Around the world on renewable energy can be done.
Two years ago, Louis Palmer, a Swissman, drove a solar-charged car around the world.
Now, in an effort to further the cause of renewable energy + automobiles, he’s worked to put together an historic global race. Five national teams will start the Zero Emissions Race on Aug. 15, 2010 in Switzerland. The teams – one from Switzerland, one from Australia, one from Japan, one from Spain, and one from the U.S. — will drive electric cars around the world indirectly “powered” by renewable energy produced by the teams in their home countries.
In all, race participants will drive a diverse set of vehicles 30,000 kilometers across 16 countries with stops in more than 150 different cities.
In fact, the race isn’t about speed. It’s about showing the world that the renewable energy + automobile combination is viable and that cars which run on renewable can take many different shapes and forms.
All participating Zero Race teams will be required to produce their own electricity using renewable sources such as solar, wind, wave and or geothermal. This electricity must be fed into the grid system in the home country of each team, so that during the Zero Race, the equivalent can be harnessed to power the vehicles on their worldwide journey.
Competing vehicles in the Zero Race are required to:
- be propelled by an electric motor
- drive at least 250 km distance at an average speed equal or above 80 km/h
- be able to reach a maximum distance of 500 km per day, with a recharge stop of four hours during lunch time
- carry at least two passengers
Participating vehicles in the Zero Race will be judged according a variety of performance criteria by scientific experts in transport, by selected judges along the way and the general public.
Specific Zero Race competition criteria include:
- Reliability – based on vehicle performance assessed by the number of breakdowns or repairs needed during the Zero Race
- Power and Speed – based on acceleration and range capacity to complete the Zero Race track (evaluation by a panel of race car drivers)
- Energy efficiency – based on assessments by vehicle manufacturers and various other experts
- Popularity of the vehicle, based on the judgment of the general public
- Safety – based on evaluations by transport engineers
- Design – based on opinion polls by spectators and the general public along the way
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