3 EVs Around the world in 80 days - in 2010-11

It's amazing to think that it's already more than five years since the DesignWerk ZeroTracer, the TREV cabin trike and the Laukner-modified Vectrix went around the world in 80 days on electric power in 2010-2011. The ZeroTracer, built and piloted jointly by Tobi Wülser and Frank Loacker was the winning machine, since it was the only one of the three to do the entire journey unassisted. They even survived a brush with a kamikaze cyclist who caused a slow-speed accident in Vancouver, fortunately without serious injury to men or machines, but which cost them a lot of time. While catching back up with the other vehicles they covered 1,000kms in a single day down the West coast of the USA. PNB
Photo: © Paul Blezard

3 EVs Around the world in 80 days - in 2010-11

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Marketing failure

The Peraves guys (I hope they don't mind being lumped together like that) have done a great job demonstrating the qualities of their FFs, electric, petrol or whatever. But it's a bit like my production of FF prototypes. All this stuff works, some of it's been working for decades. We recently worked out that all the FF's I've been responsible for have covered around 500,000 miles since 1981 and I'm sure the various Eco's, Mono' and X-tracers can easily beat that.

But no-one's taken a blind bit of notice. None of it's been reported in either specialist or mainstream media. One of the reasons I walked away, last year, from the Niche Vehicle Network, set up to support "Disruptive, Low-carbon, vehicle technology" was that the guy running it had never heard of the X-prize, or FF's. Some of this is because a large proportion of FF followers are 'hobbyists' with zero interest in actually promoting FF's or challenging some of the really stupid things said about them - which is entirely their right of course.

For the people professionally involved with FFs however, we've clearly failed to match technical success with similar marketing impact. F.1 sponsors, back in my day, used to spend twice as much on follow-up advertising as they spent on the actual cars and I doubt that's reduced since. It's something we have to address. There are a numnber of way to get market attention apart from spending money, although that's the easiest route.

Of course we're dealing with attitudes identical to climate change denial, and for the same vested interest reasons, but E-power changes everything - except attitudes - and unless we want to face the extinction of Powered Two Wheelers, through dreary and ridiculous electric motorcycles, marketing, by whatever means available, the safer, more efficient, FF alternative, has to be the major priority.