• 12
They're doin' it again. Over a decade after the first trip across America in an electric car was made in 1998 in an EV1, a similar odyssey has just kicked off. This morning, the gleaming white Renew America Roadtrip Tesla Roadster set off on a journey that will take it, and its support crew following behind in plug-ins and hybrids, from sea to shining sea. The trip will not only raise money for charity but also attempt to put to rest various and sundry myths about the viability of electric cars. As it was put by one of their supporters:
The Renew America Roadtrip™ (RAR) flies in the face of the "impractical" sticker that has for some long been illegitimately slapped onto the electric car. By driving across the United States in an unmodified PRODUCTION electric vehicle, the RAR team will in a very tangible, visible, and undeniable way address the myths and propaganda that have been used to "Kill the Electric Car" in the past; namely range and charging facilities.
The RAR team will make plenty of stops along the way to take part in different awareness raising events including today's visit with the West Philly Hybrid X extreme team. You can check out their website for the total list and if they happen to be passing through your area in the next couple weeks, feel free to meet up with them. As with many endeavors undertaken today, you can be their friend on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and check out their videos on YouTube. Speaking of video, hit the jump to watch two of the project's co-founders, Michael and Maddy, first meet up with Roadster #245.

[Source: Renew America Roadtrip]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      As the trip's Iowa Coordinator, I'm extremely proud of all that's been put into making this happen by so many people. If you live somewhere along the route from NYC to Detroit to Chicago to Omaha to Denver to Vegas to LA, and want to see the Roadster, drop me a line at meQme@DaughQtersoftiresias.orQg (remove Qs to despammify) and I'll let you know what showings will be in your location. And if you're lucky, you might win a raffle for a ride in the vehicle. ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Unlike the recently concluded Hydrogen Hype Tour, you won't have to haul around several refueling tankers on diesel big rigs!

      Just one question: At the end of the trip, are you going to drive the cars back, or will you do what the Hydrogen Tour people did and load them on diesel flatbed trucks to bring them back home?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Right on! I hope everything goes smoothly. :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      "When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" Such is our gasoline habit and the tendency of the narrow minded to see things from only one perspective. And speaking of "nail," I think blackbirdhighway hit is right on the head with his analogy of jet vs. car.

      Floorman - my condolences regarding your mom, but with all due respect, the physical reality most of us subscribe to has her passing as a one time life event.

      The statistics show that 90% of people drive less than 30 miles a day. That means for even limited range vehicles like plug-in hybrids or Chevy Volts, 100% of those people can easily achieve 125MPG or better - a good 5X improvement over what we are doing today, without any compromise.

      That's a MAJOR reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions - and more significantly, that can be locally generated energy including solar and wind. I assume you understand we can't keep sending our dollars abroad in search of energy, right? That solar and wind and clean coal and other USA-grown solutions can take a major bite out of our very unhealthy import / export balance.

      While I am on the subject of narrow-mindedness, consider what significant mass brainwashing convinced us all to search around for gasoline pumps on our way to work, invariably waiting in line as we sit and pump hydrocarbons into our atmosphere, when electric fuel is ubiquitously supplied to just about everywhere you can imagine, including, yes you guessed it, your home (unless you run your lights on gasoline as well?).

      What a pleasure it is to wake up each morning to find my Tesla fully charged up and ready to rumble - can you "tap off" your gasoline vehicle every night without making an inconvenient stop at the neighborhood gasoline station? (Ever wonder why they couldn't put a gasoline station at a more convenient location for you - it has something to do with the extreme environment hazard and general stink about the place).

      Rather than perpetuate the myths that "they" would have you believe, why not wake up and recognize that if it were not for the need of enormously wealthy and influential corporate entitites to continue to fuel their insatiable appetite for profits at any costs (e.g., consider some of the feeble "cleanups" of pipeline and tanker spills), we would have optimized electric or other alternative energy vehicles a long-long time ago.

      Yes, they were "practical" 10 years ago when they were running lead acid batteries - again for most applications. Consider what that 10 years would have done for storage technology if we had not let the profiteers win.

      It is not the consumers who killed the electric car - rather it is the nature of the influence that corporate america exerts over the feebleminded. Did you ever consider why your opinion seems strikingly familiar to that of the fat cats that are milking you of your hard earned money? Did you ever consider what dropping your commuting costs by a factor of 10 might do, just economically, for you and others - ignoring for a moment the environmental advantages of alternative transportation and where your money is going and who/what it is funding?

      We are not trying to fool anyone or cover anything up in the structure of our cross-country drive. We recognize at least this - our country is in trouble with our dinosaur-fuel sucking habits and each of us needs to do something to make a difference.

      Rather than continue to push an agend that in most likelihood is not even genuinly yours, why don't you wake up, look at the facts, clear the carbon emission dust from your eyes, join us and become part of the solution rather than a perpetuator of the problem.

