The ZERO Race Continues, Around the World in 80 days with Zero Emission Vehicles

The ZERO Race has travelled 28 days and 9500 km since its departure on August 16 in Geneva, Switzerland. This marks the completion of a third of the entire journey of an 80-day journey around the world with 100% electric vehicles. 

The aim of the race is to show that zero emission vehicles running on renewable energies are technologies for the future that are ready, and reliable already today. With shrinking resources and the impacts of global climate change, the ZERO Race strives to present the solutions for a better and greener future. Four participating teams from Australia, South Korea, Germany and Switzerland are taking part in the challenge during this inaugural event.

Vehicles are reliable and efficient

The ZERO Race is not about speed, but about other judgment criteria including vehicle reliability, energy efficiency, utility to every day life, design and safety. Almost each day, the teams face competition against new criteria in these categories, and they receive points according to their performance in each. So far, the Swiss team is leading ahead of Germany and Australia, while the South Korean Team had dropped out temporarily in Berlin, as they had to install a new battery management system. The team is optimistic to rejoin the race soon.

The Zero Race is the world’s longest green event

The ZERO Race is a "green" event, and participants are doing everything possible to travel in a responsible way. Any greenhouse gas emissions created from the event, including the shipping of cars and flights by participants, will be compensated by investments into renewable energy projects through myclimate. Each team already produced enough power for their vehicle from renewable energy sources including as solar and wind, and this has been fed into the grid in their home country.

The challenges so far

During this longest and hardest electric car race ever, during the past weeks, the teams faced different challenges, including almost non-stop rain across Eastern Europe and Russia, and difficult road conditions. Despite these difficulties, according to tour director Louis Palmer, "the teams are doing extraordinary well, and the race has arrived according as scheduled in Astana, Kazakhstan, where they enjoyed a day for vehicle repairs and maintenance. So far, no major technical difficulties have occurred, although shaking from bumpy roads, shorter daylight periods and very limited sleep made it a hard challenge physically for each team member".

What is ahead

The four vehicles from Switzerland, Germany, Australia and South Korea are expected to arrive at the next World Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of November, and the race should come to an end in January where it started: at United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. If that comes true, Jules Verne’s dream of travelling around the world in 80 days would have come true – via a more ecologically sustainable way.

The next Zero Emissions Race plans are already under way, and it will take place in 2012.