Chip Yates is a bit of a rock star in the world of electric vehicles. He started out as an engineer for McLaren Automotive before becoming a professional motorcycle racer at the World Superbike level at the age of 36. A broken pelvis sustained in a crash brought an end to his racing career and into the field of electric vehicles. Chip gathered some of his friends and spent his savings building a motorcycle for a new electric racing series forming in California. His new bike proved so fast that it was banned from the series before it even started. Undaunted, Yates entered the bike in a race against traditional gas combustion powered motorcycles where he nabbed two podium finishes. Chip continued to push the boundaries of electric motorcycle performance with a land speed record at Bonneville and a record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Check out this interview that Chip did with Motor Trend where he tells the stories of his start and success in the electric vehicle world. There’s even footage from the electric airplane he built by putting the UQM motor from his electric motorcycle in an old Burt Rutan VariEze home-built kit plane. He burned up his battery pack setting the world speed record for electric airplanes before having to make an emergency landing.
Source: Motor Trend on YouTube