After 46 days and nearly 17,000 kilometers of driving, Zero Emissions racers have crossed Europe and Asia. Next up, North America.
The four electric vehicles belonging to Orlikon Solar Racing Team of Switzerland, Power Plaza Team of China, Team Trev of Australia, and Vectrix Team of Germany are currently being shipped across the Pacific Ocean. The race will officially recommence on Nov. 14 in Vancouver.
When the racers restart, they’ll be in Day 47 of the groundbreaking around-the-world trip.
With the Zero Emissions Race, Organizer Louis Palmer has invited drivers from all over the world to drive their own car around the world. The only condition is that the energy used by each electric vehicle be offset by the generation of electricity via renewable energy forms (sun, wind, wave, geothermal, etc.) at designated production facilities in the racers’ home countries.
From Vancouver, the drivers will head south through several cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, San Antonio, before finally arriving in Cancun, Mexico. Arrival in Cancun will mark the 70th day of the entire 80-day journey around the world, and the drivers will be attending the World Climate Change Conference (in Cancun) at this time.
Before the cars boarded a shipping vessel to travel to Vancouver at a port in Shanghai, the teams spent several days in Shanghai. The drivers and everyone else spent a lot of time cleaning and touching up the cars to make sure they were in good shape to be inspected by Canadian authorities.
Trouble on Chinese motorways
The final day of September was the most recent full day of driving, and it marked the end of the Eurasian leg of the 80-day race. The cars travelled from Hefei, China to Shanghai. Team Trev was the first team to arrive in Shanghai, because members decided to sleep in the Trev while it was stopped at a charging station, and they got an early start while everyone else was sleeping in the hotel.
The Orlikon Solar Racing Team, driving the Zerotracer EV, encountered some difficulties on the road to Shanghai. Even though the Zerotracer does actually have four wheels, it does look similar to a motorbike. Motorbikes are not allowed to drive on the motorway, and police stopped the Zerotracer, thinking that it was violating this rule.
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The Orlikon Solar Racing Team had to drive the whole day on back country roads as well as through city traffic as the team was not allowed to return to the motorway. The Swiss team finally made it to Shanghai around 11 p.m. on Sept. 30.
Team Vectrix had more luck than the Orlikon Solar Racing Team, as members were never kicked off the motorway during their travel. However, Team Vectrix did get a flat tire around 5:30 p.m. while driving on motorway that no one (the other drivers nor the support van) could seem to find. Despite having a GPS and a Chinese tour guide, Team Vectrix was stranded on motorway G2501 for several hours.
Relaxation and preparation in Shanghai
Upon their arrival in Shanghai, each driver, supporter and team member was thoroughly exhausted. While all the teams had to work to clean the cars and prepare them to be shipped to Vancouver, everyone had some time to relax. The teams’ week in Shanghai coincided with a Chinese national holiday.
Now, race participants are anticipating the next leg of the race, which will take them through North America.
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