Mind of an EV Racer, by Jeremiah Johnson
Mind of an EV Racer: Introduction
A lot of people may already know me, but here is a bit of an introduction for those that don’t. I grew up in what many people would call a “hippy lifestyle”. As a young kid, our neighborhood didn’t have telephones, electricity, or utility supplied running water. We had to collect our own rainwater and had a windmill and small generator for our electric needs. We grew food on the land and fished in the ocean. To me that type of living is just what was done. So I’m happy to see such a huge movement towards sustainable living and alternative energy. I am also a professional motorcycle racer, a sport that I have been doing for about 20 years. In ’08 I wanted to build something different from what all the other motorcyclists had on the road, so I started researching building an electric motorcycle. I have built a few electric vehicles through the years and have been testing and proving the technology on race tracks. Now that EVs are becoming a viable choice for everyone, I see my racing as a way to build awareness and excitement for an alternative transportation that doesn’t rely solely on burning fossil fuels. I have worked with some great people in Ideas For Us in not only raising awareness of alternative energy, transportation, and farming, but also in raising the bar on how well we do each of these things. I’m looking forward to continuing this work as an Ideas Professional and take our message across the country.
In 2012 I used Terry Hershner’s Zero electric motorcycle, that was his daily rider, to enter the 2012 TTXGP World Championship Final at Daytona International Speedway as a wild card rider. We finished 4th in that race after race prepping it all night in the hotel room right before qualifying. We built on that success for the 2013 season and focused on all electric racing. In the M1GP series, I finished on the podium 6 times with three 1st place finishes and three 2nd place finishes. I was also part of a 5 rider team that was the first to complete a 24 hour endurance road race on an electric motorcycle against gas motorcycles. We finished 1st in our class (we were the only ones who entered an electric) and 4th overall. We had brought the level of our electric race bike up to the point where we were considered too much of an advantage in a 24 hour race over 150cc gas motorcycles and we had to turn our power output down to be allowed to race. I also entered in the first ever Electric Motorcycle class at Pikes Peak International Hill climb. I captured the fastest qualifier in that class and qualified 34th overall out of 83 motorcycles (counting both gas and electric bikes). I finished 3rd in the US eRoadracing National Championship. Unfortunately they cancelled the World Final, so we couldn’t compare how we stacked up against the European top teams this year.
For 2014 we are aiming at bigger and (hopefully) better things. We are going to be racing a bike that should be much faster than our ’13 bike so we are going to be doing more types of racing. We are looking to set some National Electric Drag Racing Association records as well as go to the Bonneville Salt flats for some land speed runs. We also are planning to do some more racing against gas powered motorcycles to help show people that EV’s are a serious choice in transportation. We are also returning to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to see if we can beat even more gas motorcycles this year.
I look forward to working with Ideas For Us to continue to make as many people as possible aware of the progress being made in electric vehicles and alternative power. I will be updating “Mind of an EV Racer” with posts of our progress with the electric race bikes, as well as some alternative and sustainable projects that I work on as side projects, and any other adventures from a sustainable lifestyle I find myself in. If anyone has any ideas on how we can work together to help spread this message, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
– Jeremiah Johnson