The mission of BOLT at Virginia Tech is to maintain the reputation and history of innovation at Virginia Tech by building all-electric motorcycles to compete in the AHRMA eMotoRacing series. The BOLT team is dedicated to evolving electric vehicle technology through design, construction, and demonstration of a high performance electric motorcycle and as a competition based team strives for nothing but the best performance on the track. By challenging the standards of performance, the team expects to increase the viability of clean emissions motorsports.
Racing Drives Innovation
BOLT at Virginia Tech is an interdisciplinary design team housed in the Joseph F. Ware Jr. Advanced Engineering Lab. The team’s goal is to develop internationally competitive high-performance electric motorcycles for zero emissions, and all-electric races.
Since the team’s inception, three prototypes have been completed and have proven themselves to be top contenders. The 2012 first generation BOLT went undefeated in class and won the North American Championship after placing third internationally. The 2014 second generation BOLT competed in an AHRMA eMotoRacing sprint race, placing first in the all-electric category. The 2017 third generation BOLT placed second in an AHRMA eMotoRacing event, and is currently being improved in preparation for more races. The team is currently developing its fourth motorcycle with hopes of returning to the AHRMA eMotoRacing circuit.
BOLT team members gain from the experience of applying their education in a hands-on environment. There are few commercially available products which meet the requirements of a winning electric powertrain, and so BOLT team members learn to think outside the box and solve unique engineering challenges. Designing and hand-building a motorcycle which harmonizes with the talents of elite and highly-skilled riders is no light undertaking, and there is little room for error or complacency. BOLT is a valuable experience for students, requiring professional attitudes, innovative thinking, and the drive to succeed.