It’s a story as old as the electric motorcycle market. A startup oversells, underdelivers, and then promptly vanishes. That was the case with Lightning Motorcycles. After branding its LS-218 as the “fastest production motorcycle” and dropping the ball with its budget-friendly Strike model, Lightning disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During that time, the firm downsized its Hollister, California-based business, relegating itself to the corner of the Corbin saddle company headquarters. Those humble digs didn’t stop Lightning from shooting for the stars, though, as the brand partnered with Niobium specialist CBMM for a new land-speed record attempt. Headline-grabbing electric ADV and fully-enclosed motorcycle designs followed shortly after, but we still haven’t seen a production model materialize in 2022.
Despite that track record, Lightning Motorcycles seems to have the manufacturing might to help EV battery specialist Enevate bring an “extreme” fast-charging motorcycle power pack to the market. As part of its prototype testing, Enevate installed a 24-kW battery into Lightning’s Strike Carbon model. The team then delivered 400 amps to the unit, resulting in a claimed sub-10-minute charge time and a 135-mile range.
After running the prototype through 1,000 miles and several recharge cycles on 350-kW public charging stations (Level 3: DC Fast Charging), the companies will move to commercialize the technology.
“For the consumer, this means that riders of electric motorcycles with Enevate Technology can now ride all day alongside conventional motorcycles without being left waiting hours at the charger,” insisted Enevate CEO Robert A. Rango.
This isn’t Enevates only iron in the electric fire, however. Back in January, 2020, the Irvine, California-based company presented a silicone-dominant battery that recovers 75 percent capacity in just 5 minutes. By June, 2021, Enevate inked a production license agreement with South Korean lithium-ion battery manufacturer EnerTech International for its XFC-Energy battery.
We sincerely hope that Lightning and Enevate can bring the advanced tech to the electric motorcycle segment, but Lightning hasn’t exactly put its production dollars where its mouth is. Until we see the “extreme” fast-charging battery in production models, we’re crossing our fingers that the partnership doesn't just oversell, underdeliver, and vanish with time.