It has been some time since our last post, due mainly to difficulties communicating with our drivers and due to our drivers having such limited time for anything other than driving, exhibiting, maintenance and (limited) sleep.
We intend to “in-fill” with blog posts soon about specific anecdotes from recent weeks, just as soon as Mic and Nick return from Europe with heads full of stories and cameras full of photos. In the meantime, here’s a quick summary.
After sustaining damage to our suspension in transit from Australia, we pulled Trev out of Zero Race for several days to work intensively in a workshop in Berlin. This work successfully repaired the suspension and some Battery Management System issues, meaning that Trev could re-join Zero Race when the cars arrived in Berlin. Time very well spent.
Trev drove from Germany to Austria, where Team Trev benefactor Michael Vawser joined us for a day and drove Trev from Vienna to Budapest to Debrecen. He had a fabulous time and will post a blog entry here soon.
From Debrecen we crossed into the Ukraine, notably drove through Kiev, then north east into Moscow. The day’s drive into Moscow was a massive one, 600 km in total, and we arrived exhausted at 6am. Dickson Beattie joined us in Tula, and will be our main driver all the way through to Shanghai. Great to have a fresh driver in the cockpit after the exhausting first few weeks of Zero Race. We’ve even heard that the race has informally been renamed “Zero Sleep”!
Trev is now driving very well. At 220 km the range between recharges is slightly less than we expected and calculated, and there are a number of technical tweaks we’re working on to increase the range, but with top-up charges we’re managing well. The roads are deteriorating as we head deeper into Russia, but the Zero Race participants generally have a police escort now, which is reassuring, and the welcome from the towns and cities we’re visiting is extremely warm and hospitable. The three teams are getting on really well with each other, too, and are helping each other to resolve technical problems with all three vehicles and the Zero Race support vehicle.
Tomorrow we will cross from Russia into Kazakhstan, then a week later we’ll enter north western China and drive across China to Shanghai.