(Image Source: Flickr)
The market for electric bikes is beginning to heat up again, with increasing sales and a growing number of manufacturers now starting to enter the field. Now a new stage of mass production has been entered into by US firm Lightning, thanks to their LS-218 sports bike.
Although the company’s first electric bike was actually delivered as far back as five years ago, and they have seemed rather quiet on the scene since 2014, new images of electric bikes on the production line have provided a very strong indication of the level of seriousness with which Lightning is taking their new endeavour.
Lightning and motorbikes
Lightning first came onto the motorbike scene nine years ago back in 2010, after an electric bike speed record of an impressive 173 miles per hour was set at the Bonneville Salt Flats by one of their prototypes. That record was subsequently raised again to 215 miles per hour two years later in 2013.The American company then set the outright record of 218 miles per hour for a production motorcycle at Pikes Peak, finishing ahead of nearest rival Ducati by a total of 22 seconds – which is why the bike was given the name that it has now.
The hottest new bike
However, despite their history as well as the name, the LS-218 is not just about speed. In fact the company is still claiming that there is a range of 100-120 miles with its standard 12kwh battery, which can be bumped up to 180 miles with an uprated 20kwh unit, and can be fast charged in as little as just half an hour. The LS-218 is designed with the intention of being a trackday machine complete with matching top spec kit. The bike comes with Brembo monoblocs, machined billet swingarms, RaceTech forks complete with Ohlins NIX30 internals, forged aluminium rims and TTX36 rear shock, and is priced accordingly at £30,000. The LS-218 comes with a direct drive motor offering 380V as well as bhp and ftlb figures of 197 and 168 respectively, and weighs 224 kilograms.
Electric bikes entering a new phase
The story of Lightning ramping up its production schedule is just the latest piece of big news making this an exciting time for the electric bike industry, and eager consumers alike. Depending on budget and individual requirements, old and new drivers will soon be able to choose from an array of new electric bikes including the likes of an Arc, an Energica, a Zero, a Curtiss, and a Harley-Davidson, as well as the new LS-218 and a number of smaller operations. With the British government announcing last year that they are planning to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040, and a similar ban with an earlier time frame of 2030 having already been announced by Germany two years before that, there is no doubt that the future is looking brighter than ever for electric vehicles in general, and, with current developments, the electric bike in particular.