|At the morning departure at Mendrisio's "Mercato Coperto" (of ExpoVEL
fame), drivers listen attentively to the traditional morning briefing.
Getting the route details on the briefing
Lightweight electric vehicles
|Several new participants joined the event in Mendrisio, including
electric bicycles and "lightweight electric vehicles" which are popular
|The first leg of the day went to Bellinzona, where the castle rock
provided a dramatic background for the vehicles. Bellinzona is the seat
of the cantonal government of Ticino, which at this occasion announced
officially to extend the pilot project in Mendrisio to the whole canton.
The "Piazza del Sole" in Bellinzona, Switzerland
The electric bicycle team of the Vrije Universiteit
Brussel: Frederic Dalle, Robin Lataire and Professor Philippe Lataire
|Electrically assisted bicycles took also part: the VUB team, led
by Prof. Philippe Lataire, Brussels responsible of the E-TOUR
project, which demonstrates several hundreds of electric bicycles and
scooters on different European sites. Physical condition of the bikers
during the trip was monitored in collaboration with the Physical Education
faculty of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
The hybrid Toyota Prius provided the bicycles with freshly charged
Hybrid assists hybrid!
|From Bellinzona, the ascent of the Gotthard was started, with a
charging pause at Airolo (elevation 1100 m) Another 1000 metres to go to
Charging in Airolo
On top of the Gotthard
|The weather conditions at the top (2091 m elevation) were appalling:
fog, snow, and 3°C, and this in the middle of July! Nevertheless, all
vehicles made it safely and were able to regenerate energy in the descent
A special mention of the electrically assisted bicycles, which allowed
their riders to overcome the mountain without having to be a professional