Around the world in 80 days (by electric motorbike)
Although electric vehicles (EVs) are always improving, range anxiety is still a barrier to going electric for many people. Students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), however, are seeking to allay some of the concerns about EVs by way of an 80-day round-the-world journey on self-built electric motorbikes.
The Storm World Tour was put together with the aim of showing of what electric transport can be capable of. The route, which has been mapped out and scouted in advance, will start in Eindhoven (in the Netherlands) before travelling through Europe, Central Asia, North America and finishing up back in Eindhoven.
The tour has been two years in the making and will see a team of 23 students ride two "Storm Wave" motorbikes a distance of 26,000 km (16,155 mi). The bikes have been in development since 2014 and their quietness, efficiency and range are described as being the epitome of what EVs should be.
Indeed, they can be ridden for 380 km (236 mi) between charges. That range is made possible by lithium-ion battery packs that the students designed themselves. Each pack comprises 24 separate cartridges and lays on 28.5 kWh of energy. It's possible to change a full battery pack within seven minutes or to adapt a pack to reduce weight for a sportier bike configuration.
The bikes, which have a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph), are to be recharged via local power grids along the route of the journey at companies, universities or private homes. They are also fitted especially with Dunlop RoadSmart III tires, as research showed these to provide 82 percent more mileage potential than an average of key competitors.
The Storm World Tour will begin on Sunday, August 14th, and is due to be completed on November 2nd.
The video below provides an introduction to the Storm World Tour.