Tokyo Denki U. Team "Around The World" In Electric Toyota Starlet Turns Back.

[ To read the details about this miss-adventure, pick up the latest issue of Electrifying Times at newsstands or send away for a copy by subscribing. Ed. ]

Since we went to press this is the latest message we received from Japan:

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 1999 5:22 AM
Dear Mr. Meland:

They've certainly reached at Nowosibirsk in Russia and all the necessarily procedures had been finished except waiting for their solar-EV for a month which was supposed to be carried by train.

They were allowed to drive in Russia, too. But they had to wait for the vehicle.

The solar EV is scheduled to be exhibited at Tokyo Motor Show in mid October, so that they had to give up to wait and came back to Tokyo. That's it.

Before their departure from Nowosibirsk, they've finished all the procedure. The vehicle will be carried by train and ship. It'll take almost 40 days to get back to Yokohama port. Probably by the beginning of October.

One of the significant points of this experiment was that they completed to across the Gobi desert. The total mileage of Gobi desert they completed was almost 700 miles. Prof.Fujinaka said that the vehicle run excellent and there was no problem at all.

He will try again next summer, next time they will ship the vehicle in Russia FIRST and drive along the railroad in Russia.

This is a supplementary explanation.

Probably there must be some kind of regulations, but the main reason of this incident is Russian boarder's slack operation and the team didn't have precise and careful plan in advance.

The crew themselves cleared through the customs but a customs officer never get the vehicle through the customs formalities immediately.

I hope this will be enough information for you.

Mailing address is as follows:

Masanori Omatsu
Department of Planning & Research
Tokyo Denki University
2-2 Kanda-Nishiki-cho Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-8457
Phone:+81-3-5280-3411
fax:+81-3-5280-3566
e-mail: mailto:omatsu@jim.dendai.ac.jp
HP:
http://www.dendai.ac.jp

TOKYO DENKI UNIVERSITY TEAM HEADED AROUND THE WORLD IN AN ELECTRIC TOYOTA STARLET.

On July 5th 1999  a group of Electronics Engineering Students from Tokyo Denki University, headed by Professor Masaharu Fujinaka,  embarked on a 12,000 mi round the world trip in a Toyota Starlet Electric Vehicle.  The 1300cc Toyota Starlet was converted to electric power by a class of Electronic Engineering students in 1966.

They headed west to the port city of Kobe where they boarded a ferry to China. They arrived in Beijing on July 12 and are crossing China with hopes of arriving Moscow around the Aug 22. And then to Warsaw Poland, Berlin and on to Antwerp Belgium where they will board a ship to New York. From NY they will travel to Hamilton Ontario, Canada,   Detroit, Minneapolis,  Denver,  Salt Lake City,  and then on to Los Angeles by mid October. They want to demonstrate that the 21rst Century will be the age of the electric car.


You can follow their progress on their website www.d.dendai.ac.jp/sev/world/worldindex_e.htm  After celebrations and interviews they will again board a ship and back to Japan in time for fall school activities.


Electrifying Times will be doing a feature story in the next special edition due out in late August.  
Mailing address is as follows:

Masanori Omatsu
Department of Planning & Research
Tokyo Denki University
2-2 Kanda-Nishiki-cho Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 101-8457
Phone:+81-3-5280-3411
fax:+81-3-5280-3566
mailto:omatsu@jim.dendai.ac.jp
HP: http://www.dendai.ac.jp