19-4. WE VISIT DUTCH ELECTRIC CAR PRODUCTION
Electric Cars Europe, ECE, invited us to visit them in Lochem in East Holland. ECE converts cars to electric drive. The company has close contact with Lotus in England and converts the Lotus Elise to a potent electric sports car - in direct competition with Tesla in USA. We had a lively and informal lunch in the sun outside the production halls with Hjalmar Engel. He gave me a long tour in their converted VW Golf. A very convincing car: 150 kw motor, fast acceleration and sure road-holding - but very expensive. More news were coming in international cooperation. For chinese Geely ECE develops an electric version of a compact Geely, presented at the Amsterdam Auto show. Yet the market is small and the cars are built by hand and thus expensive. But it is expected to become big in a few years time. A lot of experience and expertise are accumulated around the world by many thousand people. The question is whether it will be the big companies that win the whole market?
Nina and Hjalte
18-4. ELECTRIC CARS IN AMSTERDAM
Amsterdam is a lovely city. Summer light sparkled in the canals as we drove into town to meet the electric people from the municipality. 51% of the Amsterdam'ers bike to work, but cars fill up every space and the air-pollution gets worse and worse. That is one reason Amsterdam makes a big effort to promote electric cars. Pieter Swinkels from Amsterdam Elektrisch explained about the program: infra-structure with charging points, deals with producers of electric cars and subsidies to buyers of electric cars, encouraging international EV-companies to settle in Amsterdam and finally a strategic communication to make EVs visible in the city. The rest of the day we spent as guests at the big AutoRAI car-show in Amsterdam. Green Car got inside and charged together with all the new electric cars and Nina and I were interviewed about our journey and experiences with the electric car. As in Detroit extreme electric cars were the hot thing for most brands. The good old petrol-cars swelled the second rows. No longer sold on max power and speed but on minimal co2 emission. The sun went down in the river and rthe ducks made a noise behind the tents on the camp-ground. The world moves forward.
17-4. TO AMSTERDAM
The distance from Rotterdam to Amsterdam is very short, so we spent the morning visiting the Photo museum of Rotterdam. On the freeway not much was to be seen except cars so we took Green Car into the small byways. Immediately we were ringed by water - canals and rivers criss-cross Holland. Many old wind-mills were intact and we also passed a couple of tulip-fields in full bloom. The day ended at Zeeburg Camping, where we rented a cabin right at a canal. Green Car had to spend the night without charging because all parking were full. But it got power enough to go to the city tomorrow.
16-4. A FLOATING MUSEUM
We walked over to Green Car in the parking garage and said good morning. It was fully charged and we then took a long walk in Rotterdam. Our Hotel Bazar was in downtown Rotterdam, next to the harbor, the river and the canals. The Erasmus-bridge built 1996 crossing the Maas is the elegant new icon of Rotterdam. On the way back we had a cup of coffee with delicious apple pie on board an old light-house ship. Here in the Lion Harbor is the big floating Harbor Museum, with a great collection of old ships still floating on the water. We talked with some of the old sailors now taking care of the ships, and taking them out to sea with passengers on excursions.
16-4. ALONE ALL NIGHT
Wauw, it was thrilling to arrive at the big parking-house in Rotterdam. First I curved my way up to the roof on the 16th floor, where I was photographed while Nina and Hjalte were jumping like flees in front of me. Then I got power down at the first floor. Imagine, the guys running GreenPark did not even know they had such a good socket ready for electric cars! Nina and Hjalte got a room in a funny hotel around the corner, so I had to be alone for two nights. I am not used to that, but there was nothing to complain about. Nobody disturbed me as I drew power all night long, and watched all the cars entering and leaving GreenPark.
15-4. VISITING GREENPARK IN ROTTERDAM
Hundreds of pots and a giant watering-system with rain-water will make the plants grow, so the tall parking-house in three years time will be fully covered in green foliage. Green Car was driven all the way up to the roof, with a great view of Rotterdam. Ronald took some pictures of us and then Green Car was hooked up. Hjalte and I had a super gourmet dinner in an excellent restaurant in the same block together with Ronald, Richard and Michiel from GreenPark and Let'sDiffer. On the funny "world" Hotel Bazar next door Ronald had booked a room for us. If you want to see Ronald's pictures from our visit click on the address below.
Hajlte en Nina visiting GreenPark Rotterdam
14-4. IN HOLLAND
Strolling through the great town of Aachen we admired the mosaics in Carl the Great's cathedral from year 800. Remarkably like the mosaics in the famous mosque in Damascus built hundred years earlier. The road crossed into Belgium, Germany and Holland a couple of times. Canals, old dutch windmills and houses along the road with bushes and trees cut in tight, regimented shapes, almost too much order! But people are friendly and we got into the campground in Soerendonk, even after closing time. The sun sets, birds sings and hungry mosqitos try in vain to bite us. The temperature falls to 10 degrees and we have to put on a lot of clothes. In three weeks time we will be back in Denmark, in good shape - touch wood - and with Green Car without scratches.
13-4. WEAR AND TEAR
Our host Horst found a helpful workshop in Mainz that could fit a new water-pump right away. Adwin Janssen worked on the pump, told us about his motorcycle adventures in Namibia and 14:30 Green Car was on the road again. Adwin said it was not uncommon that the tiny plug for the pump burned away when used non-stop for so long time. My clothes also start to fall apart and my shoes was dumped in a trash-can when I started using sandals a month ago. To get fast forward we choose to take the Autobahn until the exit for the Eifel and the village of Hammer where we spent the night with our good friends Bernd Tesch and Patti. To return to their beautiful house in the little valley was like coming home, and Green Car got nice three-phase power, which it munched all night.
12-4. NICE COLD RAIN
Luckily I was on my feet and had packed the tent before before the rain started pouring down over Stuttgart. Out on the Autobahn Green Car suddenly stopped. A fuse had blown and smoke and steam blew out of the engine compartment. Hjalte now could localize the problem to the water-pump. The plug had burnt and could not be removed so he had to cut the wire. Green Car got rolling again again until it had to cool down some hours later. We were both cold and damp, and treated ourselves for once to a ready-made meal. Later in the day Green Car got power from a large BMW-dealer in Mannheim, and we got several cups of coffee in the posh office. Outside hail had started to fall. Before the sun got down we reached Horst and Konstanze in Budenheim on the Rhine near Mainz. We spent a lovely evening with them with inspiring talks, good food and delicious local wine.
11-4. VISITING BRUSA IN SENNWALD, SCHWEIZ
Nina and Hjalte
Fully electric around the world
The Qashqai Electric is the first fully electric car driving around the world - with BRUSA chargers on board!
Nina Rasmussen and Hjalte Tin started in June 2010 with a Qashqai Electric on a world tour: From Denmark to Russia, Mongolia, China, USA and back to Europe. The car and its team were participating at the Rallye Monte-Carlo for Alternative Energy and shown at the EXPO2010 in Shanghai as well as at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car was built by AfutureEV, Denmark.