Californians and people of all nations are supposedly reluctant to buy electric cars and renewable-powered cars because of "range anxiety." That's the fear that your car's battery will lose its charge despite the fact that your car's battery has a range of 100 miles and the average American only drives about 30 miles a day.
The entrants in the Zero Race are going to be experiencing some serious anxiety. I mean, try finding a fast-charging station in Chelyabinsk, Russia at three o'clock in the morning.
The Zero Race is an 80-day round-the-world tour driven by 100-percent-electric cars. The goal of the Zero Race is to "educate, raise public awareness, inspire and help governments and people to take action towards a sustainable future," according to a press release.
The city of Lucerne is the home base and sponsor of the race, in partnership with the organization Business Development Lucerne.
All participating Zero Race teams are required to produce their own electricity using renewable sources such as solar, wind, wave or geothermal. This electricity must then be fed into the grid in the home country of each team, so that during the Zero Race, the equivalent energy can be used to power the vehicles on their global adventure.
Here's the route:
And here's a video:
And for new dimensions in range anxiety, consider the plight of the pilot in the solar- and battery-powered Solar Impulse, a long-range glider aiming to fly around the world. Powered by about 12,000 SunPower (SPWR) high-efficiency solar cells, the aircraft is built of lightweight carbon fiber material, has a 200-foot wingspan,and the weight of an average family car. The solar cells power the four 10-horsepower motors, and 800 pounds of polymer lithium batteries store energy for night flight. The SunPower solar cells have an efficiency of 22.7 percent.
The team will attempt to fly the plane around the world starting in 2014.
Here's a video of the solar plane: