“Electric Terry” Hershner Rides 300 Miles On Zero Motorcycle On One Charge


At around 2:30 Pacific time Terry Hershner saddled up for yet another record – a 250 mile trip on one charge on his 2012 Zero S, with his Vetter streamlining.  Now, they haven’t seen rain for months down there, but what do you think was the forecast for this afternoon in sunny California?  You guessed it.  Rain, with what amounts to a 15mph headwind.  Here’s the approximate route:

250 mile record attempt

As he leaves Sacramento, he leaves pretty much his last charging options: “I’m kinda nervous about this. Chico is in the middle of nowhere. No charging stations for 100 miles”.  Last week, on a shakedown run, he made a bit over 200 miles, as far as we know, the first in history to do so, but that would leave him 50 miles short of his goal.

...the tension builds

…the tension builds

Oh, yes.  Did we mention?  He’s just going up to see his buddies at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.  Something about them owing him a beer.  Right?

Well guys, he made it.  Here’s the proof:

Sierra Nevada Brewery, Hershner-style

Sierra Nevada Brewery, Hershner-style

…however, he also was a little short on miles:

Made it! But a small problem. I only went 225 miles on my trip. I was supposed to take a longer route. So I’m gonna stop to take my first pee since the Santa Cruz area, grab some water and hit the road again!

Apparently, in addition to an Iron Butt, Hershner has a stainless steel bladder.  So he headed off again, past Chico, on another 44 miles or so, to this:

Electric Terry at Electric Avenue

Electric Terry at Electric Avenue (No Outlet?  Really?)

…and back.  Along with the comment, “Screw 250! I’m going for 300!!!!“. And now, folks, we bring you the results of this May 7 World Record Attempt to Achieve More Range than Anybody Else on an Electric Motorcycle in One Charge, Surpassing the Previous Record of 200 Miles:

Terry Hershner, streamlined 2012 Zero S: 300.1 miles, one charge.


A new record: 300.1 miles!

In case you were wondering, out of his onboard 27kWh (more than a Leaf): I had less than a mile left at highway speed but 20 miles at 20 mph“.

…and our favorite comment on his Facebook page?

Mom? Is that you?

Mom? Is that you?

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19 Comments on "“Electric Terry” Hershner Rides 300 Miles On Zero Motorcycle On One Charge"

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How in the world does he have more capacity than a LEAF? Does he have an 800lb battery somewhere on that thing?

Terry has the stock 9 kWh pack, plus six of the 3 kWh packs, 400-450 pounds of NMC pouch cells. No hundreds of pounds of liability armor as used on OEM car packs. 🙂

His open-sided streamliner motorcycle has a Cd of about .35-.40, typical for a car. But of course the area is about a third, so his CdA is about twice as good as a car like the original Honda Insight.

He just did 300.1 miles, averaging 65 mph on all highways, for 79 Wh/mile to 88% DOD.

The best cars to compete with that regarding efficiency are electric cars with tandem seats. Opel Rak-e would be great for commuters.

A retired Ford engineer has been building these 250cc Ninja powered trikes for the last seven years. They get 125-150 mpg. With Terry’s drivetrain they would match his efficiency, because of the fully enclosed bodies.

Hickey has made some fantastic machines. But they will not split lanes like Terry in California. Splitting lanes is useful in setting records.


My wife says, at 70 she isn’t interested in splitting lanes, but she would love driving that trike!


Congratulations, Terry, good timing. Your feature story in Electric Car Insider magazine’s e-motorcycle issue hits the shelf at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday.

Great job, and inspiring to see!

Way to go Terry… Maybe I’ll yet be able to do a full’s day electric sport-touring ride before I’m too old to ride… (In my neck of the woods, Such a ride means: — ~100mi at ~70mph on the freeway to get to the fun roads; — ~100mi ditto to get back home — ~150-200mi at a range of slower speeds (30-60mph, but a lot of acceleration/deceleration) on the twisties & sweepers. (and really more at the upper end of that for a bit of emergency reserve, like accidents) That doesn’t mean a 400mi range is needed on a single charge, but for a reasonable day-tour experience basically need to be able to do it with at most 2 charging stops (1 45min at lunch, an additional 30min one). I wonder what type of Cd/CdA (and Wh/mi) is achievable with a less radical type of fairing ans semi-fairing, like the ones on sportbikes and sport-tourers. Turns out Craig Vetter is considering offering an add-on fairing for the Zero… See here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/zmcowners/783240805078463/ (personally, I hope Zero works with hum directly to offer a factory solution; they can make any minor changes on the bikes to make it simpler, e.g., relocating turn… Read more »

Wow, completely demolishing the previous 200 mile record with a 300 mile run, and without restricting himself to a ridiculously low speed! (The record-setting 313 mile run in a Tesla Roadster was done at an average speed of about 35 MPH.)

Quite an achievement, and he has every reason to be proud.

Awesome to see. Congrats, Terry!

Now you have to beat the 400+ miles a Tesla Model S was able to do in Florida. Or not, you have set an high bar,congratulations Terry.

They did that at ~25 mph. At that speed my electric assist bicycle would be a much more appropriate vehicle. An pedaling would give you something to do besides thinking about going to the bathroom.

Cars are not the answer to every question. It’s horses for courses. Did you know that the human record for 24 hours is 757.5 miles at 31.56 mph! You couldn’t run the infotainment system on a Tesla S on the power he put out.

Warren said:

“Did you know that the human record for 24 hours is 757.5 miles at 31.56 mph!”

To clarify, you mean the human-with-a-bicycle record. Kinda hard to achieve that just by running.

“Cars are not the answer to every question.”

Neither are bicycles. There’s a reason that bicycles are so popular in third-world countries, and cars are so popular in first-world countries. And it’s not that the poor generally prefer to ride bicycles, either.

Unfortunately, the laws physics don’t seem to care what we prefer.