UBC electric car first to beetle across Canada

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