Electric Car Race Across the Alps

In order to celebrate electric cars, demonstrate their efficiency and the fun of zero-emission driving, dozens of drivers in plug-in vehicles have taken to the Alps for the e-miglia electric car rally 2012. For the third year in a row, electric cars race through four Alpine countries driving more than 500 miles in four days.

What began as a small rally with few participants in 2010, turned into one of the biggest electric car events in Europe. This year, most popular car brands are represented in the race. From BMW Mini E, Lampo3, Mercedes E-Cell, Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn, Tesla Roadster, Twike Active, Zerotracer to Zero Motorcycle, all fully electric vehicles are making their way on the curvy roads through the Alps in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

Lampo3
Lampo3

The e-miglia started in Munich, Germany, on a sunny day in mid-August. Before the protagonists set off to the city of Rosenheim, south of Munich, where the rally actually kicked off, the locals got a chance to learn more about e-mobility in an exhibition.  In the afternoon then, the participants took off quietly with their soundless engines, all you could hear were the tyres of some of the cars.

The first day of the race saw one car already broke down after the motor of the Twike Active overheated on the motorway. But the participants didn’t take the break down too bad. “It’s an important factor for the e-miglia. We receive valuable information about the vehicles, which we can implement in future developments,” said Twike team leader Martin Moscheid.

On the second day, the drivers of the e-miglia 2012 headed for Salzburg, Austria, where they recharged their plug-in vehicles with solar energy from the PV facility of the Salzburg Congress Centres. Salzburg welcomed the drivers with open arms and even threw a party to celebrate electric cars.

Confident and happy, the participants started their third, and most challenging, day. The route led the drivers to the highest point of the rally on the Grossglockner High Alpine Road with 2571 metres above zero. This was where the cars could show their power. Unfortunately, not all of the vehicles made to the destination of the day. The Nissan Leaf lost too much energy in the beginning of the tour and ran out of juice before it arrived in Bolzano in north Italy. The car had to be towed for the final few metres.

On the fourth and final day, the rally brought the participants to St. Moritz in Switzerland where e-miglia officially ended. Four days of enjoying the electric driving fun while at the same time testing the plug-in vehicles for faults, left all protagonists happy and anxious for next year’s race.

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