That modern life can, and often does, imitate popular art is well established, even to the point of being a cliché. Much less commonplace is life improving upon art.
Consider for, example, the popular 1956 movie, Around the World in 80 Days. In this film, two individuals use a variety of travel means to circle the globe and claim a prize of 20,000 pounds. Last November, 23 Dutch students completed their own journey around the world in 80 days—on an all-electric motorcycle called STORM Wave.
The students attend Technical University Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and call themselves STORM Eindhoven (SE). Since forming in September 2014, the group has solely focused on developing a fully electric touring motorcycle.
Jereon Bleker, spokesman for SE, says it took the group 18 months to build a prototype motorcycle, called STORM Pulse. During this time, SE received technical expertise and various parts from many suppliers. One is TE Connectivity, which provided high-performance connectors for connecting and disconnecting battery cells in the cycle’s battery pack. The connectors also enable the motorcycle to withstand high temperatures, vibration and moisture.
In addition, the supplier provided its EV series of high-voltage DC relays that are specifically designed for electric vehicles. The relays are lightweight, come in a hermetically sealed package that withstands harsh environments, and can be mounted in any orientation.
“Electric power [is] the future for driving, so the initiative was the perfect match,” says Rob Megens, sales and marketing director for industrial and commercial transportation at TE Connectivity. “[Besides] providing these talented innovators with some of the means and space to achieve their goal, [we’ll] use what we’re learning to improve our electric and electronic solutions aimed at the transport sector.”
After finishing the prototype in March 2016, SE then built two STORM Wave motorcycles over the next 5 months. These bikes were ridden a total of 23,000 kilometers as they circled the globe from Aug. 14 to Nov. 2, 2016. At the end of each day, the rider recharged the bike’s battery using the existing electricity grid.
The STORM Wave is powered by a 24-cell modular battery, with 12 cells positioned on each side of the cycle’s body in a honeycomb design. Together, the cells provide 28.5 kilowatt-hours of energy so the bike can travel up to 380 kilometers on a single charge. Each cell is individually installed or removed, making it easy for the rider to use all 24 cells, the minimum 12 or some total in
This past April, SE entered the STORM Wave in the 80-Day Race, a competition for eco-friendly vehicles inspired by the Jules Verne novel. The race starts and ends in Europe. All participants operate land-based vehicles that run on renewable resources and do not have a combustion engine. The race covers 40,000 kilometers and involves heading east to Asia, crossing the North Pacific Ocean to arrive at the west coast of North America, and traversing various landscapes towards the east coast of South America before heading back to Europe. Final results are pending.
For more information on connectors and relays for electric vehicles, call 800-522-6752 or visit www.te.com.