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Transport Evolved Heads to Germany, Switzerland for All-Electric WAVE!

Here at Transport Evolved, we like to spend as much time behind the wheel of plug-in cars as possible, usually with the intent of providing you, our readers, with the very best in electric car news and reviews.  We also go to the ends of the earth — literally — to cover as many launch events and test-drives as we possibly can.

We're off to the WAVE!

We’re off to the WAVE!

But usually we don’t drive there. In just over five weeks however, that’s exactly what we will do, taking Nikki’s trusty Nissan LEAF — nicknamed Hiro Nakamura — nearly 700 miles from Bristol, England to Stuttgart, Germany, where we’ll be one of three official media teams providing coverage of this year’s World Advanced Vehicle Expedition, or WAVE Trophy for short.

Meet The WAVE

Now in its fourth year, the annual WAVE is arguably one of Europe’s premiere electric vehicle events, tracing a route from Stuttgart, Germany to Seebodenalp, Switzerland over ten days. Attended by more than 50 teams from all over the world, The WAVE aims to be the largest and leading electric vehicle rally in the world.

Last year's WAVE participants

Last year’s WAVE participants (Photo: WaveTrophy.com)

The WAVE’s guiding principals revolve around encouraging and advocating for the market adoption of electric vehicles, as well as demonstrate just what electric cars are capable of.  Every participant is treated as an electric car ambassador, every participant an equal, and every new stop as a place to make new friends.

It’s no surprise then that many who have taken part in previous years describe the experience and the friends they met as being a memory they’ll never forget.

And of course, being an electric vehicle rally, there’s only one very basic rule: if you’re taking part, your vehicle has to be 100 percent electric. The only exception being vehicles which are human-electric hybrid, such as pedelec bicycles and the distinctive TWIKE electric-human two-seat electric three-wheeler.

The route

You’ll can see the official WAVE route over on the WAVE website, where there’s a brief description of each day’s itinerary, along with the various stops the WAVE trophy will be making each day.  Kicking off on May 30, the tour will wind its way through some truly wonderful countryside in two different countries, ending up in Swizerland on June 8.

We'll be driving through some amazing places during the WAVE.

We’ll be driving through some amazing places during the WAVE.

We’re not going to reproduce specifics here, but we can tell you we’ll be visiting some amazing venues along the way. Here are a list of confirmed stops (with a few more to come):

  • Mercedes-Benz Museum
  • Bietigheim-Bissingen
  • Heilbronn
  • Schorndorf
  • Öhringen
  • Woplertshausen
  • Nördlingen
  • Neuburg
  • Oberpfaffenhofen
  • Haag
  • Munich
  • Schwangau
  • the Zygomatic pass
  • Ofterschwang
  • the Riedbergpass
  • Hittisau
  • Bregenz
  • Friedrichshafen
  • Konstanz
  • Mainau Castle
  • Rheinfelden
  • Wattwil
  • Cold Brunn
  • Eschenbach
  • Baar
  • Einsiedeln
  • Oberägeri
  • Schwyz
  • Bourguillon
  • Andermatt>
  • Furka Pass
  • Münster
  • Saas Fee
  • Murten
  • Interlaken
  • Stans

Our role

As one of three official media partners of The WAVE, we’ll be providing daily coverage over at www.wavetrophy.com of the event, as well as syndicating it here at www.transportevolved.com. In addition to daily reports of our progress, regular video updates and lots of photographs, we’ll also be telling the stories of the individual teams taking part in The WAVE. We’ll ask them about their own personal EV stories, their progress on the event, and why they’ve entered.

We’ll be talking to people for whom the electric car they’re driving on The WAVE is their first and only EV. There will be people there who have been driving electric for years, those who have modified their electric car for the purpose of the challenge, and those who have even taken a classic car and replaced gas-guzzling engines with electron-moving electric motors.

Because we want to focus on our journalistic duties, we’re not going to be taking part in the event as competitors. But that doesn’t mean we’re not serious about the event: we’re going to be we’ll be tackling the route ourselves, visiting the places all the competing teams will visit, seeing the same sights, and staying in the same places every night. Essentially, we’ll be sharing every step of the journey we and the competing teams will be making, and you won’t want to miss any of it.

Team Transport Evolved

If you’re a regular here, you’ll know that we’re not exactly a big editorial team, so arranging a ten-day excursion across Europe — plus a few days of traveling before and after — isn’t exactly easy.

When we first discussed the possibility of taking part in such an amazing event, we hoped that Nikki and Mark — our two editors and YouTube Channel hosts — would be able to make the trip together. But for various reasons we won’t go into here, we couldn’t both fit two weeks away into our diaries.

So, we’ve decided Mark will stay in the UK this time, and Nikki will pilot the expedition to WAVE, accompanied by her good friend, hardened petrolhead and long-time racing buddy Adam Walker.

Adam Walker, our very own Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, and Hiro the LEAF.

Adam Walker, our very own Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, and Hiro the LEAF.

Adam, former owner of not one but two electric cars (and who currently has one in pieces in his garage) is always up for adventure. A hardened car nut, he’s owned some pretty fun cars and motorcycles over the years, and isn’t afraid of a little road-trip in an EV. He also happens to be a rather good photographer, so we’ve snapped him up (no pun intended) to join Nikki on Transport Evolved’s first ever road trip.

With 700 miles to cover in a few days, Adam and Nikki will take it in turn to pilot Nikki’s all-electric Nissan LEAF. Purchased new in March 2011, Nikki and her family have covered somewhere in the region of 52,800 miles so far, and the car is known by the Gordon-Bloomfield family as Hiro Nakamura.

