11 international teams, driving 100% electric cars to go around the world in 80 days or less, reached Lisbon, Portugal - the finish line of the shortest stage for the European part of the 80edays Electric Vehicle endurance challenge.
Four days of the ultimate Electric Vehicle (EV) challenge have passed since Barcelona hosted the start of the major electric event of the year on June 16. Ten pure electric cars and an electric bus lined up at the Arc de Triomf to participate in ELDURO, the second episode of 80edays to make it the greatest around the world electric rally in history.
All the EVs have been thoroughly inspected by Dangerous Goods Authority and have been given the green light to pursue the rally. The odometers of each EV were also documented to keep tabs on the total distance covered by teams and the CO2 emission savings compared to fuel dependent cars. At the grand stage set at Arc de Triomf, Team Spain pilot Rafael de Mestre, the 80edays initiator added that "the technologies are more than ready to take the steering wheel! Hopefully, our journey increases more awareness for sustainable transport and proves that the electric cars are as good, if not better, than fuel consuming cars across different conditions and terrains."
A day before the start of the rally, a press conference was held at Hotel Miramar, Barcelona where all 11 registered teams – Team Spain, Team Austria, Team China, Team Czech Republic, Team Germany I, Team Germany III, Team Hungary, Team Italia, Team Switzerland I, Team Switzerland II, and Team United States – participated in "Q&A" session and interviews with the local media. The teams revealed their motivation to change the way we think of transport and sustainability and how EV technology is mature enough to spearhead the automotive industry.
Based on the route taken by Rafael in 2012, teams will be required to pass preset checkpoints across three continents and more than 40 major cities. They are expected to cross the Atlantic by June 21 and land in Halifax, Canada to continue their way to United States. Participants are looking forward to arrive at Los Angeles on the 8th of July and move to China, and back to Europe to complete the rally by 4th of September. Teams have the option to take a free ride from Astana (Kazakhstan) to Bucharest (Romania).
The diversity in ELDURO is commendable, and the leading choice for teams is Tesla Motors. One Tesla Roadster, the first fully electric sports car, and 8 Tesla Model S, the luxury sedan, are the EVs of choice of some of the strongest teams in the challenge.
Tesla, however, is not the only electric car representing the power of modern EV-technologies; DENZA, the Sino-German joint venture brand built in China, is also up for the challenge. The team captain Andrew Yi Zong, CEO of PHNIX ECO-Energy Solutions and one of the 80edays ambassadors, is driving one of the best electric cars from Asia, recently showcased at the Beijing Auto Show 2016.