Event organizers and corporations around the world have taken an interest in green vehicle competitions. The recent e-Miglia race featured zero-emissions vehicles racing from Germany to Italy. The American Solar Challenge Road Race put solar vehicles through the paces in the Midwest. These events are modest compared to the inaugural Zero Emissions Race. This global challenge kicked off with four teams leaving from Geneva on August 15.
The Zero Emissions Race will last 80 days and cover 18,641 miles. This race will pass through 150 major metro areas from Moscow to Mexico City. The first leg of the Zero Emissions Race stretches from Geneva to Shanghai. Racers will be transported by boat across the Pacific to Vancouver. The North American leg spans from Vancouver to San Francisco, Austin and Mexico City. The event will make a stop at the World Climate Change Conference running from November 29 to December 10 in Cancun. Racing teams will finish the event on January 22, 2011 in Geneva.
Participants in the Zero Emissions Race needed to meet several criteria before heading to Geneva. Each vehicle must be powered by an electric motor and feature at least two seats. The organizing committee also required a maximum per-charge range of 155 miles, a daily range of 310 miles and a maximum speed of at least 49 miles per hour. Drivers will be able to recharge their batteries over a four-hour lunch break each day. The four teams represent some of the latest innovations in zero-emissions transportation in Europe, Asia and Australia. The entrants include an all-electric motorcycle by the Vectrix Team from Germany and a solar-powered car by the Orliken Solar Racing Team.
The judging criteria for this event go beyond successfully reaching Geneva in 80 days. Participants will need to demonstrate vehicle reliability and safety through rough terrain. Judges will look at energy efficiency based on daily driver logs to determine the most efficient entrant. Another factor in picking the winning team is the popularity of the vehicle among online and in-person observers. Event sponsors have stated that input from the general public will figure prominently in the Zero Emissions Race. From a more democratic judging process to more grueling tests, the Zero Emissions Race could become the pinnacle of green vehicle events in the next few years.