The winners of eTourEurope: In the end Ralf Zimmermann and his co-pilot Heiner Sietas from the German team LEMnet beat competitors from six different countries by a nose in their Citroen Saxo electrique in category C2 (below 250 km range).
They were the fastest of the 6 participants in their category, completing the 4,200 km run in 67 hours and 10 minutes. This was an impressive display of performance for a 13 year old vehicle demonstrating the capability of previous generations of EV technology to compete with modern vehicles.
Access to charging infrastructure and the car’s kilowatt input are crucial
“It’s all about knowing how to access power. And using a car with high kilowatt charging input !” This was the conclusion drawn by the experienced electric car rally pilots and e-mobility pioneers who claimed these two factors gave them their decisive lead. From the first day they gained one day victory after another, continuously increasing their lead in the overall ranking
In this vehicle category with its range of less than 250 km – includes series production models such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault ZOE – it was necessary to reduce charging times, which was facilitated by functioning easy access to the infrastructure mains-side and also by higher kilowatt charging input.
Head start thanks to efficient driving of Tesla
The Dutch team Mulder driving a Tesla Model S won in category OC (open category). The team consisting of three generations, with pilot Klaas, his two sons and their 78 year old mother/grandmother scored with their strategy of highly efficient driving combined with as few charging stops as possible. The team gained a decisive lead without charging on the 502 km leg between Amsterdam and Hamburg. This lead remained unchallenged even when other Tesla teams then started to adopt this strategy, The Mulder Family’s overall rally time was 56 hours and 11 minutes.
Werner Hillebrand-Hansen, the organiser of the tour, explains:
“Good news for all EV drivers: Once a comprehensivel working system becomes established, acceptance for e-mobility will increase even faster. The system should ensure that cars and infrastructure correlate providing effective charging and standardised access to charging points. The provision of standardisation – via a charging card for example – which is not only a national but also a European task, is imperative in order to further e-mobility in an energy transition context.” The Netherlands have an exemplary system, whereby the main power suppliers offer easy access with a standardised charging card.
667 participants in “1000 EVs in motion!” event
The “1000 EVs in motion!” event was also assessed positively by Werner Hillebrand-Hansen. A total of 667 participants registered. The fact that their target of 1,000 participants could not quite be reached in this first rally is seen as an incentive. Looking forward and considering the rising popularity of the tour Mr Hillebrand-Hansen said he was convinced that the number will even exceed the target next time. What counts is that people all over Europe welcomed us with open arms. This European election at least has already been won.
All of the rally participants returned safely to Munich on 26 May 2014 with an additional 4.200 km on their odometers. Only one vehicle broke down in Berlin and was not able to continue due to software problems.
eTourEurope represents a movement to profile transnational e-mobility. The aims for 2015 are to overcome distances and promote “more e-mobility” in Europe.