After another 70 km drive we reached our hotel in Cloppenburg to get some rest for the next day and the stage from Leer to Harlingen in the Netherlands! We left Cloppenburg early this morning. We charged overnight at Hotel Schlömer. To get to Leer which was our last stop in Germany we had to travel about 70 kilometres which was no problem in our MIA, for any of the vehicles in the field. But it turned out to be a big challenge for us because the next stage from Leer to Harlingen was a whopping distance of 160 kilometres! We were given three hours to top up. In Leer we also had to face our next competition, “Biggest Luggage Compartment”. The competition was won by E-Wolf. After charging and having lunch in Leer we went off to take some pictures close by at some wind turbines. The next day will be the last one. Tomorrow we will have driven more than 2,600 kilometres from Genova to Amsterdam powered by regenerative energy only! A big thanks to Moss Solar for providing the energy for our team!
We left Strasburg to get to Kit Uni Campus South for 10am, where we had a welcoming group, awards and photo shoot. We had a nice lunch and a tour. We then for Mannhein where we arrived at the water tower. We had an award ceremony and were honoured to enter the water tower where we had coffee and cakes. We did some shopping as the shopping was 2/3rds cheaper. We charged fully as we had a 85 km drive to Oberursel where we stayed the night.
This was a demanding day for our Team. The day started with a speed test. Katherine Foat, our Team GB Navigator was tested on how fast the MIA car could accelerate to a given point marked on the road by the judges. The time was 7.92 secs. In first place was the Lotus Sun car (300 BHP) in 4.06 sec! Katherine then drove all the way to Freiburg with the camera man. Here we had a nice reception lunch with the press. We then drove to Schramberg where we had a welcome by the city mayor and other press. After this we drove directly to Strassbourg in France crossing the border where we stayed the night. There was a welcome by the city mayor and the press.
Today we stopped at the Swiss car show in Basel. We had time to test drive the new electric smart car and also see the first Zoe electric Renault. We had a look around town then drove to Eimeldingen for our night stop. The city of Basel was holding an expo event. The WAVE 2012 was part of this event. After the event we drove to Eimeldingen for the evening.
We left the Holiday Inn in the afternoon to arrive in Solothurn for 1.30pm. There was a reception and a press conference followed by a tour of the town. We left the MIA car charging, then once fully charged we drove to our overnight stop in Gelterkinden to see Ralph Schnyder the founder of the Twike. We had a great BBQ and a presentation of how the Twike project started.
Today was a very interesting day starting early with a presenation at a local school in Kussnacht where hundreds of students were briefed on the technical specifications of each WAVE car entry. This was folled up by a guided tour of the location where William Tell killed Hohle Gasse in a narrow pass between marsh lands. I also got to play Williams son. An apple was placed on my head and a guy who looked like William Tell shot an arrow into it! Very disturbing, he managed to avoid hitting my head and a clean hole in the apple was the result. After this shock we moved on in our MIA electric car to a lake side hotel where we had an amazing lunch. Our next stop was KWO in interkirchen at 1100 meters above sea level, followed by a hill climb to the hotel Steingletscher where we had an evening meal followed by a treck to the glacier. That evening we also had a chance to watch the WAVE presentation of 2011, that was a fun reminder of last years Rally.
Another Action packed day for the WAVE team, We managed to arrive at the correct time collecting 10 points at the Mosnanh high school where all the teams gave a presentation to 150 students. Lots of fun talking about the MIA and our trip so far from London. Great to see so many happy people in one place! From here we popped in to see Renault Switzerland to see the new range of electric cars the group were making. From here we headed towards Siemens where we had a tour of the building and PV plant charging the electric cars. Most impressed with the environmental energy system on the building. They seem to be reducing the carbon footprint by over 17% in one year alone. With a staff level of over 450 employees it looks very impressive. Massive thanks to Siemens for making our Team GB welcome! 🙂 After this we were all invited for the Evening at St. Andreas Castle, Cham, Switzerland.