It was a spectacular end to an unprecedented race that otherwise went off without a hitch. Zero Motorcycles had invited 50 people to flog 10 of its Zero X electric motorcross bikes for 24 hours straight. The company wanted to prove that these new battery-powered bikes are every bit as competitive as those burning fossil fuel.
"We want to show the world we can do a 24-hour race with EVs," Neal Saiki, the company's founder and chief technology officer, said. "The technology is here, and it works."
The Santa Cruz startup leads a growing field of companies hoping to shake up the motorcycle industry by offering electric bikes to the masses. As electric motorcycles from Zero, Brammo and Vectrix catch on, big players like KTM and Honda are ramping up plans for green bikes of their own.