      By the way, although it is longer that the 5 minutes or so that it takes to fill your shiny SUV with a noxious swill of petroleum, the newly announced Tesla Motors Sedan will fil to 85% of its 300 mile range in 45 minutes.

      Better place has a battery swap technology that uses bomber plane developed technology to swap out batteries in LESS time than it takes you to fill your gas tank.

      Plug in hybrids, which we also support in our campaign, are also an ideal solution, providing the range when you need it but allowing you to drive gasoline free for 90% of the time.

      Do you really believe the position you take or has someone been pumping gasoline into your head for just too many years?

      And yes, rather than just racing from point A to point B all the time with blinders on, why don't you slow down and take in some of what is going on around you - the world and the country is changing, as you can see by watching us as we drive cross-country and highlight some of the wonderful solutions that are in operation NOW - including the electric cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hi Mike!

        I love a nice cross-country trip myself and would love it if I could do it as conveniently as it can be done using gas or diesel.

        A 5-passenger electric car with a 400 mile per charge and room for luggage which I could plug in at restaurants, hotels, rest areas, and my apartment complex would cover 100 percent of my needs. Fast recharge would be nice but it is not a dealbreaker; 45 minutes would be fine since I'll either be eating or sleeping.

        Now we just need someone to pull the outlet the remaining 20 yards to the parking space. Not technically challenging at all but harder than you might imagine.

        Oh and if you can make the used ones with still good batteries under $20K that would be awesome.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Such is our gasoline habit and the tendency of the narrow minded to see things from only one perspective."

      You have given us one of your perspectives, can you elaborate on the other perspectives from which you see the issue of EV's? ICE's? Oil companies?


      "Consider what that 10 years would have done for storage technology if we had not let the profiteers win."

      What is your definition of profiteer?

      Is it okay if Tesla makes a profit from selling its cars? Is it okay if the utilities make a profit from selling the electricity?

      Did you buy your Tesla? If so, how much did you pay for it? How did you earn your money?

      What assumptions are you making about my position on EV's?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Renew America Roadtrip™ (RAR) flies in the face of the "impractical" sticker that has for some long been illegitimately slapped onto the electric car

      The RAR team will make plenty of stops along the way to take part in different awareness raising events

      Sorry but I see what they did there

      Its taking them 12 days to go across country, They have all these "awareness raising events" to stop at which I'm sure they will use to recharge the car. No one said you couldn't take a EV across country but to take 12 days to go across country in a car for most people is "impractical"

      A true test is How long does it take if all you do is stop to refuel and drive some more?

      How about this, This car and a ICE car go from NY to LA . Drive the speed limit . and no support teams following them like millions of people do every year and see how long it takes. This would be a true practically test, but I'm sure they will never try this with out some major break through in EV technology
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or, how about this: You drive your ICE car from NY to LA, while I hope on a jet and we see who gets there faster

        I would fly when i can .. But sometimes it just cost too much

        My Mom died last month in Va .. i live in South Dakota the flying cost for 5 people would have been $500 EACH So we drove .. I got all 5 and our stuff to VA and back in a week for $500 I could not have done that with a EV or flying

        Remember they said this was a way to show that EV's were PRATICAL If I drop $15,000 on a car it need to do what I believe i will do with it . one of the things is take a cross country trip If Millions of people think this will work . good for them. But remember in the movie " who killed the electric car" the #1 person ... was the customer
        • 6 Years Ago
        I dunno, 12 days to get across the entire country sounds like a pretty awesome road trip to me! My cousin and I made it from LA to Columbus (Ohio) in just 3 days, but we didn't really stop anywhere or see anything. We agreed that if we were to do it again, we'd take our time and stop several places to sightsee and such. So, if you're going for a sprint trip across the country (which sucks), a current EV might not be for you. But, if you're going on a road trip (which rocks), I don't see any disadvantage.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Amen. There's nothing practical happening here.

        I'll be impressed when an EV can roll into a charge station and roll out 90%+ recharded in less than 10 minutes.

        Great for 'round town. I'd love an EV daily driver that didn't cost $80K+.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "How about this, This car and a ICE car go from NY to LA . Drive the speed limit . and no support teams following them like millions of people do every year and see how long it takes. This would be a true practically test, but I'm sure they will never try this with out some major break through in EV technology"

        Or, how about this: You drive your ICE car from NY to LA, while I hope on a jet and we see who gets there faster. This would prove conclusively that the ICE is not practical for long distance travel without some major breakthrough in ICE technology. Heck, I bet the jet would even be cheaper.

        For extra credit, in part two we will extend the trip from LA to Honolulu. Hope your ICE can swim!

        Just because a product has some limitation in some application doesn't mean it's not useful. There are millions upon millions of people who drive there cars everyday without crossing the country (or driving to Hawaii), and most of them would find that an electric car would work just fine for their needs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Reading the article I was just waiting for a comment like this! :o)

        But I must agree, unfortunately! As much as I love EVs it's a tiny bit like this fool cell tour. But doesn't matter - if this is the only negative side - who cares!