RACING GREEN

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Date: January 2011
Location: Alaska to Argentina
Distributor: BBC World News (January 2011) – 8 x 23 min.
Credits: directed, filmed & produced by Claudio von Planta
Additional cameramen: Paul Jackson, Kevin Augello, Jonathan Richards
Editors: Julia Frater, Paul Jackson, Robert Alexander, Jonathan Richards

RACING GREEN is a 8 x 23min BBC World News TV series about 8 Imperial College engineering graduates from London who built the first electric car in history that succeeded to drive the 26,000 km long Pan-American Highway from Alaska to Argentina – it’s a world record and proofs that electric vehicles are ready to replace petrol cars.


The Racing Green Endurance project was the brain child of Alex Schey, a 22 year old mechanical engineering graduate who wanted to show how and why electric cars will offer the best sustainable transport solution for the future.
 
During his studies at Imperial College in London Alex worked with fuel cell technology and was part of the Imperial Racing Green team where they built and raced fuel cell go-carts. After that experience Alex concluded that fuel cells are far too complicated, delicate and expensive to ever compete against current combustion engines. Alex felt strongly that pure electric cars will stand the best chance to replace petrol powered transport because electric cars are simple, reliable and in mass-production they could also be cheap.
 
Unfortunately electric cars are usually associated with golf buggies or milk floats and most people have range anxiety. Alex wanted to change that boring and negative image and show that electric cars could easily be very fast, sexy and exiting –  most importantly: latest battery technology can also offer a very big range.
 
In January 2009 Alex initiated the Racing Green Endurance project. He formed a team with 8 engineering colleagues and they convinced Radical Sportscar to convert one of their SR-8 racing cars into an electric supercar with 400 horse power, and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds and an range of over 500 km with an average speed of 80 km/h.
 
In October 2009 I got involved with the filming of the Racing Green project when they started the conversion of the Radical SR-8 into an electric SR-0. In March 2010 the car was ready for test drives and in May 2010 they got the ‘road legal’ certificate.
 
To test the reliability of the SR-0 technology and to proof the long range of this electric super car Alex and his colleagues decided to drive the longest road in the world the 26,000 km long Pan-American Highway. On the 1st of July 2010 we flew out to Alaska and started our epic transcontinental journey. In 70 driving days the team reached Ushuaia in Argentina, the most southern city in the world.
 
It has been a privilege to have been part of this impressive electric car world record.

 

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