Guim Valls Teruel is almost ready to go. His goal: Travel all 5 continents on an electric bike. The project is called the Electric Bicycle World Tour. Guim decided to choose this alternative form of personal transportation to promote the use of cleaner energy and the non-reliance on fossil fuel. According to him, one person has never done this before. However, many people can participate in this "one kilometre — one hope" sponsorship program set up by an NGO, by showing solidarity and hence become part of the tour. So why go electric?
In recent years, electric motor and battery technology has advanced tremendously. Today's LEVs (Light Electric Vehicles) have numerous advantages over fossil fuel powered vehicles in the areas of performance, ease of use and operating costs. (electricbicycleworldtour.com)
The advantages of going electric are numerous: low carbon footprint, no burning of fossil fuel, no exhaust fumes (so better air quality everywhere), no noise, clean machines (no grease or oil to get to get your hands dirty), cost efficient (since you don't have to pay rising fuel prices) and speedy enough to enjoy long journeys without trouble.
Guim, originally from Spain, has been using his electric bike for almost 2 years, ever since he moved to Beijing, and wouldn't part with it. He says that thanks to his electric bicycle (a dream his father shared), he had the opportunity to explore the most undiscovered corners of this huge city. And now he's off to see those of 5 continents via 2 Olympic and a candidate city: Beijing, London and Madrid.
The Electric Bicycle World Tour will visit projects around the world that also fight global warming, and produce videos about their work to promote them. After all, Guim, who seems to be one of those people who are happy doing many different things at the same time, studied audiovisual design and sound technology amongst other things. So contact Guim if you want him to visit you on his world tour.
There is definitely an interesting link between Sports and Environment, something UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) picked up in 1994 when incorporating awareness of the environment into the Olympic Games together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Now it's the Electric Bicycle World Tour's aim to strengthen the bond between these three Olympic-related cities. The same 3 cultures that Guim experiences throughout his life, and to which cities he wants to give something back and show his gratitude by incorporating them into this international project.
The Electric Bicycle World Tour will start in May 2009 in Beijing, China, and is scheduled to end in August 2012 in London, UK. In the meantime, Guim is busy fundraising and figuring out a way to charge his electric bike via solar power instead of plugging it into the main grid. (Check out this solar powered electric bike) TreeHugger will definitely report back on the performance and adventures of Guim and his electric bike. For now, check out the web site ElectricBicycleWorldTour.com for news, technical details about the bike, the route and many other interesting facts around electric biking. Thanks Gerard M. for the tip! ::Electric Bicycle World Tour
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Solar powered electric bike
Sanyo's electric hybrid bike
Freedom DX electric bike
Electric bike sharing program
Wall Street Journal reviews electric bicycles