Dutch stu­dents set out to ride around the world in 80 days on two elec­tric bikes equipped with rather big bat­ter­ies packs.

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

FIRST the stu­dents at Eind­hoven Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in the Nether­lands gave us Stella and Stella Lux, the road-le­gal fam­ily saloons pow­ered en­tirely by the Sun.

Now they have em­barked on a round the world tour in 80 days on two elec­tric mo­tor­bikes the built them­selves. The stu­dents said in a state­ment their tour will show the world what elec­tric trans­port can do.

It took the 23 stu­dents only two years of prepa­ra­tion to get the the­ory and then make the re­mov­able bat­ter­ies, which are stacked into hexag­o­nal shelves where other mo­tor­bikes have the en­gine. The stu­dents say the few mov­ing parts in­volved make th­ese scoot­ers ideal for the ul­ti­mate chal­lenge — 26 000 km in 80 days.

The whole route has been mapped out and scouted day by day. The jour­ney takes in the north­ern hemi­sphere, start­ing in Europe and via Cen­tral Asia and North Amer­ica be­fore end­ing, back in Eind­hoven, on Novem­ber 2.

Af­ter the start, which saw a charg­ing prob­lem in the first few kilo­me­tres, rider Yuri Stein­buch posted:: “We have had a great, but rough start. A suc­cess­ful start­ing event com­bined with a rough first lap. And we are here, no­body doubt­ing about whether to go to sleep; we need to fix that bike tonight. Some of us are get­ting some sleep to al­low oth­ers that work through the night to sleep to­mor­row.”

The en­gi­neers worked through the night and the Wave soft­ware that caused the glitch was fixed.

The tech in the eBikes

The team will ride two elec­tric mo­tor­bikes that it be­lieves rep­re­sent how elec­tric trans­port should look: quiet, ef­fi­cient and with suf­fi­cient range.

The mo­tor­bikes have a top speed of 160 km/h and can ride 380 km be­fore need­ing to be recharged thanks to the bat­tery pack de­signed by the stu­dents them­selves.

The bat­ter­ies — 24 sep­a­rate car­tridges and good for up to 28,5 kWh en­ergy — can also be re­placed by a fully charged bat­tery pack within seven min­utes.

The stu­dents say the se­cret sauce is packed into the huge bat­tery pack.

And be­cause adding a lot of bat­tery cells to the bike does come at a price, the top-spec Storm tips the scales at 340 kg.

As fat as it may seem, the Storm Pulse can reach 160 km/h and will do 0 to 62 mph in five sec­onds.

The tour­ing ver­sion of the bike can load 24 car­tridges, for a to­tal en­ergy stor­age ca­pac­ity of 28,5 kWh, which can be re­duced to only a half in race trim. The charg­ing time is eight hours, but a 0-80% charge needs only 38 min­utes. The frame is a self-de­vel­oped alu­minium sheet unit with Hos­sack forks and cus­tom shocks. Get daily video up­dates on www.storm-eind­hoven.nl or on twit­ter #stor­m80­days.

PHOTO: EIND­HOVEN

One of two elec­tric bikes built to go around the world.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.