Published on August 14th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen0
500 Electric Miles Across the Alps — the e-miglia Kicks Off In Bavaria
August 14th, 2012 by Charis Michelsen
What better way to celebrate electric cars than by sending a whole fleet of them off on a road trip? That’s the purpose of the annual e-miglia electric vehicle festival taking place in Rosenheim, Germany. The third e-miglia and its fleet of EVs successfully kicked off on Sunday.
The race: Starting Monday and ending Thursday, the route traces 500 miles across the mountains of Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland.
On Sunday afternoon, almost perfect weather greeted the fans and participants alike as the festival started with the 11am opening of the driver’s paddock at Munich’s Deutches Museum Verkehrszentrum. The cars were quieter than the drivers and fans alike as preparations were made for the parade lap.
The More You Know
In addition to showing off all the awesome electric vehicles it can get its hands on, the e-miglia also exists to educate anyone who will listen about the advantages of electric cars. While waiting for the parade lap to start, participants were able to speak to drivers, co-drivers, and experts about pretty much anything e-mobility-related (range, charging, the source of the electricity, roadside assistance, insurance coverage, you name it).
The press conference started at 2pm, with a veritable host of presenters: these included organizer Richard Schalber, Hans-Josef Fell (Member of the Bundestag and energy policy spokesman), Horst Schneider (Member of the Executive Board, TÜV SÜD), René Bänzinger (Consul of the Embassy of Switzerland), Hans Urban (CEO of Schletter), Dr. John Hoerl (sole director of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road AG), Kurt Sigl (President of the Federation e-mobility), Dirk Vincken (AVD), and last but not least, Tim Ruhoff, the current unbeaten e-miglia champion from 2010 and 2011.
Tim Ruhoff and his co-driver Anna Baumeister also had the honor of leading the parade lap from Munich to the city of Rosenheim, this year’s official host for the e-miglia event.
The city of Rosenheim is one of many working to reduce its own impact on the environment; the efforts there are titled “Project 2025.” The city’s goal is to become climate-neutral by 2025, and it considers e-miglia an important part of that goal. Thomas Bugl, the city’s economic affairs officer, said:
“One must simply have ridden in an electric car, in order to experience and appreciate the advantages of this new technology. We’re very happy to host the e-miglia in Rosenheim. It’s an ideal occasion to refine this concept for all participants. Unfortunately, there are still a number of prejudices [associated with electric mobility], but these are quickly overcome through proximity and experience.
“We’re very lucky to be part of the e-miglia this year. It’s the perfect event for Rosenheim.”
After completing the 45-mile parade lap to Rosenheim, the competitors will be in place for Monday’s trip. The entire entourage will head towards the city of Salzburg, where they will stop to recharge, and then towards the city of Bruck, which is the final stop for the day. GPS live-tracking is available from the event website.