The world's fastest electric motorcycle

When they don't develop and manufacture awesome 3D printing filament, the wife-husband team of Eva Hakansson and Bill Dubé have a very expensive hobby - to design, build, and race the world's fastest electric motorcycles! Their latest design is the 1,000 HP all-electric "Green Envy", built with the goal of becoming the fastest motorcycle on the planet. Full stop.

Both of us have been into electric vehicles since long before it was cool. Bill converted a Volkswagen Rabbit (Golf) convertible to electric in 1995, and commuted back and forth to work in it for over 15 years. Eva was born into an electric vehicle and racing family, and she converted a motorcycle to electric together with her dad in 2007. It was the passion for electric vehicles that brought us together, and you can read that long story here, if you are curious,

Bill has a background in electric dragracing, and his 650 HP electric motorcycle the "KillaCycle" dominated the 1/4 mile for over a decade. In 2010 we decided that land speed racing was a more suitable format for us. We race to promote electric vehicles and eco-friendly technology. Yes, we are tree-huggers in all we do. Eva calls it "eco-activism in disguise". We are environmental activists, we just chose a different way.

Land speed racing means that you are going insanely fast in a straight line, and trying to be faster than everybody in history before you. Our previous racing vehicle the "KillaJoule" is currently the world's fastest electric motorcycle at 434 km/h (270 mph), with Eva as the rider. The KillaJoule was retired in 2019, and we built a new bike - the 1,000 HP "Green Envy". The Green Envy was complete in January 2020, but because of the COVID pandemic it has yet to put it wheels on the salt flats.

Photo: Eva and the KillaJoule at the flooded Bonneville Salt Flats. The year was 2015 and all events were cancelled due to rain.

Eva's TEDxUoA talk tells you all about racing to save the planet:

Land speed racing is also what lead us into 3D printing. We needed custom parts, and 3D printing was the way to go! Eva didn't think Bill would go along with such an expensive purchase (about NZ$3,000 or US$2,000 at the time), so she made an elaborate plan to sell some of her stuff on eBay like shoes and handbags to save up for it. She carefully selected items to sell, counted up the expected sale price, and almost got it all to add up.

She presented the idea of buying a 3D printer to Bill, and before she even got to present her funding plan, Bill said "Sure! Sounds like fun!". A couple of weeks later we owned a refurbished Lulzbot TAZ5. We had no clue that it would change our lives forever. (BTW - the Lulzbots are made in the USA and are great printers. They are worth checking out if you are looking for a new printer).

Photo: Our very first 3D printer, a refurbished LulzBot TAZ5, here printing glow-in-the-dark snowflakes.

As soon as you have a 3D printer, you want a larger one! We realized that 3D printing would allows us to print complex curved airfoils for the KillaJoule, such as the cowling for the sidecar. 

With large-scale 3D printers costing tens of thousands of dollars, we realized that the only way we could afford one was to build one ourselves. The Lulzbot open source design was a perfect starting point. A winter later, the large scale derivative of the Lulzbot was complete with a print volume of 750 by 750 by 800 mm. Bill named it "3DD", pronounced "three double-dee". Eva loves to make people a bit uncomfortable by cupping her hands in front of her and proclaim with a laugh "It wasn't named after me". :-D

A sidecar cowling for the KillaJoule was one of our first large prints. It took 6 days...

...and took a serious amount of filament!
The 3D printed airfoil replaced the nice, but far from optimal, old sheet metal version (2nd photo).
That's basically how we got into 3D printing, and the The story of KiwiFil will tell the story how an old drinking straw machine got a new life.There are many more 3D printing stories to be told, but this will have to be enough for now. We need to head to the workshop and make some filament! :-)
You can read much more about our racing program, and become a supporter at www.GreenEnvyRacing.com. You won't be surprised that some of the supporter perks are 3D printed Green Envy models. :-D
Make sure to also follow us on social media for the latest news:
Official KiwiFil social media: www.instagram.com/KiwiFil
The Green Envy racing team: www.facebook.com/EvaHakanssonRacing
Eva's Instagram (a mix of racing and 3D printing): www.instagram.com/eva_hakansson