The Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges are events in which participants try to cover a large amount of distance using the least amount of money for fuel. The latest involved a 172-mile trip through the hills and highways of Northern Utah and was won, nay, dominated by Terry Hershner aboard his Vetter-ized 2012 Zero S electric motorcycle. Even after adding the equivalent costs of taxes, his official 1.3 cent-per-mile result was still almost half of the second-place competitor – a 164 mile-per-gallon diesel rig. Unofficially, the price tag was even better, since every power-up used on the adventure came, ahem, free of charge.
Long distance hauls at speed are not something electric vehicles are noted for, but Hershner's bike has a few tricks up its streamlined sleeves. Its slick bodywork was designed by motorcycle designer and master streamliner Craig Vetter and helps this long ranger go ten miles on a single kilowatt-hour on the highway. With 21 kWh of energy capacity currently on board, he can travel (let's see, pi to the third power, carry the eleven) over 200 miles between plug-ins.
Another trick Electric Terry – a moniker he's earned by setting cross-country records and his relentless battery-power evangelizing – employs is the use of multiple chargers. While it didn't help him during the Vetter Challenge, the fact that he has six 2500-watt ElCon chargers mounted beneath the bike's bodywork meant he had little trouble making the journey from Santa Cruz to Utah for the contest, as well as returning. The arrangement allows him to plug into two separate charging stations at once, getting maximum mileage with minimum downtime.
This will certainly come in handy during his next adventure. Hershner plans on kicking off National Drive Electric Week by becoming an official member of the Iron Butt community, riding 1,000 miles – from Chargepoint headquarters in Campbell, CA to the Mexican border and back – within a 24-period. Terry tells AutoblogGreen that this is something that he has heard innumerable times would be impossible for an electric motorcycle to achieve and so he's very anxious to prove otherwise.
You can get all the details from the Vetter Challenge victory here and follow Terry's electric efforts on Facebook. Ride safe, sir.