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Quietest road race ever? Croatia hosts electric vehicle rally in May

Nikola Tesla would be proud. In May, Croatia will host its first electric car rally that winds from the northern coast to the capital Zagreb through some of the country's most scenic spots. The route includes a visit to electricity pioneer Tesla's hometown too.

The Nikola Tesla EV Rally 2014 starts May 27 and will be divided into five legs that cover some 530 miles. It starts in the coastal town of Pula in the north, heading south to the mountain village Smiljan where Tesla was born, Krka National Park and Zadar on the coast before heading inland and north to the capital Zagreb.

Over five days, electric car and motorcycle drivers will pass through three national parks -- Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes and Krka -- as well as resort towns like Optaija and Rovinj. Each leg of the journey is short, covering just about 100 miles each day.

But how far can electric vehicles go? Specially designed fast-charging stations, ones that charge a car in about an hour and a half, will be installed every 40 miles along the way, an announcement this week from the Croatian National Tourist Board says. Panels on the stations also provide interactive information for tourists too.

Croatia's tourism agency is calling the route the Green Tourism Highway in a bid to promote not just electric cars but "Croatian tourism, ecological sustainability and innovation," and it's out to make the rally an annual event.

Mary.Forgione@latimes.com
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