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WAVETrophy 2014: We Prepare to Drive Across Europe in an Electric Car

In less than a day, team Transport Evolved will be heading from our Bristol headquarters in the west of the UK all the way to Stuttgart for the start of the 2014 WAVE Trophy.

Bristol to Stuttgart… in an electric car. A 2011 Nissan LEAF, no less.
Our route out to WAVE 2014 is going to be challenging, but fun.

Our route out to WAVE 2014 is going to be challenging, but fun.

Billed as the world’s largest electric car expedition, the WAVE — or World Advanced Vehicle Expedition — will spend seven days winding its way from Stuttgart to Seebodenalp in Switzerland, taking in some of the most beautiful mountain passes the Alps has to offer. And we will be there to report on its progress.

While we’re not competing in the event, we are following the same route, and we’ll be faced with the same challenges and expectations as those competing. That means we drive a 100 per cent electric car — not a range-extended plug-in like the Chevrolet Volt.

And that explains why we’ve spent the last few weeks meticulously planning a route across Europe from Bristol to Stuttgart, via Koblenz in Germany.
The range question — and route planning

One of the biggest challenges we’ve been faced with since agreeing to provide media coverage for the WAVE Trophy is trying to get to grips with the range limitations of our car. Designed primarily as a city car, our Nissan LEAF isn’t exactly the best electric car out there for making cross-European trips. With an ageing battery pack, comfortable range at motorway speeds in this particular LEAF — with 55,000 miles on the clock — is 60 miles. 70 miles is possible, but it requires some eco-minded driving. A little eco-driving here and there may be fun, but for a trip of more than 500 miles, it’s not all that practical.
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