It may have taken a little longer than expected
, but last week the inaugural Zero Race
finally wound up with the three remaining competitors returning to the United Nations Palace in Geneva, Switzerland where the race got underway in August last year. After 80 driving days, which saw the 100 percent electric vehicles travel some 28,000 km (17,398 miles) across 16 countries through freezing temperatures, snow, rain and heat, Team Oerikon Solar’s Zerotracer
was the first to cross the finish line, followed by Team Vectrix in second place and Team Trev
When they set out from the United Nations Palace in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 16 last year, competitors in the Zero Race
were looking forward to returning to that city for the end of the race at the beginning of next month. Unfortunately, due to “unforeseen delays with shipping from Mexico,” (we're sure the Cancún beaches had nothing to do with it), the racers’ 100 percent electric vehicles are still making their way across the Atlantic Ocean meaning the final nine-day leg of the competition won't get underway until mid-February.
Despite the stunningly futuristic looks and high technology of cars such as the Aptera
, practical electric vehicles don’t need to be exotic. Take, for instance, the E-Beetle. It’s a 1972 VW Beetle, which a group of students from the University of British Columbia Electric Car Club retrofitted with an electric motor. They had originally intended to enter it in the Zero Race
, in which teams in electric cars are racing each other around the world. Once they realized they couldn’t make the deadline, however, they settled for a more modest goal – to drive it 6,400 km. (3,977 miles) across Canada... and they’re almost done.
When last we looked at an entry in the upcoming Zero Race
it was the Swiss team’s Zerotracer
electric motorcycle. Today we shift our attention to the Australian entry, which sees the number of wheels upped to three and the vehicle, in typically Australian fashion, given the moniker of “Trev.” And if you’ve got a little spare cash laying about then you can join Team Trev and drive the vehicle for a day during the race – you’ll even get a Team Trev polo shirt!
The Zero Race
will see contestants dash around the globe in 80 days in zero emission, electric powered vehicles... and one of the most distinctive entries is the Zerotracer. Designed by a group of engineers from Winterthur, Switzerland, the Zerotracer is an electric motorcycle that encloses its two occupants in a Kevlar shell and is capable of a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) and a range of 350 km (217 miles) on a single charge.
While technological innovations of the 19th Century opened up the possibility of rapid circumnavigation of the globe and inspired Jules Verne to pen his famous novel, Around the World in Eighty Days
, Louis Palmer is hoping a race to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days in zero emission, electric powered cars will harness public interest and inspire new ways of thinking about mobility, cars and renewable energy solutions. When the starting flag drops on August 15, 2010 in Geneva, contestants in the Zero Race will set off eastwards on a 30,000 km (18,641 mile) route that will take them through 20 countries, with stops in around 150 major cities along the way... and not only must the race teams drive zero emissions vehicles, they must also produce their own electricity back home using renewable sources.