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Published on August 26th, 2011 | by Charis Michelsen


Road Trip! Testing EV Highway Practicality in Europe

August 26th, 2011 by  

It’s not uncommon to see incentives for buying an electric car, but owning one is another matter entirely.

Electric cars have many qualities making them attractive as urban commuter vehicles – particularly when driving through heavy traffic. The question of how an EV does on a longer road trip is one that does not as of yet have a definitive answer. France, for example, is installing charging stations on its highways, but that project isn’t finished.

A pair of German professors from the Hamm-Lippstadt University refused to wait, and concocted a two-part nearly-epic road trip through Europe in a Stromos. The first leg of the trip took place early this year, with the aim of finding out how EVs work in frigid weather. The second leg of the trip launches on August 26th, going through Italy, Monaco, and France.

A number of modifications have been made to the Stromos to ensure accurate data collection — the impact of the terrain, temperatures, and the use of new electrical components are all of interest. Both men will also be able to check the car’s energy management system at any given time, and the data generated will be continuously documented. Mobile diagnostic equipment is also included, in order to analyze any potential problems. The car will also be tracked by GPS. Finally, the car is equipped with LED external lights, to offset the additional drain on the battery due to the Italian insistence on daytime running lights.

The Stromos will be transported to the start of its trip before its wheels touch the road in Italy. The plan calls for daily trips of over 100km (roughly 62 miles), the first of which involves a high-altitude pass through the Maritime Alps. From there, the Stromos will head to Monaco before it goes through Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier, and Narbonne. If all goes according to plan, the car will be picked up again and transported home on September 2nd.

Source | Image: GrueneAutos


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About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

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