Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

Day 11: Erding, Kirchdorf/Haag and Salzburg

We spent the morning relaxing and splashing around at Therme Erding the biggest geothermal bath in the world! Then we displayed our vehicles in Erding for a couple of hours, where we mingled with locals a little and enjoyed some nice local food thanks to our hosts!

Erding Thermal Baths

Team Odenwald

Cool or Ugly? Team Green Motor Sport and Team m-way

Enjoying Erding

showing th vehicles in Erding

Louis showing the Reva in Erding

This afternoon, the company Schletter welcomed the WAVE teams, with many people and nice programme (and whole lot more great local food for us to enjoy). I think we had three lunches today! Schletter is a company that manufactures solar mounting systems, and so we got recharged naturally with solar power today. At Schletter, the judging jury evaluated which vehicle had the best charging system, and Gordon Foat of Team Green Motor Sports won this competition with his Nissan Leaf. Fully charged, the evening drive to Passau was just easy, and nice, and it was also the shortest for the WAVE, so we had enough time tonight for another convivial dinner to share the day’s highlights.

ligning up at the entrance to Schletter

WAVE Event at Schletter

Lunch number 2 at Schletter

Matthias (Team Euro-Flyer) with his new bike for continuing the WAVE


Stuffing the support crew Nils and Hendrik (because we had to get to and from our hotel and charging place by car)

For more photos of the teams, become a friend of the WAVE on Facebook and follow our adventures! Otherwise, click on the website of each team on this website.

Blog written by  Julianna Priskin. 


Day 10: Leutkirch, Kempten, Augsburg and Erding

This morning, the teams visited a secondary school in Leutkirch, where about 2000 kids ran around our cars in the middle of the schoolyard with a lot of excitement to see which one they liked better! We will announce the results in Prague, as this is a school survey that we repeat en route until the end of the WAVE. 

At the school in Leutkirch...we were completely surrounded

Klaus (Team Odenwald)

ins and outs of an electric bike by Matthias (Team Euro-Flyer)

En route somewhere in sothern Germany. It's a solar world! So many houses and buidlings, in so many places have solar modules on the roof.

The rest of the morning the teams had a nice time in Kempten, welcomed by various city representatives, including the mayor. Here, the teams were tested to see who could do the smallest circle with their vehicle. The winner was the amazing Tremola!

WAVE Event in Kempten

Teams paying attention to something

One of the WAVE hosts, Mr Ludwig Karg

Late afternoon, we visited another school visit in Bobbingen, where children greeted us once again with special posters, flags and a lot of smiles and cheering!

Mr Bath, Principal of the Bobbingen school welcomes the WAVE with 100s of pupils

Team 1997 members Robert and Vivian at the school in Bobbingen

The rest of the day we spent almost basking in the sun in the heart of Augsburg, as today the weather turned warm again (especially compared to our icy Swiss Alpine experience). In Augsburg we also did a couple of competitions, including who was better at reverse parking to test ease of vehicle handling. The target was a pink rectangle, while a jury timed it from a start point. All this was done accompanied by spectators off the streets, which made reverse parking all the more exciting than usual. The results were interesting (J), and once again Wolfgang got the award has he managed to park his Twike in less than 9 seconds, while Gordon was the slowest with his Nissan Leaf at something over 31 seconds. In the haste of this all, as Mario attempted the competition with the SMILE, he managed to ram directly into Sven’s car, but luckily for both, the damage was minor.

Louis Palmer in Augsburg with our hosts and judging jury for the competitions

Spectators to our parking competition

Twike 4 at the start line

SMILE's Audi encounter

Reva parked inside the pink rectangle

In Augsburg, our hosts also judged who had the nicest paint job on their vehicle. This was tough, as several of the cars have been especially painted and decorated for the WAVE. Gordon’s Nissan Leaf (Team Green Motor Sports) won this contest, with his amazing compost patterned car.  Late afternoon, the teams had a nice guided walking tour in the old town of Augburg, followed by a jovial evening in an old vaulted restaurant underneath City Hall accompanied by our hosts, including representatives of the City, the Handwerkskammer für Schwaben and Stadtwerke Augsburg.

Rathaus in Augsburg...a very noble building, and the restaurant was in its vaulted basement. Some of the doors were so huge (can't tell from this photo), I had to use my entire weight to push it open. It felt like this building was made for giants and I was only an imp.

