and the RAW file process. After that, I put together "...from Fossils to Flux", a small introduction to building your own electric motorcycle, filling a void in resources available for people looking for access to the basic information.
I've also been an active member in the electric motorcycle community - in the words of Terry Hershner, multiple record holder for his cross-country electric motorcycle exploits, "You know EVERYBODY in electric motorcycles...".
I have a lot of the work started. I know the people and the timelines, because I was there. I have personal friends like Mike Corbin - who set the Land Speed Record in the early '70s on a bike powered by the same batteries used by NASA. I've been compiling information since 2006 on The Electric Chronicles, and it's time to put that together into one coherent volume.
The challenge? Simply, getting the work done. With your help, that work happens, and I can roll up my sleeves and start.
Where does the money go? Most of it will go into printing costs, but a portion of it will help me devote more of my freelance writing and editing time on this project. It's a labor of love, but like any full-time profession, writers have to keep the wolf from the door too. Photographers, artists and other contributors will be paid for their work as well.
I've allowed a year for this project to reach completion - 6 months for preparing the manuscript, and 6 months for the production - design, layout and printing.
Your support will let me give this project the full attention it deserves, and make it what I know it can be - the definitive story of a remarkable time of exploration and innovation.
Please note: ALL REWARD LEVELS will include a PDF file of the book for your use. (I neglected to mention that, and now can't edit the Rewards.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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