Gareth Huw Davies

Environment Blog

Electric car drives 372 miles in Germany

Audi A2 1,4
Audi A2 –
Creative Commons License photo credit: matze_ott

An  electric car drove the 372 miles (600 km) from Munich to Berlin without recharging its battery this week (Tuesday, October 26, 2010) Tuesday, setting what is being claimed as a world distance record for an everyday vehicle.

The 27-year-old driver driver Mirko Hannemann delivered the four-door yellow and purple Audi A2 , to, appropriately, the courtyard of the economy ministry after a trip lasting just under seven hours.

He told journalists that was enough power left to charge their mobile phones.

Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle, who welcomed the team, described the journey as a (technological leap forward.” until this trip, electric cars were hard pushed to do more than 60 or 70 miles before recharging.

He said the crew had run the heating in the car, so they weren’t cutting other functions to the bone in order to break the record.

. It really was a luxury journey,” Bruederle told a large crowd of journalists and photographers on a chilly Berlin morning.

While car manufacturers express the hope electric cars will dominate the automotive industry in the foreseeable future, drivers still see the short range of the cars — “range anxiety” as a major problem.

The car was driven at a speed of around 80 mph (130 km) per hour.  It was fitted with super light lithium metal-polymer batteries, which are lighter than standard batteries and more energy efficient and powerful.

Japanese researchers have driven an experimental electric car more than 1,000 kilometres around a track, but the two German firms involved in the German trial, lekker Energie and DBM Energy, said their vehicle now held the record the greatest distance achieved by everyday car.

The German government aims to have a million electric cars on the road by 2020, but the country’s car makers have been slow starting, and lag behind their Asian rivals.

BMW and Volkswagen both plan to launch their first electric vehicles in 2013.

However Japan’s Nissan has started mass collection of its Leaf electric car, which goes on sale soon at home and in Europe.

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