An electric-powered 1972 Volkswagen Beetle will be the first electric car to travel across Canada thanks to a group of engineering students from the University of British Columbia.
The students, members of the UBC Electric Car Club, took a 1972 Volkswagen and transformed it into an electric-powered car. Now, two club members are driving the revamped Volks, named the E-Beetle, more than 6,400 kilometres across Canada to raise awareness about electric vehicles. The students are hoping to set a record for the fastest drive coast-coast. Reaching a top speed of 140 kilometres per hour, the E-beetle is making its way from Vancouver to Halifax without any support vehicles.
Arriving in Toronto on Monday, August 30, the E-Beetle aims to reach Ottawa by Wednesday, September 1, Montreal by Thursday, September 2 and the final destination of Halifax on Sunday, September 5.
The E-Beetle can travel for 300 kilometres at 100 kilometres per hour with one charge. It takes about four hours to charge the E-Beetle, and unlike other electric cars, it uses existing infrastructure to charge — no special charging stations or generators are needed.
The E-Beetle will be stopping in major cities as it makes its way across the country. The two drivers will be available to exhibit the vehicle and for interviews:
About the car:
? It takes four hours to fully charge the lithium iron phosphate batteries
? With one charge the E-Beetle can travel up to 550 kilometres at 50 kilometres per hour, or 300 kilometres at 100 kilometres per hour
? The electric motor is more powerful and efficient than the 1972 motor
? Much of Canada’s electricity derives from hydroelectricity; the E-Beetle uses some of the cleanest energy on the face of the earth
? The students hope to enter the E-Beetle into the 2011 Zero Race – an international UNEP-sponsored around-the-world race that will seek to prove that electric cars are a viable, environmentally-responsible mode of transportation.
? The UBC Electric Car Club began working on the E-Beetle in October 2009
For more information about the E-Beetle, or to track the drive, please visit: www.ubcecc.com/blog.
To follow the journey at E-Beetle Tracker which has a link to a real-time GPS system to shows where the vehicle is at anytime anywhere on its route: www.ubcecc.com/blog/e-beetle-tracker.
To read a recent Wired story about the E-Beetle, visit:
To see a video clip of UBC students working on the E-Beetle, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC7sFPBq9Ek