TWO-WHEEL speed, powered by the sun, is on the streets of Newcastle suburbs.
Jon Eggenhuizen’s Catavolt electric motorcycle is now street-legal, and registered for its owner, radiologist Christian Abel.
Mr Eggenhuizen said it was Australia’s first road-registered, prototype electric motorcycle.
The motorcycle was handed over to Mr Abel yesterday who spoke to the Newcastle Herald as he was recharging the machine from his solar panels at home.
‘‘I will use it to commute to and from work and its cool that I’m not contributing to the greenhouse effect,’’ Mr Abel said.
‘‘It is cheaper and it makes parking easier.’’
Yesterday’s handover at the Cardiff workshop, where the Catavolt was developed, was made in the presence of Charlton MP and Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet.
“The Catavolt is an innovation success story,” Mr Combet said.
“It’s great to see a young, local innovator taking his idea from conception to commercialisation right here in Cardiff.”
Mr Eggenhuizen said Mr Abel’s motorcycle cost $18,000.
‘‘I believe it can perform as well or better than a petrol-fuelled bike,’’ Mr Eggenhuizen said.
‘‘It is the technology and science that drives me.’’
The motorcycle technology has been proven on the race track at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, by breaking an Australian land speed record and winning an Australian electric motorcycle championship.
Mr Eggenhuizen said he could make three models to order - a sports bike and commuter and highway versions.
The highway model comes with an option to put in an additional battery to extend the motorcycle’s range, he said.
One big difference that petrol-fuelled motorcycle riders will notice immediately is that the Catavolt is silent.
The motorcycle has a range of 150 kilometres before it needs recharging.