Nina Rasmussen and Hjalte Tin, who set out from Copenhagen almost three months ago in their electrical cars, have now reached Beijing and a well deserved break after crossing through Russia and the Gobi Desert.
The Danish writers and adventurers, Nina Rasmussen and Hjalte Tin initially wanted to tour China in an electrical car to experience the country and also to help promote electrical cars. However, interest in their project from the outside world persuaded them to think bigger, and a 41,000 kilometre world tour was born.
Upon arrival in Beijing, Nina Rasmussen and Danish ambassador to China, Friis Arne Petersen, inspect the tour route printed on the hood of the electrical car.
For two years, the couple planned their ‘Electrical World Tour’, and on June 25th they left Copenhagen heading for Russia, Mongolia and then China. The purpose of their trip is to show the world that electrical cars have now reached a level of functionality where drivers don’t have to compromise in order to travel smart and eco-friendly.
“If we can drive these cars around the world, it will be the ultimate test, which proves that electrical cars are ready to enter the broad commercial markets, Nina Rasmussen explains”.
However, the trip has not been without troubles, and one of the two cars is currently on its way back to Denmark for repairs. “On this trip we test the cars under very challenging conditions. They are exposed to extreme temperatures in both ends of the scale and terrible road conditions. We are bound to discover weaknesses in the construction, and it gives the technicians the opportunity to improve their design,” Hjalte Tin says.
The cars are hand made by the Danish company ‘A FUTURE Electrical Vehicles’ transforming two Nissan Qashqai EV200 into fully electrical cars. All the standard equipment such as airbags, ventilation and cabin design is the same as in a carbon fuelled Qashqai. The only difference is that the car is silent and smooth to drive, and you have to plug it in an electrical socket at night to recharge.
After a strenuous yet exciting drive through Russia and Mongolia, the Electrical World Tour arrived in Beijing on September 16th. The tour crew made a visit to the Danish Embassy, where Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen welcomed them. Here, the Tour crew demonstrated the electrical Nissan and the Ambassador had a chance to take it for a test drive on the embassy grounds.
Ambassador Petersen was delighted that Denmark is making its mark on the development in electrical cars:
“Electrical cars are the future. It is necessary for the world to develop this technology, and I think a project such as the Electrical World Tour is an important step towards breaking through the last barrier to the consumer markets and challenging the carbon fuelled cars. I am proud that Denmark is involved in this development, and we can corporate with China, which is already advanced in the use of electrical bikes and scooters.”
Besides being electric the cars are equipped with GPS trackers and satellite phones.
After a week in Beijing, Nina Rasmussen and Hjalte Tin will drive slowly southward through China, taking time to experience the country, they initially sought out to see and will conclude the Asian leg of the tour at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. After sailing to San Francisco, the tour will spend a couple of months in the US before returning to Europe.