Image credit: WAVE
With real-world electric vehicles (EVs) finally entering mainstream markets in serious numbers, and viable EV charging infrastructure being built worldwide, it looks increasingly realistic to expect electric cars, motorbikes and bikes to become an ever-more important part of our transportation future. But doubts still remain among consumers. That's why a 2-week continent-crossing expedition of advanced electric vehicles is hoping to win some hearts and minds—visiting schools, businesses and legislators in countries across Europe. And each team will be feeding clean energy back into their home country's grid in an effort to connect the dots between EVs and renewable energy too.
Launching in Paris this past weekend, and driving through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, the World Advanced Vehicle Expedition (WAVE) will be culminating in Prague on the 25th of September. The 20 teams participating in the 2,900km journey wil be visiting schools, businesses, and government representatives as they work to demonstrate that electric mobility is a very real, actionable alternative to gasoline right now.
Teams from all over Europe and beyond are driving a diverse array of EVs, including one e-bike. And each team has pledged to feed renewable energy back into their home country's grid as part of the project. India's Mahindra REVA, for example, are partnering with a biomass electric generation project, and also working with a non-profit organization to plant one tree for every Km traveled.
Of course, given predictions from some quarters that electric cars won't reach price parity with their fossil-fuel counterparts until 2030, and that initial electric car sales in the UK have been disappointing, there is much at stake with such efforts. Hopefully, the aim will not just be to demonstrate that EVs are a viable alternative to conventional cars, but a better one too. After all, what price do we put on a clean tailpipe and an ability to run on 100% renewable power? I'll say it again, electric cars have no direct gasoline equivalents. In terms of both advantages and drawbacks, they are very much their own beasts.
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