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