Human-Powered Vehicle Breaks World Record and Reaches 89.59 mph/144.18 kph

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Aerovelo’s human-powered vehicle “Eta” broke the world record multiple times this week, reaching a record breaking 89.59 mph/144.18 kph at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada.

Eta at Battle Mountain, Nevada

It’s an unbelievable feeling to be riding in something that efficient. It cuts through the air with such little resistance, and before you know it, you’re cruising at highway speeds on nothing more than your own power. Todd Reichert, Aerovelo

Aerovelo’s human-powered vehicle “Eta” broke the world record multiple times this week, reaching a record breaking 89.59 mph/144.18 kph on September 17th, 2016 at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada.

This record breaks the previous world record, also held by Aerovelo’s Eta of 86.65mph / 139.45kph, set on September 18th, 2015.

Analysis of the vehicle performance showed that Eta requires less than 198 watts of pedal power at 90 km/h, which translates to a 9.544 MPGe highway fuel efficiency. This is the highest per-passenger MPGe of any existing transportation technology at this speed.

According to Aerovelo co-founder Cameron Robertson “The efficiency of this vehicle seems impossibly high: it’s a powerful example of the massive change we can achieve with existing technology in the near future. Eta’s performance is a testament to the passion and engineering the team devoted to this endeavour, and showcases what can be achieved when we seek to do more with less.”

Aerovelo cofounder Todd Reichert powered Eta to 2 consecutive human-powered world records between September 14th and 17th, 2016. Reichert achieved 88.26 mph/142.04 kph on September 14th, 2016 and 89.59 mph/144.18 kph on September 18th, 2016.

Reichert states “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be riding in something that efficient. It cuts through the air with such little resistance, and before you know it, you’re cruising at highway speeds on nothing more than your own power. When you realize that this is the same amount of power it takes to light up a few light bulbs, it’s truly mind blowing.”

Held the week of September 12-16, 2016, in Battle Mountain, Nevada, the World Human Powered Speed Challenge draws designers and athletes from around the world to test their high-tech speed bikes on highway 305 ­ the straightest, flattest, smoothest road surface in the world. The international Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA) sanctions all records.

Eta is generously sponsored by Google, who came on board to support the project after Aerovelo’s Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter won the AHS Igor Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Challenge in 2013 (the prize had been founded in 1980). Their support allowed Aerovelo to focus full­time on the bike. The project also received incredible funding and support by other sponsors including The University of Toronto, GMC, Paterson Composites, Visual Unity and many others.

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Meg Campbell
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