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PHOTO CAPTION: UBC E-Beetle is converted 1973 VW Beetle.

Electric VW Beetle Completes Trans-Canada Drive

6,400 km trip is first recorded for an all-electric car.

Published: 08-Sep-2010

Vancouver, BC -- . After 16 days of all-electric driving a converted 1972 VW Beetle has completed a cross-country trip from Vancouver to Halifax. Two of the 16 days were idle, waiting for Hurricane Earl to pass before continuing on to Halifax. The E-Beetle was piloted by Ricky Gu, UBC Electric Car Club President. This is the first recorded trip of an all-electric passenger car crossing the nation, over 6,400km. The trip is particularly notable for the extended range the E-Beetle managed to obtain with its 50kWh battery pack. It is also notable that the car was converted by engineering students at the University of BC, not a commercial vehicle produced by the auto industry. Further, the trip was made without a support vehicle.

While roadside charging stations are not readily accessible as yet, the E-Beetle was able to charge at the many roadside RV parks who offer high power RV charging along the Trans Canada highway, or from the dryer plugs of their hosts who welcomed them throughout the route. While low power 110V power outlets are common, high power 220V outlets, such as used for stoves and dryers or those found in RV parks, cut the full charge time down to approximately 6 hours for the E-Beetle's large battery pack. The E-Beetle’s battery pack is about twice the size of many of the commercial offerings to come from mainstream auto manufacturers.

The E-Beetle achieved a maximum highway range of 355km between charges, which is exceptional for a converted electric car, and the relatively poor aerodynamics of the iconic Beetle. It has a range of up to 500km for city driving and a top speed of 140kmh. The car features modern and safe lithium iron phosphate batteries, and an AC induction motor with regenerative braking. Additional thermal cooling was added for the power controller, which also improved the car's performance on this demanding trip that included record high temperatures in Ontario and Quebec. Prior to departure from Vancouver on August 21st the E-Beetle set another first – the first electric car to drive Vancouver to Whistler return on a single charge.

VEVA sends congratulations to Ricky Gu and his team, and was proud to provide advice and logistical support over the past year leading up to the cross country trip. “The ingenuity and energy shown by the UBC Electric Car Club has resulted in a noteworthy demonstration that even converted electric cars can perform well in everyday situations. The public does not necessarily have to wait for electric cars to arrive in show rooms” said John Stonier, spokesperson for VEVA. For more information on the E-Beetle: http://www.ubcecc.com/blog/

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