I might add that I am probably the least popular on the roads these days for (a) driving at snail pace to conserve energy, and (b) for my bright my lights. My THINK has such bright lights, people think I am constantly driving with a high-beam. I never felt so bad on the road. I also got told off by the police for my slow speed on the Autobahn the other night 😦

For more photos of the teams, become a friend of the WAVE on Facebook and follow our adventures! Otherwise, click on the website of each team on this website.

Blog written by  Julianna Priskin. 

Day 9: Andermatt, Vaduz, Sulz-Röthis and Leutkirch

The Swiss Alps this morning (view from Sattel)

The roads were dry for coming down from Andermatt this morning, but teams Twike took the snowed in Oberalpass successfully. In fear of snow on this route (because we all have summer tires) this morning’s route got diverted to a longer stretch, which pushed the limits of some team’s range.

I needed a quick charge, and some students kept me company at Wallensee

It seems our luck with the weather has run out, as today was another cold and wet day. Late morning, the WAVE was welcomed in Vaduz by Lichtenstein Kraftwerk and the teams got recharge power in front of Parliament building, as well as a tour inside. In Vaduz, a local jury assessed which vehicle had the nicest and most practical interior design. Today’s competition winner was Team Ökozentrum with their SMILE.

Lichtenstein (Vaduz Castle)

In the rain in Vaduz, Lichtenstein

Lunch in Vaduz

Today, Paul Schweizer, our scout vehicle man broke down with his Horlacher as his electric system blew up. Since his vehicle has 240 000 km in it, and was made some 20 years ago, this is something that one could expect. But what is unexpected is the speed at which Paul succeeded in repairing things, given that only 6 or 8 copies exist of this car worldwide! Coincidentally, Paul broke down somewhere our roadside assistance team could reach him, and just 10 km from a friend that also happens to have the same vehicle. Solution? They unscrewed the broken part and put that into Paul’s and pronto, our scout vehicle showed up in Vaduz as planned. 

Paul and his wife Margarithe after getting the repair

The WAVE also passed through the Sulz-Röthis Hauptschule in Austria, where each team had one minute to present their vehicle to the students who judged how much they liked it. We are doing an online survey with schools along the WAVE route to see which vehicle school children prefer. The teams got a very warm welcome of course, and the event was fun for everyone! The teams were escorted to the school by the local police.

Tremola getting assessed by school children at the Hauptschule Sulz-Röthis in Austria

School children judge the WAVE vehicles at Hauptschule Sulz-Röthis in Austria

Tonight, the WAVE had a very warm welcome in the township of Leutkirch in Allgäu, the home of team 12, Nachhaltige Stadt Leutkirch! On the streets hearts with the name of each team was displayed, and 100s of locals showed up for the WAVE Event, which included local music played by authentic Southern German Lederhose men, and Louis gaving a speech amongst other festivities involving eating and drinking local specialities.

Leutkirch im Allgäu welcomes each WAVE team with a heart

WAVE teams were escorted by bikers in Leutkirch into town (photo by Deepak, team 14)

WAVE event in Leutkirch (photo by Deepak, Team 14)

Welcome committe for Louis....including three local queens...cheese, wine and bretzel (photo by Deepak, Team 14)

Local musicians in Leutkirch

For more photos of the teams, become a friend of the WAVE on Facebook and follow our adventures! Otherwise, click on the website of each team on this website.

Blog written by  Julianna Priskin. 

Day 6: Michelstadt, Stuttgart and Donauschingen

Horlacher Scout car in the fog this morning (Photo by Paul Schweizer)...this machine has driven some 240 000 km and is still going strong!

This morning’s drive in Odenwald was scenic along a river, with vineyards, castles and quaint townships dotting the landscape. As some of the cars have a lower range, driving through undulating terrain in this part of Germany needs a lot of extra power. To solve this challenge, the WAVE was welcomed by KACO new energy GmbH this morning, which also served as an interim-charging stop for the teams and a guided tour through the facilities. KACO specialises in photovoltaic inverters and monitoring systems, as well as in power supply systems for rail and industrial applications. As a leading manufacturer in this field, the company has produced over 3 gigawatts of PV inverters since 1999.

