News item

Professional burglars - By Senja Boom

Sacramento, October 4, 2016

After a night far too short for my taste we unfortunately had to say goodbye to Barb and Larry, our hosts. We took a final team picture with Barb and a giant Seahawks flag and were on our way. Most of us at least. A few of us stayed behind to see of the last batteries would be delivered, but they weren't. UPC officially lost them. Our team members came to this conclusion and were ready to go when they discovered that our cars lock themselves after a short period of inactivity. A practical feature, except when you leave your keys in your car. The other cars, carrying the spare key, were already 500 km ahead, so our people were stranded. Luckily Hertz has a couple of professional burglars in service who will break into your car for $100, so it only took one phone call and a few dollars and we were all on our way again.

In the meantime the rest of the team had arrived at Sapa, one of our main partners responsible for the aluminum profiles in our battery packs. Now in addition they organized an amazing lunch. We had American sandwiches, chips and huge-ass donuts. While we were eating the Sapa employees dressed us in bright blue Sapa shirts with STORM logos and got really enthusiastic about the motorcycle. Our team members got just as excited when they got to dress up like construction workers with bright orange jackets, helmets, glasses, earplugs and shoes that were way too big. All of these were necessary for a tour around the extrusion facility, where we got to see how big blocks of aluminum were extruded to aluminum profiles.

We were a bit disappointed when we had to leave before we got to the tour of their second building, but we had to go, because we could not keep the mayor of Sacramento waiting. The event planned turned out to be relatively small, and it was only the mayor, Peter van Deventer and a small public of used-to-be Dutch people. We didn't make as much impact here as we did at the primary schools in China, but it was interesting to see how much effort the state of California has put into the realization of e-mobility.

After the event we were all tired and cold, so we were happy to get to the sleeping venue. The Calstate University gave us access to an unlimited buffet of burgers, pizza's, fries, tater tots and some salad. Of course we all ate way too much, so after dinner we finished charging and grocery shopping and went to our double sized beds in the university hotel. The end of another long but satisfying day.

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