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Today we will finally kick-off our ‘ZEM goes USA’ tour to which we have been very much looking forward. With a team of 13 students from different disciplines, we have travelled off to the USA to make this tour a great success. During our tour, will be visiting universities, companies and authorities and inspire everyone with what we have achieved: building ZEM.

In the last couple of months we have been in contact with many inspirational people to schedule the activities for our tour. Together with them, we are shaping the future of sustainable mobility.

Within TU/ecomotive we are used to handling unexpected situations, but this is one that is out of our hands. In the past week our team has been dealing with the new information that Zem will not be joining us on the west coast for the first half of the tour. Due to the extreme delay of the boat that Zem currently is still on, it is not possible to get Zem from New York to San Francisco in time for the tour to start. The odds cannot always be in our favor and we can really say we tried everything we can to get Zem here in time. With the boat scheduled to arrive on the 21st of August and it now arriving on the 6th of September, we can say this was very bad luck with the boat.

As Bart van Grevenhof, the representative from the TU/e that will be joining us once said, we are the hot chocolate and Zem is the whipped cream. This may not make sense without any explanation so please let me: hot chocolate is the base and everybody will be very happy if they get offered some hot chocolate. Ask them if they want it with or without whipped cream, and almost all of them will say they would like it with. We believe that our very motivated and enthusiastic team is the base (hot choc) and that Zem is a great addition (whipped cream), but does not make the team less worthy.

Because it will not be possible to have Zem on the west coast from the beginning of our tour, we have decided to split up into two teams – one big team on the west coast and a smaller team on the east coast – that will meet and join each other in the middle of the tour in Austin. The team on the west coast will kick of the tour in San Francisco on the 5th of September without Zem and the team on the east coast will be waiting for Zem to arrive and will pick it up on the 8th of September. The east coast team will then kick of their own additional mini-tour before joining the rest of the team in Austin.

As said, the two teams will meet on the 21st of September in Austin and will continue their journey together from there. But every negative has its positive and so does this extreme delay of the boat. Because we have to split up our team, this will mean that we can do twice as many activities, which will make our impact two times as big and we can inspire double the amount of people!

On the 8th of September we will be hosting a webinar about our first impressions in the USA and we will talk to partners that helped us realise this dream, make sure to be there! Also make sure to keep an eye on our website and socials for more updates about the “ZEM goes USA” tour.