Global – STORM Eindhoven is a team of Dutch students from Eindhoven University of Technology, in the Netherlands, who have self-built two electric motorbikes with the goal to show the world what electric transport can do – on two wheels.
To achieve that goal, STORM Eindhoven– is “competing” in the “80 Day Race” which is inspired by the Jules Verne book “Around The World In 80 Days”.
The 80 Day Race’s vision is, “To contribute to a future in which mobility is solely reliant on renewable resources. Aiming for this vision, we challenge mankind to push boundaries of technology by creating the pinnacle of sustainable global racing.”
The teams started in Paris in August, to complete the race in 80 days, by heading East in the direction of China, takes place between eight major cities spread around the globe.
The journey takes in the northern hemisphere, STORM Eindhoven has to date already covered Europe, Central Asia, China and are currently traveling through North America, hopping back to Europe across the Atlantic Ocean and planning to be back in Eindhoven on 2nd November.
The STORM Eindhoven team is riding electric motorbikes designed for long distance touring that it believes represent how electric transport should look: quiet, efficient and with sufficient range.
The STORM Wave motorcycles use a swappable, modular battery pack with a top speed of 160 km/h and can ride 400 kilometres before needing to be recharged thanks to the battery pack designed by the students themselves.
The batteries – 24 separate cartridges and good for up to 28.5 kWh energy – can also be replaced by a fully charged battery pack within seven minutes.
Every day the motorbikes’ batteries have been charged via the local power grid, at companies, universities or private homes – together making up the ‘STORM Grid’.
The ‘STORM Grid’ are people, universities and companies that want the team and motorcycle to come by their place to rest and charge.
The team also participated in all kinds of events during the journey with the aim of convincing the world of the potential of electric mobility.
Following a spectacular send-off in Eindhoven, the problems started very soon into the journey.
On the second day on route to Vienna, the motorbike broke down. A whole day was needed to make the necessary repairs to the bike but in the days that followed the team caught up lost time.
Following stops in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, they continued on into Central Asia, where they were faced with extreme heat, poor roads and chaotic traffic.
After crossing China, the team arrived in Shanghai and are now not only travelling across the United States but stopping for receptions/promotions/presentations/education with a short drag race with a helicopter and a ride up the infamous Mulholland Drive. Unfortunately the team back up vehicles where smashed into and one stolen in San Francisco (but that’s another story!)
So are STORM Eindhoven proving by travelling around the world, that the electric motorcycle – which doesn’t go “vroom vroom” that we as riders in the not so distant future, will be willing to adapt and change to electric motorcycles, scooters and mopeds?
A difficult observation might be that electricity is now the “new” sustainable energy over hydrogen, with hydrogen maybe the far more “ecologically friendly” alternative?
STORM Eindhoven is certainly giving it a damn hard try and developing the young new “engineers” of the future!