Girdling This Land, High and Low

How did I not post about this sooner… two attempts are being made to cross the continent in EVs.

Terry Hershner, of Off The Grid note, is crossing the USA on his “Zero motorcycle.”  The release party of the 2013 Zero lineup is later this month in California, and Terry wants to get there solely by electric motorcycle from his sustainable-base in Orlando, FL.  Notice I put his motorcycle in quotes; by this point, it’s hardly recognizable as a Zero:  The frame has been lengthened, both fore and aft.  The brakes are upgraded.  The power controller is the next size up, and significantly boosts the boost.  The new chargers (yes, plural) now allow up to 8 kilowatts of total juice.  Charge time is now under two hours at a charging point that can put out that much; some will only do 6 to 7 kW.  For the trip, he’s added a custom, secondary battery pack to increase range.  Specifically, it’s for the stretch between the Texas megalopolis, through the desert.

Given his schedule, Terry will basically be catching naps in those two-hour stops.  In places with no accessible power greater than a wall plug, he’ll have the luxury of crashing in a motel room with the extension cord next to him.  Seriously, he’ll be living off fast food where he can, and energy shakes where he can’t.  Let’s hope he doesn’t have a boo-boo from sleep deprivation.

Right now, Terry’s in the middle of Texas.  Happy trails… er, Interstates!  Oh, and don’t think it’s cheating to go from Florida to Southern California, instead of, say, New York to Seattle.  Terry’s starting from Orlando, then making it a Miami-to-California crossing.  Check his status at


The other cross-country trip is across the other wide country in North America.  Kent Rathwell and Christopher Misch, executives at Sun Country Highway, are driving from Newfoundland to British Columbia in a Tesla.  Sun Country Highway is installing charging facilities across Canada, and are now putting their butts on the line (literally and figuratively) to demonstrate its effectiveness. The exact route isn’t being made public, but since the SCH charge facilities are now being activated for public use, you can do the homework and figure it out.

Their Tesla Roadster is capable of longer ranges than most EVs, but then again Canada is a long country.  It helps that the Sun Country charging points can put out 14-21 kilowatts at 240V; Teslas are among the few EVs that can take that much amperage at Level 2.  Of course, it also helps that they’re not facing the sort of schedule pressure Terry’s under.

Other cross-country EV trips include Geoffrey Kinsey’s trip this past June (– and this one’s LA to New England), and Steve and Jesse’s in September (  Bonus: after the successful trip, Car and Driver wank Csaba Csere wrote that electrics “won’t work on an interstate”.  Steve and Jesse then replied, “Csaba, “won’t work on an interstate”? Plz explain. We drove from SF to DC in 8 days on interstates, and it worked just fine!”


7 thoughts on “Girdling This Land, High and Low

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