Around the World in 80 Days on an Electric Motorcycle [VIDEO]

annie hidalgo

Do you love to travel? Do you love motorcycles? What about electric motorcycles? Do you NOT like fossil fuels? Do you enjoy challenges? Love racing? Well, then you should probably sign-up for the 80 Day Race, an alternative vehicle endurance race inspired by the 1873 Jules Vernes novel “Around the World in 80 Days.

The 80 Day Race is set to begin in 2017 in April and will start at France’s most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Other details about the race still are being worked out but all participating teams have to follow some rules.  Don’t worry the rules are pretty simple for the 80 Day Race. Vehicles must meet these criteria;

  • Land Going, so no flying or anything
  • No Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)
  • Cannot be powered by fossil fuels

The 80 Day Race has the support of Paris mayor, Annie Hidalgo, and she was on hand for a press conference about the race. The whole idea is to get teams to push the limits of current alternative vehicle transportation.

Teams that participate do not need to follow a set route.  There will be 8 checkpoints in cities across the world.  They will go east toward China, then across the Pacific to North America and go south.  From there they will transverse South America then onward to Africa heading North back to Paris.  Teams will receive assistance ferrying vehicles across the oceans, seas, and other bodies of water.  FYI, time spent traveling across water won’t count as part of the 80 days.

How did Frank Manders and Jenny Berlo, the organizers of the 80 Day Race, come up with this idea? At first you would assume they read the “Around the World in 80 Days” by Jules Verne, which highlighted the new steam-powered trains of the day which started to displace horses for long distance travel. No, they got the idea from Jackie Chan. They were watching the movie “Around the World in 80 Days” which starred screen legend and martial arts extraordinaire Jackie Chan in 2010. I wonder if they were watching in French?  Still the movie was inspired by the book of the same name so I guess Jules Verne still deserves the credit.

Storm Eindhoven – Electric Motorcycle

The first team to commit to the 80 Day Race will utilize an electric motorcycle.  They are the Storm Eindhoven team which consists of 29 engineering students from the University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. So far no other teams have committed to the race except the Storm Eindhoven team.  They have a futuristic electric motorcycle design using a honeycomb based battery storage system.

There are other details on the website but upon further inspection and reading the press material from the 80 Day Race I realized that the motorcycle on display is just a model. It seems they haven’t actually built a working prototype yet. Part of the issue is that the University of Eindhoven students don’t’ seem to have the funds to build it.  They are crowdfunding to get the money to compete in the 80 Day Race and build the Storm electric motorcycle.

storm eindhoven

Other 80 Day Race teams?

Since the only team that has committed to the race has no working prototype of their electric motorcycle, I wonder if they will have trouble getting others to participate? I’d imagine you would see manufacturer’s teams that have competed in endurance races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Paris-Dakar Rally want to participate. Some might want to show they have the alternative technology that can go “Around the World in Eighty Days!” Of course it’s not clear if the organizers are offering cash prizes for the winner or runner-ups.  Maybe you just win a bunch of respect from tree huggers? We think a cash prize might help encouraging participation since this type of race would get expensive… fast. 🙂

Visit the website for more information – http://80dr.com/

Could you imagine traveling around the world in 80 days on an electric motorcycle? What about another prototype vehicle that doesn’t use fossil fuels or gas? Leave a comment below and let me know.

80 Day Race to Start in Paris [Press Release]

Sustainable global competition to start in Paris

  • 80 Day Race can count on the support of mayor Anne Hidalgo
  • ‘Grand Départ’ in front of the Eiffel Tower in April, 2017
  • A pre-event will be held in spring 2016
  • Three-time Dakar Rally winner Hubert Auriol joins the 80 Day Race organisation
  • Several firms and ambassadors expressing interest to participate

PARIS, June 15, 2015 – 80 Day Race has announced during a press conference in Hôtel de Ville in Paris that the French capital city will have the honour to host the start and finish event of 80 Day Race, the first around the globe sustainable competition in which teams cover 40,000 kilometres by using land-based vehicles that do not consume fossil fuel and do not contain a combustion engine.

80 Day Race is inspired by Jules Verne’s famous book ‘Around the world in 80 days’, betting that new means of transportation make it possible to achieve this challenge. Starting from Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower in April, 2017, teams are free to choose their own route to circumnavigate the globe between eight major cities in which events will take place, such as qualifying events, an educational programme and tradeshows.
The news was made public in front of selected guests and media in the City Hall of Paris. Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, emphasised the importance of the race: “I am very proud to host 80 Day Race in Paris. This race around the world in sustainable vehicles fully corresponds with the values we pursue. The development of e-mobility is one of the major challenges of our century and I’m sure 80 Day Race will accelerate the development of new means of transport. Because, beyond the incredible human adventure that represents this event, it is a real technological challenge that is offered to the teams. And, I admit, I can not wait to see the result!”

Reflecting on the announcement, Frank Manders, co-founder and general director of 80 Day Race, said: “With 80 Day Race we start a great new adventure and what better place to start this adventure than Paris? Paris is associated with great adventures, be it the first Peking to Paris race in 1907, or the New York to Paris Atlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh. Now with all the challenges of the modern day, Paris has its sights on the future. 80 Day Race is a modern day adventure, pioneering new possibilities created by new technology. Great adventures have always inspired people and that is exactly what we aim to do. When we inspire the future generation, the future can be bright and clean!”
Hubert Auriol, three-time Dakar Rally winner and organiser of the China Grand Rally, has joined 80 Day Race. He said: “When I first heard about 80 Day Race, I had the same feeling as 30 years ago when Thierry Sabine announced he would organise a new race between Paris and Dakar. A crazy thought at first, but it happened and it’s still alive! At that time, I knew I had to participate and I did. It changed my life. 80 Day Race represents the same adventurous challenge, but it’s updated to what concerns us all today and that’s the climate change. The event will be a great race with the aim to accelerate clean technology. The winner, who first arrives back in Paris, will leave an ever lasting legacy by proving that e-mobility holds the future of transportation, the future for our and the next generations.”

Other speakers were Albert Bosch (ESP), Eric Vigouroux (FRA/USA), Mate Rimac (Rimac Automobili) (HRV) and Texas van Leeuwenstein (STORM Eindhoven) (NED) expressing their interest in the race and preparing their participation. The Dutch entry already assembles world’s first battery-electric touring motorcycle with the aim to win the first edition.

80 Day Race will continue its preparation to secure seven other major cities and, in cooperation with the city of Paris, a pre-event will be organised in spring 2016. This event will include a presentation of the participating teams and vehicles, but also a first taste of what to expect of the education programme.

Further announcements regarding teams, host cities, partners, and broadcasters are expected in due course.

Visit www.80dr.com for more detailed information about the race, the most frequently asked questions and about the international ambassadors who’ve pledged their commitment to the race.

ENDS

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