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September 26, 2016

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Shanghai stop for Dutch electric motorbike team

A group of Dutch students have arrived in Shanghai on a world tour within 80 days aiming to demonstrate what electric motorbikes are capable of achieving.

Their vehicles are claimed to be the world’s first electric touring motorbikes, developed by the STORM Eindhoven team comprising 24 students from Eindhoven University of Technology, with an average age of 22 years.

Inspired by “Around the World in 80 Days,” the renowned book by Jules Verne, they started their project about two years ago and launched the world tour on August 14 from the Netherlands. So far the team has traveled for 42 days covering more than 14,000 kilometers.

“Our project is not about promoting only our motorcycle, it is to show that electric vehicles are ready for the world,” said Yorick Heidema, a 24-year-old rider with the team. “If we can make a motorcycle with different partners by collaboration and drive around the world with it, we think electric vehicles are ready enough for companies to work together and create vehicles that are ready for people to use.

“So this is more about involving people into action to work on electric vehicles and make it possible in future that we can all drive motorbikes or motor vehicles 100 percent reliable.”

Another team member, Nick Peters, said they initiated the idea to demonstrate electric mobility with motorbikes as they have a cooler image than other vehicles.

With a full pack of batteries, their bikes can travel about 300 kilometers and the team usually uses two packs of batteries a day. According to Heidema, a full pack of batteries comprises 24 modules, each weighing about 7.5 kilometers.

“When the road condition is very hard, we cut the pack by half with only 12 modules so that the motorbike can run lighter and be more flexible,” said Peters. The batteries require from six to eight hours to be fully recharged.

The team entered China from Kazakhstan on September 12 and then traveled eastwards, with stopovers at Urumchi in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, Nanjing in Jiangsu Province and Shanghai.

Their next stop will be Seattle from where they will travel through the United States and then fly to Paris and ride back from there to Eindhoven.

Their journey is expected to end on November 2.


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