If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live with an electric vehicle (EV) for more than a month while covering thousands of miles in Europe, you're not alone. Whether you're eager to learn more about the real-world viability of EVs or you've just got a hankering to say, "I told you so," the BBC's epic EV journey surely won't disappoint.
BBC is embarking on a 4,000-mile trip in a Think City EV. The trip, called "BBC's Electric Ride", will put a team of four onto the roads of Europe for more than a month in search of proving whether or not EVs are ready for the public. As BBC's senior producer Kevin Dawson notes:
The basic premise of our show is extremely simple – we want to look at the emergence of electric cars as a dawning reality. By embarking on an ambitious journey like this one, we will be able to share with our listeners the picture across Western Europe. We'll be investigating the technology, infrastructure and political will behind the growth of EV culture.
Now, we're not certain that there are enough charging stations along the planned route, but that's exactly why the trip will be intriguing to follow. The Electric Ride team is embarking on an ambitious journey that should truly put the little Think City to the test and there's sure to be some hiccups along the way. You can follow the journey every Saturday from now until sometime in July by heading over to BBC's i-player to listen to the Internet radio broadcast in its entirety. Don't forget to hit the jump for more details on this battery-powered adventure.

[Source: Think]

PRESS RELEASE

The BBC embarks on pioneering drive around Europe in an electric car and chooses a THINK City for the journey


THINK, exclusively provided a brand new THINK City to the BBC this week, which has hired the vehicle for a pioneering documentary following the first drive of an EV around Europe, entitled BBC Electric Ride.

London, UK, 4 June, 2010

A BBC documentary team of four, led by presenter Peter Curran, leave London next week and drive straight to Harwich to catch a ferry to Denmark; before driving across the Danish islands to Norway, then onto Sweden, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and others along the way before returning to London early in July.

BBC Electric Ride senior producer, Kevin Dawson, said: "The basic premise of our show is extremely simple – we want to look at the emergence of electric cars as a dawning reality. By embarking on an ambitious journey like this one, we will be able to share with our listeners the picture across Western Europe. We'll be investigating the technology, infrastructure and political will behind the growth of EV culture."

He continued: "Our choice of car came down to practicalities. We chose the THINK City because it is a ready-to-market fully electric vehicle, with a good driving range and respectable top speed."

THINK handed the vehicle over to the Electric Ride team in London this week, and gave a top EV driving tips master-class to lead-driver Peter Curran, to help make the most of the vehicle and maximize battery range on the epic journey ahead. Some of the top tips included:
  • The intensity of battery and range use is primarily governed by the throttle, so use it wisely and watch the efficiency meter on the dash to feel for your optimum driving style, e.g. by releasing the throttle early when approaching a red traffic signal.
  • Use the 'E' or economy drive function on the transmission to maximize regenerative braking – this gathers the energy used for braking and feeds it back into the battery
  • Drive with the windows up to minimize drag
  • Carry only what you need to minimize weight – leave the golf clubs and children's bicycles at home (though there is plenty of room in the spacious trunk for such items)
  • Listen to relaxing music to ensure a patient and efficient driving style

Richard Canny, THINK CEO, said: "This is exactly the pioneering spirit that we encourage at THINK, which is why we are so happy to be supporting the BBC in this excellent project. They will prove that an EV can be just as versatile as a conventional car, but at the same time much more cost effective, efficient and friendly to the environment. Our top EV driving tips will help them along the way, and I look forward to personally welcoming the team in Oslo next week – a quarter of the way through their expedition."

BBC Electric Ride will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturdays at 1030hrs (BST / GMT +1) for four weeks from 19 June and will also be available globally on BBC i-player from the same date. The team can also be followed globally on BBC Online (www.bbc.co.uk/electricride), Facebook (www.facebook.com/BBCelectricride), Twitter (www.twitter.com/bbcelectricride) and the project website (www.electricride.eu).

Photo caption: The BBC Electric Ride team collect their THINK City at London's Marble Arch,

(L-R: producer Rose de Larrabeiti, technical presenter Richard Scrase, presenter Peter Curran and senior producer Kevin Dawson).

About THINK:

THINK is a pioneer in electric vehicles and a leader in electric vehicle technology, developed and proven over 19 years. It is one of the few companies that has a 'ready-to-market' fully electric vehicle – the THINK City. With its market-leading range, driveability and recyclability, the THINK City is the first vehicle of its type to be granted pan-European regulatory safety approval and CE certification.

THINK is also a leader in electric drive-system technology, and was the first to offer a modular and flexible EV drive-train solution in the business-to-business sector. With its Scandinavian origins and sustainability mindset, THINK is one of the most carbon efficient car companies in the world.

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