As adapted from Green Envy Racing, with permission.
Thank goodness the horses were too slow! Eva Hakansson has always been interested in bikes, and power, and speed — on a hyperfast electric vehicle. And the feeling of power and speed is actually much more intense in complete silence. But for a few formative years — from the age of 10 through 16 — she got side-tracked into horses. Three Day Eventing horses, to be exact — meaning that the same horse would do dressage, cross-country, and show jumping during the same event. She was actually more interested in the horse equipment than the horses themselves. She repaired everything from saddles to rugs, and improved or invented new equipment where needed.
Then she rediscovered her “super power” — welding. She is in her element in the workshop. “I was born in Sweden in 1981. Both my parents are mechanical engineers, and both my brothers are electrical engineers. I was the last one in the family to earn my engineering degree. Just like me, my dad built and raced motorcycles in evenings and weekends. My mom was his mechanic. I went to my first race track in the baby carrier, and I have been interested in technology as long as I can remember. … My dad worked as an engineering consultant out of our home, and he had a full machine shop in the basement. It wasn’t until many years later I realized how unusual, and beneficial, it was to know how to machine, weld, and to have other machine shop skills.”
“When I turned 16 — the legal age to drive a lightweight motorcycle in Sweden — I traded the horses for my first motorcycle. The 125 cc Moto Guzzi Stornello from 1972 was bought as a pile of pieces. I helped my dad put it together, and it started on the first kick after having been in pieces for 18 years.
“In 2007, at the age of 26, my dad agreed to help me convert a motorcycle to electric drive; a project that would fit both the garage space and my wallet. The work took all of 2007, and the result became Sweden’s first street-legal motorcycle — the ‘ElectroCat.’ Based on a Cagiva Freccia C12R-90, a 125 cc Italian two-stroke motorcycle, the electric version has equivalent performance to the original combustion engine motorcycle. The ElectroCat passed the registration inspection and became a street legal vehicle in Sweden in January 2008.”
In the spring of 2008, the ElectroCat was invited to Swedish Parliament (The Riksdag). And so was Eva, to talk about the advantages of electric cars.
Killajoule and Green Envy (her hyperfast electric motorcycles) are a demonstration that eco-friendly can be fast and fun. They demonstrate the potential of battery-powered low-emission vehicles. “Setting world records in a vehicle you built with your own hands and that you ride is really satisfying,” she says.
Eva’s mission is to show that racing is really just “eco-activism in disguise.” She uses the unusual channel of high-speed racing to open people’s eyes and minds to sustainable technology. She also wants to inspire kids to study STEM and to build amazing things with their hands. She wants to show that women can be excellent engineers, and to encourage girls and women to take up a career in science and technology, to build their own hyperfast electric vehicle.
Update: Eva is looking for sponsors for Green Envy. “After three trips to Australia (2020, 2021, and 2022) without a single chance for a record attempt due to pandemic (2020), pandemic (2021), and flooding (2022), the budget is getting a bit thin. We are hoping to get to Bonneville for the events in August and September, but international shipping is more difficult than ever, but we are keeping our fingers crossed. If we can’t get to Bonneville this year, we will be back in Australia for 2023. 🙂
“Anyone can get their name on the Green Envy, and the more names we get, the faster it will be! This link takes you directly to your options. There are cool perks, such as 3D printed Green Envy models.”
Remember, fast is always in fashion!
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