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  • Image Credit: Terry Hershner
  • Image Credit: Terry Hershner
  • Image Credit: Terry Hershner
  • Image Credit: Terry Hershner
  • Image Credit: Terry Hershner
  • Image Credit: Terry Hershner
The Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges are events in which participants try to cover a large amount of distance using the least amount of money for fuel. The latest involved a 172-mile trip through the hills and highways of Northern Utah and was won, nay, dominated by Terry Hershner aboard his Vetter-ized 2012 Zero S electric motorcycle. Even after adding the equivalent costs of taxes, his official 1.3 cent-per-mile result was still almost half of the second-place competitor – a 164 mile-per-gallon diesel rig. Unofficially, the price tag was even better, since every power-up used on the adventure came, ahem, free of charge.

Long distance hauls at speed are not something electric vehicles are noted for, but Hershner's bike has a few tricks up its streamlined sleeves. Its slick bodywork was designed by motorcycle designer and master streamliner Craig Vetter and helps this long ranger go ten miles on a single kilowatt-hour on the highway. With 21 kWh of energy capacity currently on board, he can travel (let's see, pi to the third power, carry the eleven) over 200 miles between plug-ins.

Another trick Electric Terry – a moniker he's earned by setting cross-country records and his relentless battery-power evangelizing – employs is the use of multiple chargers. While it didn't help him during the Vetter Challenge, the fact that he has six 2500-watt ElCon chargers mounted beneath the bike's bodywork meant he had little trouble making the journey from Santa Cruz to Utah for the contest, as well as returning. The arrangement allows him to plug into two separate charging stations at once, getting maximum mileage with minimum downtime.

This will certainly come in handy during his next adventure. Hershner plans on kicking off National Drive Electric Week by becoming an official member of the Iron Butt community, riding 1,000 miles – from Chargepoint headquarters in Campbell, CA to the Mexican border and back – within a 24-period. Terry tells AutoblogGreen that this is something that he has heard innumerable times would be impossible for an electric motorcycle to achieve and so he's very anxious to prove otherwise.

You can get all the details from the Vetter Challenge victory here and follow Terry's electric efforts on Facebook. Ride safe, sir.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      sdn
      • 2 Months Ago
      Terry - any chance of commercialization of the Terry?
      danfred311
      • 2 Months Ago
      Looks almost aerodynamic.
        DarylMc
        • 2 Months Ago
        @danfred311
        It's quite interesting because the aerodynamic add-ons have clearly given the bikes a boost at highway speeds but it does come at some cost for practicality around the city. The speeds in this run were quite a bit higher than what anyone might consider doing to obtain an economy record. To me the E-Tracer design is the top choice for a 2 wheeled vehicle and perhaps for any form of motor vehicle when it comes to aerodynamics. http://peraves.wordpress.com/team-x-tracer-switzerland/ Though for the money spent, what these guys have achieved is admirable. Of course I would rather drive my VW UP to do some shopping but I was quite shocked recently to see the fuel consumption increase by 25% with a strong headwind at highway speeds. As far as efficiency goes I think the intended use of the vehicle is an important consideration when it comes to aerodynamics.
          • 2 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          Hi DarylMc! After riding this 66,000 miles across many cities in the country, and tons of time in San Francisco, I can tell you there is no loss in practicality in the city. If anything it's the opposite. I can carry 8 bags of groceries, an 8 foot 2X4, or a 80 pound bag of cement or dog food. When I ride other motorcycles without the tail storage I miss not having the storage. I guess you have to ride one to find out. Check out the facebook page for pictures of what it can do. www.facebook.com/lifeoffthegrid
          DarylMc
          • 2 Months Ago
          @DarylMc
          Hi Terry Thanks for the reply. I forgot to add storage space as a consideration. Sounds like your bike has nearly as much as my car:) Have you done 66,000 miles on the Zero already? That's a great advertisement for the machine. Best wishes for your 24hr trip.