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Trev is powered by the wind

A requirement of our participation in Zero Race is that we source 100% green power for our drive around the world. Being an electric car powered by renewable energy, our circumnavigation will effectively be emission free.

In reality, we will be charging from various electric grids along our circumnavigation route, and the energy we consume will be a mixture of coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind and solar generation. In effect we’ll be consuming a mixture of renewable and non-renewable energy but offsetting that with 100% renewable energy.

Trev requires approximately 70 Wh/km, so a 30,000km trip will consume approximately 2,100kWh (2.1MWh) of energy.

New Zealand based utility TrustPower has kindly donated this amount of green power to Team Trev, in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates and a cash donation. The energy will be sourced from TrustPower’s 98.7MW Snowtown Wind Farm in South Australia. This wind farm consists of 2.1MW wind turbines, so the amount of energy required to drive Trev around the world is generated by a single turbine in just one hour (at full power).

Team Trev is very grateful for TrustPower for its contribution towards our Zero Race campaign.

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I thought you were overseas?

Recently, people we meet have been surprised to see us. They think we should be overseas somewhere, driving Trev around the world.

We still have a few months to go before Zero Race starts. The reason you haven’t seen us about lately is that the technical team has been spending a lot of time in the workshop preparing Trev for the big drive, and the logistics team has been busy doing everything else we need to do to prepare for the trip.

We have made good progress with Trev:

  • fitted a new motor, wheel and suspension assembly to the rear of the car
  • developed a new motor controller for our new brushless motor
  • designed and almost finished building an improved suspension for the front of the car
  • designed and are building a simpler, lighter electrical system, based on microprocessor controlled nodes communicating on a serial CAN bus
  • designed and built a new dash display, with a 7-inch LCD monitor
  • improved the canopy and hinge mechanism.

We have also made good progress outside the workshop:

  • established a blog (you’re reading it!) and a mailing list
  • secured some enthusiastic sponsors (but we still need a few more)
  • formed an incorporated non-profit association (Team Trev Incorporated)
  • opened a bank account
  • made a short video clip—there are more coming
  • had Trev on display in Rundle Mall, at the Tour Down Under, and at the CleverGreen conference, with plenty of coverage on TV, in the press, and on the web
  • organised a public talk by Zero Race director and Solar Taxi driver, Louis Palmer
  • made dozens of lists of all the things we have to do before, during and after the race.

There is still plenty more to be done, both in the workshop and in the “office”. (We don’t really have an office—we use email, Google Wave and other internet tools to communicate, and occasionally meet at events or in cafes.

It is a lot of effort, but we think it is worth it.

Trev, the “build it yourself, power it yourself” car

Since unveiling Trev in 2005 we have had many enquiries from people wanting to build their own.

Our aim has always been to demonstrate the idea and encourage others to build upon and improve our ideas. The car we drove from Darwin to Adelaide in 2007 was simple and effective, but there was still plenty of room for improvement. In July 2009, Matt Green from Melbourne gave us a kick along by setting up a web site—Trevipedia—on which we could document our good ideas, and enthusiasts from around the globe could help improve the design.

Trev is an “open source” car. Plans and design details are freely available online on Trevipedia, and we encourage everyone to use our designs to design and build their own Trevs, and to share any improvements and ideas with other “Trev Heads”.

Building a roadworthy car is not an easy undertaking, but we are continually improving the design to make it as simple as possible. Ultimately, we hope someone will develop kits or even complete vehicles.

A key advantage of Trev is that it uses a lot less energy than conventional cars. This means that not only can you build it yourself, you can also power it yourself. An average daily commute in Adelaide is 32 km, and will require about 2 kWh of energy to recharge. A 500 W photovoltaic panel on the roof of your house will generate enough electricity each year to keep you mobile.

Imagine that. A car you can build yourself and power yourself.

New financial supporters of Team Trev

We’re delighted to welcome onboard the following financial supporters for Team Trev:

Team Trev is a non-profit team which depends entirely on the generosity of others, whether that’s direct financial supporters, in-kind supporters or volunteers. We are most grateful to EcoGreen Electrical, Design Ecology and Keith for stepping forward to support us financially.

If you are interested in becoming a Team Trev supporter, please see details here and get in touch if you’d like to discuss it with us.

The evolution of Team Trev

A quick update on the evolution of Team Trev.

Since establishing Team Trev we’ve been working hard to create the foundation for the team, to appoint people to key positions, to determine the funding strategy, and to develop and coordinate the many work streams required to upgrade Trev and ultimately take it around the world in Zero Race. There’s much to do.

So far we’ve filled several key team positions:
• Team Director – Andrew
• Technical Manager – Peter
• Logistics Manager – Amie

We have the informal assistance of Matt and Jo for commercial matters, and the formal assistance of Heather with media and publicity. We are still keen to appoint a Commercial Manager and a Marketing Manager to drive these important areas, so if you’re interested please get in touch.

Peter has presented to the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (SA Branch) to solicit technical team members, and has had his first meeting with his nascent technical team to plan and commence the upgrades to Trev. We are fortunate to already have some excellent technical members onboard.

Commercially, we’ve determined that we need to register as an incorporated (non profit) association, and we’re finalising our rules of association. We’ve also just finished our Sponsorship Prospectus and we’re in discussions with a number of potential sponsors.

We’ve learned from the Zero Race organisers that the race now starts in Shanghai on July 1, rather than in Geneva, which shortens our shipping time and increases our preparation time. We’re pondering a long drive in Australia (perhaps Adelaide-Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney) in April/May to provide a technical shakedown, to give our Australian sponsors the opportunity to get more involved and to allow more people to drive Trev. We’d ship Trev from Sydney directly to Shanghai. Stay tuned for more details.

If you would like to join Team Trev and contribute your skills and time, please do get in touch.

Team Trev is born

After a month of consideration, Team Trev was officially born last Friday.

The University of South Australia (UniSA) will lend Trev to the new independent team “Team Trev”, which will upgrade the car, campaign it in Zero Race, then return it to UniSA.

There’s much to be done. Technically, we need to add more batteries to extend Trev’s range, fit a new motor and controller, add a new battery management system and onboard battery charger, upgrade the brakes and suspension, improve the instrumentation, re-hinge the canopy, add a rear passenger seat, add a windscreen cleaning system, and get the car registered.

Financially, we need to bring onboard the Sponsors and Benefactors who will help fund our Zero Race campaign, and plan fundraising events which can enable the wider community to support us.

Logistically, we need to start planning all the aspects of a long overseas race including personnel transport, car transport, food, accommodation, driving rosters, driver training, car registration, visas, navigation … and so much more.

Zero Race will be an incredible event, taking us through at least 20 countries in a race around the world in 80 days. Publicity events are planned in major cities including Paris, Munich, Vienna, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, New York, Montreal and London.

Trev will compete alongside a variety of great electric vehicles including Tesla Roadsters, various small electric cars and several electric motorbikes. One thing is guaranteed—we’re going to attract a lot of attention wherever we go!

If you’d like to be part of the action, we’d love to have you join us.