Dutch motorcade takes world by storm to promote new energy

By Liao Fangzhou Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/1 17:53:39

Just as automobile manufacturers like Tesla have made electric and hybrid cars seem more hip and appealing to the public, a group of students from Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology are also trying to push forward e-mobility and green energy by raising the profile of electric motorcycles.

The group constructed STORM Pulse, an electric motorcycle, which later this month will journey around the world in 80 days starting in Germany and passing through China this autumn. Yuri Steinbuch, the strategy manager of the group, said they chose a motorcycle because they wanted to demonstrate the possibilities of e-mobility to "real petrol heads."

"Compared to other mobility industries, the motorcycle industry has always been very conservative, favoring tradition over innovation. With STORM Pulse, we want to show what's possible with e-mobility and help it gain widespread acceptance. Overcoming these barriers is essential if we are to create greener, more sustainable means of transport," Steinbuch said.

A motorcade of 28 Eindhoven University of Technology students will enter China by Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, go on to Gansu, Shannxi, Henan and Jiangsu provinces before finally arriving in Shanghai on September 24.

Volunteers pose at a press conference for their electric motorcycle world tour. Photos: Courtesy of the event organizer

Demonstrated flexibility

Two electric motorcycles will be the centerpieces of this groundbreaking journey. STORM Pulse, now in its second generation, offers advanced user interface and provides drivers with information about nearby charging locations and overall state of the vehicle.

A highlight of the vehicle is its innovative modular battery design, which enables it to be charged absolutely anywhere (for example at people's houses or public locations) with electricity. This flexibility will be demonstrated during the world tour.

Each day during the journey, the motorcycle will drive between 8 am and 7 pm for approximately 500 kilometers. The students will sleep in tents or with local hotel sponsors along the way.

Sam Linsen, science and technology officer of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Shanghai, sent a video message to the campaign's Shanghai press conference on July 26.

"STORM embodies realities of today. Electric vehicles can drive long distances, can be cool and can be available to anyone. As we can see in China, electric mobility is growing day by day, and STORM shows us that this development is not unique to China," he said.

A rider poses on a model of STORM Pulse. Photos: Courtesy of the event organizer

Dreaming green

Ma Jiajun, leader of Tongji University's electric motorcycle team, said during the press conference that he immediately agreed to be the Dutch team's Shanghai partner after just a 30-minute discussion.

"It is really amazing to see what these students can do. They dreamed about promoting greener energy and then they set out to do that. They have this seemingly crazy idea that our Chinese peers would hardly think of, and moreover, they put it into practice," Ma said.

He added that most of the students on the team come from management or business backgrounds and found it impressive that they could make the STORM Pulse within only a year.

"The vehicle is just one part of this campaign. Every place the motorcade passes, people who care about new energy and a cleaner future will come together. This is why it is so meaningful," Ma said.
Newspaper headline: e-Mobility

Posted in: Metro Shanghai, Consulate

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