EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, August 16, 2016 (ENS) – STORM Wave, a student team based at Eindhoven University of Technology, has set the ambitious goal of riding a specialized electric motorcycle around the world in 80 days. The clock started ticking when they took off from Eindhoven on Sunday, August 14, 2016.
“This endeavor is the ultimate proof of concept for both our motorcycle and electric mobility as a whole,” says the STORM team.
The route will remain in the northern hemisphere, starting in Europe, and continuing to Asia and North-America, for a total of 26,000 kilometres.
The STORM World Tour will travel through Europe, central Asia and China to the harbor of Shanghai. After sea transportation, the team will tour across the United States before returning to Eindhoven.
The electric touring motorcycle, called “STORM Wave,” is the perfect model of what the students believe electric transport must be – quiet, efficient and with a range of 380 kilometers on a single charge.
The project has challenged the team, STORM Eindhoven, to create two motorcycles that carry large amounts of energy, and allow the drivers to easily replenish this energy.
This is accomplished with a student-developed, swappable, modular battery pack that enables the motorcycles’ 380 kilometre range on a single charge. The pack consists of 24 cartridges, each with 28.5 kWh of energy; the pack will be solely powered by the existing electricity grid.
“By involving individuals and organizations to recharge our batteries we share the experience of electric mobility with the world. All the involved parties together form the STORM GRID: a worldwide network of plug-in locations,” the students say.
Last October, the STORM Pulse took a quick promo tour through Europe, visitng the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress in Bordeaux, Sustainability Day in Amsterdam, the Greenpower Final at Rockingham Motor Speedway, and finally, the World of Energy Solutions in Stuttgart, Germany.
After two years of work, the STORM Pulse was ready to go on Sunday, and the sendoff from Eindhoven was action-packed, with hundreds of supporters gathered to see them off.
Rider and student Yuri Steinbuch said, “Just before noon we were all present at the 18 Septemberplein in the center of the city. It was great to see the large crowd there; thanks for your presence, people! If we didn’t feel the tension before, we certainly did then. Many of us quickly gave a hug to our families and our boyfriends and girlfriends – often with some tears. The emotions ran deep.”
“And then, we departed. The motorcycle rode from the stage and the rest of us ran to the convoy vehicles. It is actually happening! After a quick stop at Van Eijck in Asten with many motorcyclists, we went on to Munich.”
“I rode with a smile on my face the whole time. I felt (and still feel!) proud. Proud of us as a team, of what we have already accomplished,” wrote Steinbuch on the team’s blog.
“Multiple motorcyclists followed us and also on the road there was quite some attention; people filming from bridges and waving from their vehicles,” he wrote.
But on the German highway, the motorcycle shut down and the team discovered that the inverter needed maintenance.
It took most of the night to fix. But when dawn broke, the motorcycle was ready to roll and has now arrived in Vienna, Austria with 78 days to go.