Nils, one of our film crew members was my driving companion today


The route through Odenwald Region

Towards Stuttgart

Charge stop and company tour at KACO new energy GmbH

and everyone got a nice cap too 🙂

Further down the road in the afternoon, the WAVE was welcomed by the Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS). This Institute (at Stuttgart University) is independent, and provides research and development services for the international automotive industry. For the WAVE, a small seminar and press conference was organised today, as well as lots of plugs for charging all the vehicles. It was a nice afternoon for having an exchange amongst people, including the university student group that builds green racing cars for fun!

After Stuttgart, everyone drove with energy conservation in mind all the way to Donaueschingen 120 km to the south, in rather hilly terrain.

Charging at FKFS

The rest of the fleet charging inside

Robort in yet another versatile e-mobil

Louis Palmer at FKFS at Stuttgart Uni

Beer from Team Nachhaltige Stadt Leutkirch (Christian) to our host Professor Reuss (passed by me)

Tobi took Professor Reuss on a spin around campus

Louis and a representative of the e-mobility initiative of the Baden Würtemberg Region

For more photos of the teams, become a friend of the WAVE on Facebook and follow our adventures! Otherwise, click on the website of each team on this website.

Blog written by  Julianna Priskin. 

Day 5: Koblenz, Frankfurt and Michelstadt

Today was a fantastic sunny day and there were no road dramas at all! After a hilly dive out from Görlitz company in Koblenz, the teams had a relaxing charging stop in Frankfurt late morning, provided by TÜV Hessen (Technical Control Association in the State of Hessen). There was a tent full of food and drinks, and nice compfy couches for relaxing while some vehicles got a top-up charge.

Overnight charging at Görlitz Company in Koblenz....teams preparing for take-off to Frankfurt

At Frankfurt International Auto Expo ...taking electric mobility a little more seriously this year

While waiting for a charge top-up ...some team members went sightseeing in Frankfurt (Ira, Team 12)

Late afternoon, the WAVE received a wonderful welcome in Michelstadt in the Odenwald Region. This was also the place for testing the range of the vehicles. The way this worked was that some vehicles drove to Michelstadt with no, or only one top-up charge and Paul Schweizer (judging panel and scout vehicle driver) then checked the leftover power in the batteries in Michelstadt. Then, with the remaining power, the teams had to drive 10 km laps between market square in Michelstadt and Erbach until they had none left. Some drove and drove, and with a range of 300 km, the winner of today’s competition was Team Zerotracer!

Arrival in Michelstadt

Team Odenwald at home in Michelstadt

WAVE Michelstadt event in the market square of the old town

Paul Schweizer explaining the rules to Team Twike 4 about today's competition

Team Schleufer taking off for the laps around Michelstadt and Erbach to exhaust the battery and see the range of their Tesla

Team Tremola rolling out for the laps

Members of Teams 1997, Twike 3, Schleufer and Nachchaltige Stadt Leutkirch relaxing in Michelstadt

Dinner in a nice village guesthouse accompanied by warm local hospitality...there was also a nice fire outside

For more photos of the teams, become a friend of the WAVE on Facebook and follow our adventures! Otherwise, click on the website of each team on this website.

Blog written by  Julianna Priskin. 

Day 4: Gelsenkirchen, Dortmund, Troisdorf and Koblenz

Today was action packed with events in every major city the WAVE crossed. It was also a nice sunny day for driving around, and the e-bike teams excelled, as they managed to arrive at most events before the cars did! This should inspire anyone to get around more an a bike 🙂

In Gelsenkirchen where we had our cars charge overnight with solar power at the Knowledge Center, the teams were offered a nice breakfast and a tour in the surrounding garden with our cars, where normally only pedestrians are permitted. In Dortmund, the cars were displayed for the public on a square, while the Teams were welcomed by the Mayor and various City representatives. Louis also participated in a press conference, and the teams were treated to a nice lunch eating local specialities. While in Dortmund,  a select judging panel also went around the WAVE vehicles and assessed their innovative qualities. Much to the surprise of some, it turned out that Team Twike  4 with their TW4XP (or Three Wheeler for X Prize) was the winner for this competition criteria!

