Cross-country on Electricity
On Monday, Men’s Health magazine announced a journey most electric car aficionados would enjoy being part of.
The magazine launched its 2012 Electric Car Challenge, a cross-country adventure designed to help maximize the potential of electric vehicles, create a healthier, more satisfying, and more exciting road trip experience, and raise money for an important cause.
As the magazine stated in a press release, “It’s not a fair challenge, of course – the infrastructure for fast, easy charging doesn’t exist yet. But that’s why we’re doing it. If the infrastructure was there, what fun would that be?”
The cross-country course will begin in New York City and end in Los Angeles.
The team will leave the New York International Auto Show on April 11 and will stop between 40 and 55 times to recharge the battery of its 2012 Ford Focus Electric.
With each charging stop taking between 2 and 4 hours – and with the drivers progressing in shifts around the clock – the team expects to arrive at Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles 10 to 12 days after the Challenge commences, possibly arriving on Earth Day, April 22.
The team is hoping to establish the record for the fastest coast-to-coast drive in an electric car, creating a target for others to beat as battery technology improves and charging options expand.
According to Eric Adams, a team member and senior editor at the magazine, one of the hardest parts of planning the challenge was simply convincing Ford to loan Men’s Health the car for this unorthodox test.
“The Focus Electric is designed for urban commuting, so we’re asking the car to do something it wasn’t intended to do,” said Adams.
In addition to Adams, the team consists – at varying points during the drive – of X-Games gold medalist Tanner Foust, co-host of Top Gear USA; IndyCar and American Le Mans racer Martin Plowman; and former Navy SEAL commander Coleman Ruiz, executive director of Carry the Load, a foundation that supports the families of U.S. soldiers who’ve been killed in combat.
The team will raise money for the foundation throughout the drive. Also on board for several days each, to provide different perspectives on the road-trip experience: Men’s Health Girl Next Door columnist Naomi Piercey, Miss Indiana 2009 Nicole Pollard; and Carry the Load spokesmodel Katie Cwynar.
The journey can be followed here, and via Twitter at @MHTechLust (#ElectrifyUS); the team will also check in with FourSquare at every stop.