Published on January 19th, 2015 | by Steve Hanley

Take the 80 Day Race Sustainability Challenge!

Jules Verne started it all with his iconic book Around the World in Eighty Days, which tells the tale of a wealthy London businessman daring to circumnavigate the globe in an unbelievably short (for 1872) 80 days. Today, a group of entrepreneurs and adventurers are extending the same challenge to you. Here’s what they have to say:

Dear pioneer,

Is it possible to circumnavigate the globe in less than eighty days, using the newest technology, free of fossil fuels and combustion engines?

Teams will race between 8 of the most exciting locations around the world. They will choose their own routes and means of transport. All land-, water- and air vehicles are allowed as long as it runs on renewable resources and does not contain a combustion engine.

The 80 Day Race project is inspired by Jules Verne’s book Around The World In 80 Days, betting that new means of transportation make it possible to achieve this challenge. At that time in 1873, steam powered vehicles were about to replace horses. Today, we’re facing another tipping point in the history of transportation with the first mass market electric vehicles being available. We want to accelerate the transition towards zero emission mobility through an 80 day race around the world.

We raise you a challenge! Will you leave a lasting legacy and help propel humanity into a sustainable future?

The race will  begin in Europe in April of 2016, then wend its way through Asia to China, before crossing the Pacific to North America. From there, the teams will visit South America before crossing the Atlantic to finish back in Europe. There will be stops along the way in major cities for rest and recreation.

But before you can race, you must qualify. Each team will complete an 80 kilometer qualifying race using a non-combustion engine powered vehicle. That vehicle must also be used on one of the legs of the actual race. The winners will be the team that completes the qualifying race and the round the world competition in the shortest time.

According to the organizers, “The basic rules and regulations that teams have to meet are designed to stimulate creativity, innovation and inventiveness.” And yes, this is a business proposition, as was Phineas Fogg’s original bet with the members of London’s Reform Club. Each team will have a member of the production company ride along to record the race, much like in the TV series Survivor. The organizers are betting that media companies will pay for the privilege of broadcasting the race.

Are you up for the challenge? Request your official rules and entry package and get started planning your own personal eco-friendly, sustainable, around the world challenge.

80DR Map

 



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About the Author

Steve Hanley is a travel writer living in Rhode Island. I have traveled throughout the United States as well as Australia, Hong Kong, Europe and the Caribbean. I write about travel, automobiles and sustainability. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.



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