Zero Race: The Renewable Energy Car Race Around the World

On 16th August 2010 started a race of 4 teams with vehicles running on renewable energy which the organizers are calling Zero Race! The Zero Race Adventure draws inspiration from Jules Verne’s “Around the world in 80 days” by racing around the world in 80 days! The Race will cover 18,650 miles across the continents. The Sponsor’s include United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Sustainable Energy Europe etc…

The cars starting from Geneva Switzerland heading eastward will cross Berlin, Moscow and Shanghai and then travel by ship to Vancouver. From there they will continue along the west coast of North America all the way to Cancun, Mexico. In December, the vehicles will be shipped again to Portugal, and travel over southwest Europe to complete the final leg of the global journey. After 80 days, 30,000 kilometers through 16 countries and 150 city stopovers the race will be completed at the end of January 2011, in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Swiss man behind “The Zero race” Louis Palmer is the first man ever to travel around the world in an electric car, he did it in 534 days which he named the Solar Taxi.

The mission of “The ZERO Race” is to educate, raise public awareness, inspire and help governments and people to take action towards a sustainable future.
(1) AWARENESS to prove that electric cars running on renewable energies provide a reliable and ecological solution for human transport and mobility.
(2) EDUCATION to raise public awareness worldwide about ZERO-emission technology and involve major government stakeholders.
(3) INSPIRATION to create new ways of thinking about mobility, cars and renewable energy.
(4) ACTION to show that practical solutions exist towards protecting the future of the planet and its inhabitants.

The ZERO Race will involve many public events, press conferences and spread the following messages on its global tour:

  • This is a race to save the world; it is a race for clean technology.
  • This is a race to Cancun to Seal the Deal at the UN Climate Change Conference.
  • This is a race towards the future and the future is Green.
  • This race stands for an ecological, economical and efficient lifestyle change: it is possible!Check out the route of the ZERO RACE:

The Teams:

  1. Orlikon Solar Racing Team from Switzerland
  2. Power Plaza Team From South Korea
  3. Team Trev from Australia
  4. Vectrix Team from GermanyWatch the TED Talk by Louis Palmer in Geneva 2009:

    Interesting Facts about the race:
  • The cars are required to carry two passengers and drive at least 250 kilometers at an average speed of at least 80 kilometers an hour.
  • This is the longest race of its kind.
  • The ZERO Race is a 100% carbon neutral event. All unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions generated in its planning and implementation will be compensated by purchasing offsets from a credible organization.

  • Competition Criteria
  • Reliability – based on vehicle performance assessed by the number of breakdowns or repairs needed during the Zero Race
  • Power and Speed – based on acceleration and range capacity to complete the Zero Race track (evaluation by a panel of race car drivers)
  • Energy efficiency – based on assessments by vehicle manufacturers and various other experts
  • Popularity of the vehicle, based on the judgment of the general public
  • Safety – based on evaluations by transport engineers
  • Design – based on opinion polls by spectators and the general public along the way

Louis Palmer aims to hold this race every two years, watch the website to see if the race passes your city. What a green concept to have a zero emissions race across the world!

The icing on the cake for me was when I read that the teams have also chosen an endangered animal from their respective countries to highlight the threat to biodiversity and raise awareness as 2010 is the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity.

The Korean team picked the Amur Tiger which has disappeared from their wilderness. The Swiss team picked a Dragon fly Sombre Goldenring,  The Australians picked the Golden green frog and the Germans have chosen a bird (will have to find out which one and will update that part 🙂 )

Check out their website for more details HERE

The Ultimate winner as the Zero Race team says will be Planet Earth! 🙂

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