Team Italia overcomes all obstacles in China

The world tour in 80 days can be defined as an adventure against the clock; respecting the speed limits, the prohibition of driving during the night (as defined by the 80edays stewards) and particularly keeping an eye on the range. To save range the cruise control is between 60km/h and 100km/h, even on the highway. Differing temperatures of 35°C (passing from 49°C in the shade of the Gobi Desert to 13°C at Lake Sayram in Xinjiang with heavy rain and winds). The stay in China has been particularly intercultural and of a lesson at a personal level for Carolina and Federico. The excitement and happiness of the Chinese seeing the cars and the teams is indescribable.

July 20: {Changsha – Nanyang} Strong winds cause two small trucks to tip over perpendicularly to the lanes on the highway, blocking the chaotic traffic 50Km after Changsha. Team Italia therefore loses precious time, having to drive 765Km with one charging stop in-between.

July 21: {NanyangXi’an} 40°C and 570Km that are travelled mostly at a speed of 90km/h on the highway. During the entire route Team Italia is followed by two cars of the Chinese television for a documentary about 80edays. While in the car, together with Carolina and Federico, a girl responsible for the live streaming interviews informs herself why the Italian Team has decided to participate in this adventure. Arrival in Xi’an in the evening, a city of great importance that has been the capital of 13 dynasties, and where the furthest Oriental part of the Silk Road ends.

July 22: {Xi’an} The entire day is spent at City Gate for an event organized by the Environment Minister of the city of Xi’an. During this, 800 people interested in our trip and in electric mobility, came to assist and listen to various participants of the 80edays.

July 23: {Xi’anTian Shui} Team Italia, together with Team Austria and Team Switzerland II visits the famous Museum of the Terracotta Soldiers, where more than 6.000 symbolic statues can be found – these served the emperor around 230 b.C. The trip then continues towards Tian Shui: one of the cities of the province of Gansu, which is located along the Weicon River with more than one million inhabitants.

July 24: {Tian ShuiWu Wei} From this day onwards, all Teams are obliged to stay in the 500m radius of Team Spain where the guide is seated (for law all cars with foreign plates are obliged to have one – in this case one guide for all 80edays participants). Arrival in Wu Weiin the evening, a city dominated by three highlands: Loess, Tibet and Mongolia, with altitudes between 1,000 and almost 4,700 meters.

July 25: {Wu WeiJiuyuquan} At 9:15am all teams leave with a start like in the 24h of Le Mans, where pilots and copilots lined up 20m from their cars to then, after the “GO”, run towards them and start their day driving one behind the other. After 480Km, with an intermediate charging stop, all teams reach Jiuyuquan. This city has more than one million inhabitants and is located along the Silk Road and the petrol field of Yumen and the Dunhuang Oasis.

July 26: {JiuyuquanHa Mi} 799Km in only one (long and never-ending) day. All Teams, one behind the other, had to charge their cars twice during the day – during which the second charging spot in the middle of nowhere at a deserted and abandoned service station.

July 27: {Ha Mi – Ürümqi} 49°C in the shade: the Teams charge their cars in the Gobi Desert. Due to the unbearable heat, the electricity cable catches fire, therefore blocking the charging of the cars and delaying their leaving time towards Jinghe. In the meantime, Carolina, together with Team Austria and Team Switzerland II, visits the Kumtag Desert, where the temperature reached 62°C. After 510Km the arrival in the evening in Ürümqi, with excited fans and various Chinese TV stations. All the cars are left in the garage for a check-up during the night, as the conditions of the Chinese roads are disastrous.

July 28: {ÜrümqiJinghe} An accident for Team Switzerland II that did not manage to avoid the “work in progress” sign in the middle of the street and for several meters brings the heavy steel sign with them. The front, right side and right mirror are damaged, as well as the entire air-conditioning system. All Teams move to the emergency lane with the emergency indicators, trying to help the Swiss. The car is then provisionally wrapped with tape at the next charging stop and then temporarily repaired at night in a garage in the city of Jinghe.

Fortunately, for Team Italia’s vehicle there have not been big complications (except for the broken air conditioning in Kansas). While already four teams have had accidents or problems of a certain kind: a collision between two Teams, the unseen sign for Team Switzerland II and problems for Team Switzerland I. For the Roadster of this last mentioned one, there has been a rupture of the electric motor, obliging them to lose eight days in the United States as well as the plane from Los Angeles to Guangzhou. Now the Team is still half-way through China and is trying to catch-up with the others.

July 29: {JingheKhorgos} A farewell event in Khorgos for all 80edays Teams to celebrate their travels in China during two-and-a-half weeks.

July 30: {China – Kazakhstan} Cold looks from the Chinese police and six long hours of wait during the various suitcase, passport and documents control at the border between China and Kazakhstan.

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