The 80 edays rally entered Kazakhstan and Russia, Challenging the Impossible Mission in the EV History
On 29th July, the 11 teams of “ELDURO” 80 edays rally gathered at the Khorgos port, China. Next to the border of the country, a ceremony took place under the name of New Silk Roads, New Business Area, and New Fusion, to mark the end of the journey in China of the 80 edays rally. The ceremony was sponsored by the local government of Khorgos, and was organized by the administrative committee of Khorgos China-Kazakhstan International Cultural Tourism Zone, Tourist Administration of Khorgos, and Guangdong PHNIX Eco-Energy Solution Ltd. The event was hosted by Shulin Wang, the vice-chairman of the city’s CPPCC Committee and the director of the administrative committee of Khorgos China-Kazakhstan International Cultural Tourism Zone.
At the beginning of ceremony, Hongxing Feng, the member of Party Working Committee of the Development Zone, the vice-director of the Administrative Committee, and the vice-mayor of Khorgos, welcomed the 80 edays team on behalf of the Party Working Committee of the Development Zone, the Administrative Committee, the Municipal Party Committee and the local government of Khorgos. Mr. Feng said that it is hoped that this event would help increase the awareness of Khorgos and its cross-border tourism. Mr. Feng also expressed the intent to have Khorgos continue act as a messenger of peace and goodwill, leveraging the city’s geographical advantage. He also shares that Khorgos would actively develop its tourism, and cooperate with other parties, in order to promote the development of China and other European and Asian countries in a variety of areas.
All the Way West, Revisiting the Silk Road with the Help from People
The 80 edays teams entered China in Guangzhou on the 14th July and drove all the way towards the west across China. After passing the eastern region of China where charging stations are more easily available, they arrived at Xi’an on 22nd July. Later the team drove along the ancient “silk road”, against wind, sand storm, desert, and rapids. Thousands of years ago, trade caravans from China and West traveled along this “silk road”, brought silk and chinaware to countries along the road. Today the 80 edays team once again traveled along this historical route driving electronic cars with no usage of the gas.
The largest challenge for all the teams from US and Europe in China is to charge their vehicles due to the different standards. During the Europe and America legs, Team China received generous help from local people. The call for help request from Andrew Yi Zong, the captain of Team China, was picked up by 297 English press including top US media outlets such as Bloomberg, MarketWatch, and Yahoo Finance. On the 23th of July, The captain of Team China, Andrew Yi Zong, called for help again on the Internet for finding the charging facilities in the northwestern area in China. Andew Yi Zong asked for help from hotels, large garages or factories in China to help the 80 edays teams.
All the teams had to charge their vehicles when passing Lanzhou in order to have sufficient power to finish their journey. In order to ensure that all teams would be able to charge their vehicles as soon as they arrived Lanzhou, staff at Lanzhou Duanjiatan EV Charging Station made preparation overnight when they heard that the teams would arrive the next day and successfully helped 80days teams to finish charging on time. The 80edays team members appreciated the help very much.
Entering Kazakhstan and Russia, Challenging the Impossible Mission in the EV History
The idea of 80 edays was originated from Jules Verne’s Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours. The rally departed from Barcelona on 16th June, with overall 11 international teams and 22 drivers participating. Traveling around the world within 80 days by electric vehicles, the goal of such a seemingly “impossible mission” is to show the world that a more environmental-friendly era for electric vehicles has already arrived. The teams have finished Europe, America and China legs. Now they are about to enter the most challenging section in Kazakhstan and Russia.
EV charging in Kazakhstan and Russia is not as well developed as that in Europe and America. The Russian government has promulgated a decree in 2015, which required all gas station in Russia must be equipped with charging pillars for EVs before 1st November 2016, in order to boost the EV development. However, the execution of such decree was not as smooth as expected; the easy availability of gas resources made local people still prefer traditional vehicles running on gas, as it was more convenient for them. Moreover, the extremely cold weather in winter in Russia was also thought to be a huge barrier, as low temperature would restrict the use of electric vehicles.
This time, the 80 eday team is trying to accomplish the impossible mission in Kazakhstan and Russia for the first time in human’s history. Faced with the huge challenge of lacking EV charging infrastructure, the captain of Team China Andew Yi Zong said that he wants to create a miracle. Andrew was the first group of buyers of Tesla in China. Due to the lack of charging infrastructure in China back then, he had to build the first charging network in China from Beijing to Guangzhou to get his Tesla home. Along with the activity, he helped promoted the awareness of EVs, and facilitated the EV infrastructure building China via providing an alternative method. “This time, I want to create the miracle once again. The promotion of renewable technology is also the promotion of environmental protection. I wish my children could still travel along the same route and see the same beautiful scenery as his father or grandfather did, in ten, twenty, thirty years or even longer.”