Electromobility Awards Announced at Challenge Bibendum 2011 in Berlin (Photos)


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum

This week Berlin plays host to the Electromobility Conference and the Michellin Challenge Bibendum -- a race testing the ability of electric-powered vehicles to withstand the demands of everyday driving. Which vehicles are winning the race to the future? Read on for photos and highlights of the top cars in the 2011 Challenge Bibendum.

Winners of the Intercity Rally


The Intercity Rally demands that participating passenger cars travel 300 km (186 miles), pass safety performance tests and regularity stages, and measures energy consumption under real-life conditions.


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
ICE-Prototype: Audi A3 TCNG (Nr. 220)
The Audi A3 TCNG runs on electricity one step removed. Audi plans to generate methane e-gas using windpower. The Audi A3 running on e-methane would therefore present an alternative infrastructure vision to the plug-and-play future typically envisioned when speaking of electromobility.


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
ICE-Production: Porsche Panamera S Hybrid (Nr. 249)
The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid has breeding, but is it an excuse for lead-footed speed demons to game the environmental laws? Readers of these pages know we are happy to see everyone jumping on the alternatives-to-fossil-fuels bandwagon. Welcome aboard, Porsche.


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
Electrodrive prototype: Toyota FCHV (Nr. 188)
Toyota won the electric drive prototype category with a fuel cell hybrid vehicle. Is there room in the end game infrstructure for both Audi's vision of wind-generated e-methane and Toyota's hydrogen horse?


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
Electrodrive production: Renault Z.E Electric (Nr. 209)
With electric cars demonstrating their versatility after Japan's devastating earthquake, the trials of the Bibendum rally seem minor. Fast-charge technology capable of delivering an additional 30 km with only ten minutes of charging can make electric drive an attractive alternative to growing lines at the fossil fuel pumps.

Winners of the Battery Electric Rally

Electric vehicles covering the 125 km (78 mile) Battery Electric Rally target the 90% of people living within 50 km (31 miles) of their typical destinations. The distance represents a 100 km (62 mile) round trip with a safety margin for detours or delays. Vehicles must pass manouverability tests and recharge in 8 hours or less.


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
Concept Cars: Tying for first place: Lupo EL (Nr. 168) and E-RA - RaceAbout (Nr. 154)
The Lupo Electric Lightweight is designed by the der Technical University at Eindhoven and the E-RA RaceAbout by the Helsinki Metropolitan University of Applied Science. The jury announced a tie, we give the E-RA the edge for a cooler name and hot look.


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
Prototypes and Production: 3-way Tie: Audi A3 e-tron (Nr. 164), Mercedes A Class E-CELL (Nr. 150) und Volvo C30 Electric (Nr. 162)
Does a three-way tie mean the electric battery vehicle has fully arrived? Or that no one has yet differentiated themselves enough to take the field? Either way, battery is back. The electric car is not dead!

Urban Vehicles Rally

A 15 km loop filled with roundabouts, U-turns, junctions and other "typical city situations" involving numerous stops was layed out on the ground of the former Tempelhof airport. The course also features a straightaway where vehicles can travel at speeds up to 80 km/hr (50 mph). Bikes made one round and other vehicle categories made two rounds for a total of 30 km (19 miles).


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
Electric Propulsion Bikes: HR2 ID Bike, by EnBWEnergie Baden-Wüttemberg (Nr. 79)
This new take on the moped went from concept to reality in less than two years. The ELMOTO HR-2 has unlimited approval for sale throughout Europe.


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
Light Quadricycles: Microcar New M.Go (Nr. 101)
We must confess to rooting for the Twike, an early player that still survives in what is now a growing market. But the winner is the Microcar M.Go -- with four seats, it is twice the car the Twike is. But it doesn't make you want to be seen in one.


Image: Steck Automobile
Heavy Quadricycles: MEGA Multitruck (Nr. 113)
The MEGA Multitruck, from the Consortium for the Electrification of Vehicles, leads the race for solutions to moving goods about in the city of the future.


Image: Michellin Challenge Bibendum
Urban Cars: Nissan LEAF (Nr. 130)
We have followed this car since exclusive coverage of the LEAF's unveiling in 2009. Congratulations to a strong contender in the future of traffic.

More on Electromobility:
"Plus-Energy House with Electromobility" Dream Home To Be Built In Berlin
Porsche to "Definitely" Offer Electric Sports Cars, According to CEO
The Cars That Ate Paris
The Best Green Cars and Technology from Michelin's 2010 Challenge Bibendum

Tags: Alternative Energy | Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles | Germany | Hybrid Cars