Hiro is no stranger to road events either, having competed in not one but two Brighton-to-London RAC Future Car Challenges, not to mention numerous cross-country trips in the UK.

With no major modifications to the car — but a whole load of charging network adaptors and RFID cards — Nikki and Adam will cover the entire trip using just electric power, stopping off at public CHAdeMO rapid charge stations where possible, and relying on the electric power of the EuroShuttle to get them from Folkestone to Calais.

(If you’re interested in the ins and outs of our route thus far, you can see our route planning as it stands by visiting a Google Spreadsheet we’ve created specifically for the purpose of route planning.)

Our first day…

This is just the first day of our trek to the WAVE…

Where you can help

The spirit of The WAVE is one of teamwork, friendship and community. And we’ll be looking to capture that before an after the event too, as we travel across Europe in our LEAF.

As well as supporting us and The WAVE by adding The WAVE to your browser bookmarks, following themand us — on Twitter, we’d love to hear from those of you who know the areas we’ll be driving through before, during, and after the WAVE.

Perhaps you know one of the locations we’re planning on stopping at on our way to the WAVE? Perhaps you think there’s a better place we could charge, or a more efficient route to take? Or maybe you’re willing to check with your local CHAdeMO quick charger to make sure it’s working before we arrive? Could you help translate charging provider sites for us, or prepare a GPS-unit with as many different charging points as possible on it? Maybe you know which charging cards we’ll need to use various charging stations en-route, or you’d like to meet up with us along the way?

Or perhaps you live on the route of the WAVE? Why not come along to one of the many stops and say hello?

We — like everyone else on The WAVE — would love all your support as we make this incredible journey. Retweet us, share our reports, help us with information when we need it. Help us plan an awesome route, pick the best places to visit, and tell us what you’d like to hear from us en-route.

In the meantime, we’d like to wish everyone on The WAVE the best of luck, and we look forward to meeting you all very soon.


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Want to keep up with the latest news in evolving transport? Don’t forget to follow Transport Evolved on Twitter, like us on Facebook and G+, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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  • Surya

    Good luck – and fun – on this adventure!

  • Marc Fontana

    Fascinating and Exciting ! I’m not aware of any EVent like it in the U.S. – Is there one? The WAVE web site is only “partially” available in English. Some of the pages display German text even when the English icon is selected ?!? I tried to learn what it takes to register and it looks like anyone with a qualifying EV can register – at no cost? But Organizers (Companies or Individual Drivers) must arrange for their own meals and accommodations on the route – Is this correct?

    • Hi Marc, nnnnThere’s definitely a cost associated with the WAVE. I’m not sure what it is, though, because media partners are differently arranged. nnnWe’ll certainly keep you posted! nnnAs for the U.S. event? The closest is BC2BC, which is from Vancouver, BC to Baja California… or the other way around 😉

  • Someone Just

    See you in Stuttgart (if everything goes ok …)

  • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

    We will have to find a way to get you in Long Beach, California, starting 9 August 2014 for the third annual BC2BC-2014 “All Electric Vehicle Rally”, 1500 miles from Mexico to Canada.nnStage Overnight Points:nnI) Long Beach, California, August 8-9, 2014, meet at 5pm, leave later that eveningnnII) San Francisco, California, August 11-12, 2014, meet at 8am, leave at 9amnnIII) Portland, Oregon, August 14-15, 2014, meet at 1pm, leave at 2pmnnIV) Seattle, Washington, August 15-16, 2014, meet at 8am, leave at 9amnnV) Vancouver, British Colombia, August 16-17, 2014, endnnnTony WilliamsnBC2BC-2014 Rally Organizernwww.AllElectricVehicleRally.orgnwww.Facebook.com/groups/AllElectricVehicleRally

    • Tony, We would LOVE to. There’s just five problems: nn1) It’s a lot of money to fly over 🙁 (Maybe someone can buy us tickets?)n2) We won’t have a car… unless someone can get our LEAF there or lend us a car… n3) We’d love to do it. n4) Did we mention we’d love to do it? n5) My kids are on summer vacation… which would mean taking them too….nnnnHelp us solve those problems, and we might make it happen. (Or maybe Mark could do it instead???)

      • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

        It’s at least a distant possibility that our friends at Nissan could help out with some of those issues.nnWe really need high quality video and photo folks, in addition to media.nnTony

  • Kalle Centergren

    i see that you will pass the furka pass, that is a very nice route 🙂 nnif you whant a nice shott of the car on the windy road you should thake it just after furkapass their is a small road off to the right that leads nowhere, but if you walk up their you have a nice shott of a gacier and the very windingly road down the valey. (its wher i filmed Josie whith the glacier backdrop in the alp driving video)n(Cordinates 46.576176, 8.396709 (copy paste them in to google maps))nnSide Note: their is a scean from a jamesbond movie from this road, i think it was goldfinger.nnif you have the opertunity (and kWh) you can do a side stepp up on the Grimsel Pass (it would be a shortcut to interlaken from their) their are some impresive hydroelectric dams in the area and a cool hotel from the 30s (i plan to visit them whith my grandparents this summer, but i am still waiting for a response if i am alowd to plugin over night their, ill lett you know when i hear from them. nnwhen going past Thun towards interlaken i would thake the smaler road to the north of the lake (not the fastest rout, but i think it is the nicer one), they have a resturant in a cave entrance that reminds abitt of rivendell in lord of the rings along that road, its a 10 min walk from the parking ( cordenets 46.683484, 7.778092 )nbut it cost 18 franks to visit the cave wich i think is abitt to pricy.

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