Mike Stevens | Jan 17, 2011

With second and third place finishes under his belt this weekend, racer Chip Yates and Swigz Pro Racing may have taken a small step as a team, but the electric revolution has taken a giant leap forward.

Hitting speeds of nearly 260km/h, Yates overcame a disappointing practice session to successfully pilot his awkward-looking all-electric superbike to the podium in the WERA West Sportsman Series in California.

In the first of two races on the weekend, Yates went from seventh on the grid to a third-place finish, passing traditional petrol-powered superbikes from the likes of Ducati and KTM.

Come the second race, Yates clawed his way to a second-place finish, beaten only by Jamie Riddle's five-second-faster Ducati 1000. To Yates' credit, his electric superbike managed the fastest lap of the race, despite the Ducati setting a quicker average lap time.

“This was an absolutely epic race weekend for our team; we had to overcome some technical difficulties on Saturday but we fixed everything and came back Sunday to score two podiums, a huge top speed, and post competitive gasoline bike lap times with no further technical issues to slow us down," Yates said.

"What a humbling experience for our small team to develop and build a superbike that can beat gasoline bikes from the top manufacturers on their own terms – I was nearly brought to tears as I crossed the finish line both times."

A small and self-funded team, the Swigz outfit built its electric superbike in less than a year, developing its own unique software and technology.

“We are a small and entirely self-funded team, and together with a small group of very loyal sponsors, are solely responsible for the development, patenting and building of this superbike," Yates said.

Along with its four-wheeled superquick counterpart the Tesla Roadster, and more consumer-focused options like the Mitsubishi i MiEV and the Nissan Leaf, the success of Yates' electric superbike has made one point crystal-clear: all-electric technology is set to storm the mainstream market.

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