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.
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.
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.
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’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
- the Zygomatic pass
- the Riedbergpass
- Mainau Castle
- Cold Brunn
- Furka Pass
- Saas Fee
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, 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.)
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 them — and 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.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.