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Electric Vehicle Race Around the World: Lessons Learned on the Longest Lap: 80eDays

Monday, April 24, 2017, 3:30 pm

In summer 2016 a group of Electric Vehicle enthusiasts raced around the globe, recharging with electric power only. We covered 28,962 km (18,026 miles) and crossed 20 countries Europe, North America, and Asia. Our goal of circling the earth on electric road power was achieved. 

This feat by 80eDays set new world records of sorts and was a significant technology demonstration for modern electric cars. It showed of the practical capabilities and durability of modern commercial EVs: validated the current state-of-the-art with a lionhearted defiance of "EV range anxiety.” The teams carried NO spare batteries, NO generators and NO fuel. Also, no car manufacturer sponsored the event: it was funded primarily by the participants driving their own personal cars.

Several countries had no EV chargers apparent at all, and many of the EV chargers we encountered were NOT compatible with our foreign cars. So we improvised high-voltage wiring into rusty Soviet high-voltage utility boxes, some apparently unopened since the collapse of the USSR.     

Most of our 11 EVs were Teslas Model S, plus a Chinese Denza, a Tesla Roadster, and a city transit bus made by Modulo-EVoPro. Since international power grids differ widely, we were confronted with some unanticipated electrical incompatibilies, often at remote sites with no alternative.

This talk will discuss some of the problems we encountered and how we solved them. And also some problems we feared but never encountered. The talk will focus on technical and automotive interests, with short mentions of relevant politics, culture, language, geography, traffic and travel adventures.

About the presenter:
Don Christian
Team USA, 80eDays 

Don has designed many manufactured products including EVs and Autonomous Vehicles, factory and semiconductor fab automation, automotive service equipment, agricultural harvesters and military ground vehicles at large companies and startups. He is listed as inventor on >24 US plus many foreign patents. He consults and teaches technical courses at universities and has published in Europe, Asia and the US. He’s a senior member of IEEE & SAE, is a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and a member of SAE’s J1772 conductive charging standards task force. Don holds a BS in Computer & Information Science from the Ohio State University, Columbus and a MS in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas. He enjoys performing improvisational music in obscure corners of the world with local musicians.