Brakfast at the Knowledge Center in Gelsenkirchen

in Dortmund (Photo by Prof. S. Krauter Team 19)

in Dortmund (Photo by Prof. S. Krauter Team 19)

Frank checking the power supply for charging in Dortmund

André Laukner cycled for fun 🙂 from Gelsenkirchen to Dortmund

Mayor of Dortmund welcomes the WAVE, and explains the city's ambitous plan to become the capital of electrical mobility

Twike Team 4 received the most points for the innovation competition criteria today

Almost all the WAVE teams managed to arrive in Troisdorf on time at 3Pm in the afternoon, for an event organised by the local utility provider Stadtwerke Troisdorf. They had a range of e-bikes, scooters and our WAVE competition vehicles on display and there was plenty of Bratwurst and cakes to eat for everyone. As public was invited, the afternoon was full of fun activities, including things for kids to do, who were invited to also measure the luggage space of our vehicles. Not to my surprise, my car the THINK City won for having the largest volume available for luggage. Louis also gave a presentation about the importance of electric cars running on renewable energies, and the event finished with a corso across Troisdorf.

Stadtwerke Troisdorf organised a fun e-mobility exhibition in Troisdorf where the WAVE participated

e-mobility show in Troisdorf

Our Stadtwerke Troisdorf event was in a solar park, and we charged directly from these modules.

Roadside assistance for to repair a broken power plug 101

Team Twyke 4

And guess who won the most luggage space competition today? Moi!!! Team m-way. Students went around and measured the luggage volume of each WAVE vehicle in Troisdorf.

Altogether in the Innotruck

After  an action packed afternoon, the teams headed to Koblenz, where the company Gorlitz welcomed the teams with an event, a nice place for charging, and an overnight stay in a lovely hotel. Görlitz plays an important role in the WAVE, namely that they supplied the teams with special meter boxes that attach to our power cords, so we can measure exactly how much power we draw each time we charge. As this is part of a competition criteria, the team with the lowest value will win the award for this challenge.

Görlitz meters to measure how much power each team draws from the grid

For more photos of the teams, become a friend of the WAVE on Facebook and follow our adventures!

Blog written by  Julianna Priskin. 

Day 3: Zolder, Helmond and Gelsenkirchen

After a press event in Brussels, today was time to floor the cars, burn rubber and race as fast as possible! Day 3 of the WAVE marked the day of the first competition event, speed, which is why the teams hurried tothe ZolderCircuit. This racetrack is host to numerous international F1 type events. But, it is also diversifying, having even hosted an eco-rally and Clean Week event in past. In the evening, Zolder Circuit is open to cyclists.

Louis briefing everyone about the race competitionTeams lining up at Zolder Circuit for a speed test

Teams lining up at Zolder Circuit for a speed testE-bikes team Euro-flyer and Stapel also raced around today

E-bikes team Euro-flyer and Stapel also raced around todayThe judging panel for the competition at Zolder Curcuit

The race at Zolder Circuit was an emotionally charged event for everyone, and WAVE’s tour director Louis Palmer claimed“my pulse is still at 500” after zooming around in a TESLA at a speed of 150km/h or something. Everyone did a test run on the circuit first, before permitted to enter the racetrack 60 seconds at a time for the times speed performance, where even the two e-bikes participated!

The judging panel for the competition at Zolder Curcuit

The overall top speeders in the WAVE were Zerotracer (third place), Louis with a Tesla while our top racer was Wolfgang with a TWIKE (Team 4)! Despite his engine being ten times smaller of a TESLA’s, his small size means he could go around the S-bends fast, which explains why he finished the track in 2.05 compared to Louis at 2.22 minutes. The teams also received nice gifts from our hosts at Zolder Circuit, including a solar-torch and a nice roadside safety vest. Everyone was thankful to the local tourism office in Zolder for their kind offer to serve us lunch at the racetrack.

Top speeder at Zolder Circuit...Team Twyke 4. Wolfang proudly presenting the award

Louis and the Tesla tour director car

For most teams the adventure did not stop at Zolder Circuit in fact! Due to some unforeseen changes to the day’s programme, after some charging in Helmund (Holland), we had to also drive as far as Gelsenkirchen in Germany. Effectively, this meant extra time needed for several teams for charging. So, I followed an improvised route plan, and charged in the middle of Holland somewhere at a garage that kindly provided me a plug, and snacks for the evening. It was a looooong evening driving and charging, only to arrive at the hotel and have to repair a plug on my extension cable.  But thanks to our roadside assistance team, such things are easy 🙂 Thanks for the patience Robort and André!

Our Laukner & Co. (Robort) electric roadside assistance vehicle (definately electric too!!) driving across northern Belgium

Charging all by myself (somewhere in Holland)

My evening company while charging alone 🙂

For more photos of the teams, become a friend of the WAVE on Facebook and follow our adventures!

Blog written by  Julianna Priskin. 

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