On your mark, get set, drive green! A few determined students from the University of British Columbia are aiming to set a record for the fastest coast-to-coast drive across Canada in an electric vehicle. And not just any electric vehicle – they’re making the trek in a homemade electrified classic Volkswagen Beetle.
Their journey began last week as they set off from Vancouver to complete the 4,000-mile journey. Getting them there is the E-Beetle, a 1972 Bug the UBC Electric Car Club converted to run on electricity. Powered by a three-phase AC induction motor that’s hooked up to a lithium iron phosphate battery, the E-Beetle can go about 185 miles when cruising at 60 mph and 340 miles at 30 mph. If involved in a high-speed chase, the car can reach a top speed of around 85 mph. It takes four hours to recharge and it comes equipped four wheel discs with regenerative braking.
It’s a long drive, but these students are prepared. They’ve planned ahead and mapped out places to spend the night and plug in the car. There’s even a team blog you can follow that charts their progress.