Three all-electric vehicles have completed the Zero Emissions Race around the world in eighty days. The three teams involved traveled over 17,000 miles, across 17 countries, and stopped in 150 cities around the planet. The race is a fitting tribute to Jules Verne’s Around the World In Eighty Days written in 1873. Started by Louis Palmer, the first man to circle the globe in a solar-powered vehicle, the Zero Race began, and ended, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The electric vehicle race started last August, and used the stopovers in cities around the world to highlight the emerging technology of renewable energy. Organizers called it the longest and greenest race ever because the contestants had to not only use electric vehicles, but they also had to power those vehicles from renewable sources. Zerotracer by Swiss team Oerlikon Solar Racing won the global race, Germany’s Vectrix came in second with their motor scooter, and finally Australia’s Trev came in third.
The Swiss Zerotracer, seen in the middle of the above photo, is a two passenger vehicle with a range over just over 200 miles. Weighing just over 1,400 lbs, and equipped with a 183 horsepower rear motor that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, Zerotracer has a top speed of approximately 155 mph.
The German team drove a modified Vectrix electric scooter designed in the United States and manufactured in Poland. Powered by nickel-metal-hydride batteries, the Vectrix can travel a top speed of 62 mph. Australia’s Trev was designed by staff and students at the University of Southern Australia starting in 2003, and has since been remodeled to travel at a top speed of approximately 75 mph.
In order to compete, each vehicle had to carry two passengers and drive at least 150 miles at an average speed of 50 mph before recharging; each of the vehicles took approximately two hour to recharge. It’s amazing to think that 150 years after Jules Verne wrote a book about the first possibility of a tourist like global navigation humans are completing the adventurous journey to test new technology.