All sorts of races and challenges for electric cars have been successfully completed this year, and the WAVE 2011 is no exception. The WAVE is a road trip through Europe, stopping in cities such as Paris, Vienna, and Prague. Each leg of the trip is 75 miles, with no more than 250 miles allowed per car per day – still much farther than most people drive!
The WAVE is open to teams with all sorts of electric vehicles. Participants this year included the TWIKE, a Citroen C Zero, Mitsubishi’s iMiEV, and Nissan’s Leaf, as well as modified small gasoline cars, and prototypes such as the Audi A2 and the Renault Clio. Even a pair of electric bicycles made the entire trip, with team members switching back and forth in the cycling seat.
The route wasn’t all fun and architecture, as the teams also drove through snow and rain in the Swiss Alps. Getting the EVs through passes like the Grimsel and Furka passes (over 7800 feet above sea level!) and the Oberalp Pass presented special challenges. In each major city, the EVs were evaluated for fun and
profit points. Range was a major part of evaluation, but so were speed and acceleration. Each city put its own spin on how points were awarded – for example, Vienna based its awards on how much luggage the EV could take.
The WAVE demonstrates how easy it is to travel in an environmentally friendly manner – and to prove it, once reaching the home city, each team had to deposit the remaining energy in the EV back into the grid.
Team TWIKE walked away with the trophy this year, but next year is anyone’s game. Any takers?