Abu Dhabi-UAE: January 10, 2013 – Today, an electric-powered motorcycle that can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds – faster than a Porsche 911 – visited Masdar City. Called the Zerotracer, the fully enclosed motorcycle was showcased to students and faculty at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, many of whom are conducting research on electric vehicles and other sustainable transportation technologies.
The Zerotracer is designed by the Swiss engineering company Designwerk. It has a top speed of 240 km/h and can travel 300 km on a single charge.
“It makes perfect sense to have a zero-emission electric vehicle at Masdar City, a sustainable urban development where the electricity is obtained from solar energy,” said Naser Almarzooqi, Head of Facilities Management at Masdar City. “The values of environmental stewardship, innovation and entrepreneurship that inspired the designers of the Zerotracer are the same values that drive the students and faculty at Masdar Institute. Innovations such as those found in the Zerotracer are necessary to advance sustainable transportation technologies and make them more accessible.”
The vehicle set a record for distance covered by an electric car in February 2011 by traveling 30,000 kilometres in 80 days as part of the Zero Emission Race. The race featured four zero emission vehicles and the route took teams through Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
Making its first tour of the Middle East, the Zerotracer will be showcased at the sixth World Future Energy Summit from 15 -17 January 2013 during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
“Abu Dhabi’s leadership in renewable energy and sustainability is well-known throughout the world, making it a great fit for a zero-emission vehicle like the Zerotracer,” said Tobias Wülser, one of the designers of the Zerotracer. “The research and innovations in clean technology taking place at Masdar are laying the foundation for a more sustainable future.”
Masdar has been piloting various sustainable transportation solutions. Its Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system of electric-powered, automated vehicles has been in operation since 2010. The innovative system reached a milestone of having served 500,000 passengers in November 2012.
Masdar has also been working in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to test the viability of electric vehicles and assess the impact of climate conditions on their battery capacity. There are currently 10 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicles in operation at Masdar City.
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, a graduate-level research university focused on renewable energy and sustainable technologies, has several research projects currently underway, exploring sustainable transportation technologies.
Masdar Institute’s collaborative partnership project with Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport (DoT) seeks to evaluate sustainable transportation planning options for the emirate and investigate the feasibility of large-scale deployment of electric vehicles. Another project titled ‘Embedded, Mobile and Cloud Computing Systems for Intelligent Vehicles’ aims to develop pluggable systems and devices that can be interoperated and connected to back-end cloud platforms by mobile wireless networks. The outcome of this research project is expected to enable a variety of sustainable transportation tracking, monitoring and optimization applications.
The ‘Electric Vehicle Optimization, Fleet Management, and Battery Modeling’ project is exploring ways to optimize the charging schedules with respect to dynamic fleet requests, battery states, temperature, and electrical grid status. A project on ‘Mobility Analysis, Car-sharing Mechanisms and Transportation Planning’ seeks to analyze the impact to mobility patterns and behavior with respect to transportation planning and car-sharing mechanisms in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will be the largest gathering on sustainability in the history of the Middle East. Convening more than 30,000 participants from 150 countries, the week’s events will gather leaders from academia, industry and government to tackle the business, technology and financial challenges facing sustainable development and renewable energy adoption.