An attempt by two French engineers to drive a Citroen C-Zero battery-electric vehicle around the world hasn't been lost in translation... yet.

Xavier Degon and Antonin Guy, who started what they call the Electric Odyssey in Strasbourg, France in February, reached the Rockies this month, with plans to continue on to Asia after reaching the U.S. West Coast.

The two are planning for the eight-month trip to cover 17 countries, about 15,000 miles and about 250 Euros ($327 U.S. at today's exchange rates) in electricity consumption. The two drivers are traveling in 70-mile increments, relying on supporters – in addition to restaurants, gas stations and other retailers – for recharges, according to Wired. The reason? To "promote the image of the electric vehicles" while sharing information and energy with people around the world, according to the Electric Odyssey website.

Degon and Guy reached the U.S. via ship in early March. The drivers say they've had success finding recharging locations across the U.S. – even in many rural communities – but expect the task to become more difficult once they reach Asia, mostly because of language barriers.

The C-Zero is the sister vehicle to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. That car debuted in Japan in April 2010 and started sales in Europe early last year. The American version, called the i, debuted stateside last November and is considered by the EPA to be the most fuel-efficient production vehicle (based on the miles per gallon equivalent ratings) sold in the U.S.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 18 Hours Ago
      Sounds like a great adventure. Sure the vehicle range will only allow about 2 hours of driving a day and takes a long time to recharge, but that allows them to take in the scenery, go for a hike and get some exercise, have a picnic, fish a stream or just sit in the shade and read a good book. If you have the time it sounds like a great way to travel, like bike touring with less exertion.
      Christina
      • 18 Hours Ago
      I saw these guys on campus today at UNR and wish I would have had time to stop and chat! What a fun way to promote electric vehicles worldwide! Enjoy fellows!
      • 18 Hours Ago
      This is brilliant! We need more people to realise that EVs are out there, and this is a good way to show them. But we also need to show that EVs can be competitive with gas cars and a city car cannot provide what many people want - range! Follow the Tesla Roadster that is chasing them on http://www.1e-race.com/ and then please read and sign the petition "End Chevron Oil veto" on the care2 site. The cheaper, safer and thoroughly road tested batteries that can make it possible to have a good range and a much cheaper electric car were developed by Panasonic 14 years ago - but nobody has been allowed to make them or develop them further for the last ten years! Search for "EV-95 Battery" or look at "Patent Encumbrance" in Wikipedia for more information. Just think what would have been possible today if these batteries had been further improved in the last ten years! John
      Harry
      • 18 Hours Ago
      Sounds like a great trip! But I can't wait for reasonably priced BEV's that have at least 150 miles of range. I know, that is like having your cake and eating it, too.
        • 18 Hours Ago
        @Harry
        Hi Harry, 10 years ago GM had a car that could do 160 miles on a charge with Panasonic's EV-95 battery pack, the EV-1. But they smashed all the cars (see the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car") and Chevron sued Panasonic for $30 million for making the batteries. These same inexpensive ten year old batteries are still driving RAV4-EVs after more than 150,000 miles but nobody is allowed to make them any more! Please read and sign the petition "End Chevron Oil veto" on the care2 site and maybe you will soon have your wish! John
        Spec
        • 18 Hours Ago
        @Harry
        I'll settle for 100 right now.
      Nick
      • 18 Hours Ago
      This car looks very good in person, I saw one last week. I hope their trip will result in more awareness of EVs. Most people still have no clue that there's EVs out there, and what exactly they are.
      marcopolo
      • 18 Hours Ago
      This sort of feat may not really prove anything, certainly not ability of EV's to travel great distances in record times, but they do display the EV transport to the world and capture public imagination. After all, if an EV can drive around the world, albeit slowly, what does the future hold? Joe Public is smart enough to understand that early ICE technology didn't stop improving, and hybrid technology is already successful. But mostly such round-the-world, cross America, etc trips, show the fun and excitement of EV technology in a positive manner. Far more attractive publicity to the average member of the public, than grim moralising about 'saving the planet', and endless anorak minutia about technology descriptions or highly politicised ICE/Oil hatred. .
      goodoldgorr
      • 18 Hours Ago
      They should do the same odessy with a gasoline car and compare the time and motel bills.
      • 18 Hours Ago
      They are actually quite further than the Rockies right now. At last glance they were around the Reno, NV area about to cross into California. Something interesting about these guys is that they aren't alone in their quest. There is another guy who was planning to be the first to make the trip but was holding off so as to do it in a Tesla Model S. Now that Xavier and Antonin are underway, he is going to go ahead with his trip in a Tesla Roadster and pass them on their own route before they make it back to Strasbourg, France. We wrote a story on this a few days back. Here is a link if anyone is interested: http://hevsource.com/2012/04/first-trip-around-the-world-in-an-ev-now-a-race/
        Anne
        • 18 Hours Ago
        An i-Miev has a good chance of beating a Tesla Roadster in a race. Who would have thought that?
      fred schumacher
      • 18 Hours Ago
      Biking at 12 mph with less than 100 watts of human power, one could go 70 miles in 5 hours. Put half of this car's battery pack into an 800 pound 3-wheel enclosed, narrow two-seater and range would be increased significantly, and such an electric car could then exceed the capability of the humble bicycle.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 18 Hours Ago
      FFS, here we go again with highlighting the negatives of an EV. With their limited ranges, EVs are still city/commuting cars. It's not helpful to show off their achille's heel. ABG would rather report on this, rather than some group showing off the many other advantages of EVs.. and have reported on this twice now lately.. I do wonder
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