Auckland University engineer on a mission to prove electric motorcycle can be fastest in the world

Dr Eva Hakansson is a woman on a mission to show the world that you can be fast while being clean and green at the same time. 

Swedish-born Dr Hakansson is a lecturer of engineering at the University of Auckland. She is also the builder and rider of the world's fastest electric motorcycle and has reached the record-breaking speed of 434 km/h. 

Although she has already reached phenomenal speeds, she says she is always aiming to go faster.

"It is quite fast but it's too slow for me, so I'm building a faster bike," she told The AM Show on Monday.

The next goal is to break the record set by regular petrol-propelled motorcycles, which would see her hit 605 km/h.

"I'm trying to beat internal combustion, because that would really prove that eco-friendly is the way to go."

Despite the dizzying speeds, Dr Hakansson says the experience is "like riding in an airline - you can't tell that you're going that fast".

Although it will be a challenge to set a new record, she says an electric bike can "absolutely" go faster than an internal combustion bike - it just needs someone willing to try it.

"It's just engineering, it's just maths. You just do the numbers, you look at the available technology, you need a fairly big budget - luckily I have quite generous sponsors that give me the parts I need to do that. And someone just has to do it. No one has done it before and that's the only thing."

Dr Hakansson says despite being a little scary, record-breaking attempts are perfectly safe.

"I am scared by the speeds, but it is from a racing perspective incredibly safe," she says.

"You're going in a straight line, there's no one else on the track, there's nothing to hit and you have every safety equipment known to man. So as far as motorsport goes, I consider it more dangerous to drive to work in the morning than to do a speed record."

In March next year, Dr Hakansson will be heading to Australia to retain her title on another motorbike she made herself. 


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