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Taking on challenges that push the boundaries of today's vehicles is something that automotive enthusiasts do – it's human nature.

For electric vehicles, the challenge typically involves some sort of long-distance road trip. That's just what the MindDrive team has in mind. The idea of a proper road trip is one that has them driving their electric prototype from San Diego, CA to Jacksonville, FL.

The electric vehicle that will attempt this 2,400-mile journey is based on the chassis of a Lola IndyCar. MindDrive says the vehicle tops out at 60 miles per hour and is expected to have a real-world range of 100 miles per charge. To enable the electric Lola to cross the U.S., MindDrive will make it quick-charge capable and says it will only need to stop around two dozen times during the 2,400-mile trek. The team isn't waiting for quick-charging infrastructure to be in place, either: a mobile charging station will follow the Lola along the entire route (a tactic other long-distance EV and hydrogen drivers will be familiar with).

Throughout the journey the team will stop at schools to educate students and other enthusiastic individuals the MindDrive crew passes along the route. We'll be sure to bring you more on MindDrive's coast-to-coast journey once it gets underway in March of 2012.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 2 Months Ago
      Here's a real goal for the electric car geek and genius engineers out there: build an electric car that can go coast to coast on one charge. That's right, a car so light and powerful you can do San Diego to Jacksonville on one freaking charge. It would be the equivalent of Lindburgh crossing the Atlantic, a truly admirable goal. I know that there are low-speed solar vehicles that could do it now, but I mean a freeway-speed electric that makes it 2400 miles, or about five times as far as anyone is going now. That would be awesome!
      paulwesterberg
      • 2 Months Ago
      As useless as the hydrogen publicity stunts. If they are going to do promotional outreach they should time their recharges appropriately and use 240v recharging. Leviton has a charger than could be used with normal 220v circuits, but it only does 3.8kW max. What would be really cool is they could create a charger that plugs into 220V and pulls between 3-8kW depending on how many amps the circuit can handle. It would also be great if they could bond two 110v lines on separate circuits in order to do 220V charging from standard circuits. More sustainable? This car would be a great testbed & marketing platform for a thin film solar panel company.
        Chris M
        • 2 Months Ago
        @paulwesterberg
        The problems with "bonding 2 - 110 volt circuits" is that you'd need to make sure the two outlets were opposite phase, and that neither was using an ground fault circuit interrupter - both extremely unlikely on readily available outdoor outlets. But even when those two conditions were met, it would still be limited to 15 amps maximum, or 3.3 Kw.
      John R
      • 2 Months Ago
      "a mobile charging station will follow the Lola along the entire route" This is cheating! And it makes the whole trip completely pointless! WTF
      fairfireman21
      • 2 Months Ago
      So to drive an electric they need to have a support team using gas to keep the car rolling. So why not just use a small gas car or a hybrid? Less gas used in them then a truck and generator.
      Ele Truk
      • 2 Months Ago
      I don't get the point of the trip. They aren't going to be driving using renewable sources. Yet they plan on stopping at schools. Why not charge while stopping at schools? How many schools do they plan to stop at? if it's only a dozen or so, i repeat - I don't get the point of the trip. Stop at more schools, recharge while there. Educate more people, be less pointless.
      Spec
      • 2 Months Ago
      I'd rather hear someone say "I drove to work every single workday in my EV and it only cost me $50 in 'fuel' costs." That is what EVs are for. These long distance drives are silly.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Spec
        long distance EV drive is cool. but not when powered by a combustion engine :) that said, the people who see it along the route will get to experience an EV. would be more elegant if they built a marathon version with 500km range like Racing Green Endurance did and then do it all electric. or a really efficient car optimized for maximum range with 1200km range. which is also quite possible
      • 2 Months Ago
      Thanks to @Eric Loveday for writing about the MINDDRIVE cross-country trip. This is a group of urban HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS who have designed and built the car for this demonstration run. Pretty amazing when you think of it! Follow us @MINDDRIVEorg and check out www.minddrive.org for mor info!
      letstakeawalk
      • 2 Months Ago
      I admire the delicate beauty of the wire frame and salute their choice to go see-through!