Ford Focus Electric Takes on Cross-Country Trip
New York to Los Angeles route will take 11 days and require up to 55 stops to recharge along the way.
Talk about range anxiety. Try driving across the country in an electric vehicle like the Ford Focus Electric. That’s what Men’s Health magazine is doing with its 2012 Electric Car Challenge, “a cross-country adventure designed to help maximize the potential of electric vehicles.”
While it’s supposed to help “create a healthier, more satisfying and more exciting road-trip experience,” the cross-country trip that begins today in New York City and is expected to end in Los Angeles on Earth Day, April 22, also exposes the limitations of EVs. A press release says the Focus Electric will stop between 40 and 55 times to recharge the car’s battery, with each charging stop expected to take two to four hours.
The Focus EV will reply on public and commercial charging stations to top off its battery along the way. But as the road-trip crew passes through Pittsburgh; Indianapolis; St. Louis; Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Flagstaff, Ariz., it plans to use mostly secondary roads -- and to ask people along the way to offer their in-home 240-volt, 40-amp outlets for recharging the car.
But at least those providing juice will get to meet celebrity drivers and participate in what Men’s Health calls “exciting, life-changing experiences.” And it’s all for a good cause.
During downtime while charging, drivers and those offering their outlets to power the Focus Electric will be treated to "adventures, exercise and fitness challenges, culinary pursuits, environmental missions and more.” Celebrity participants include X-Games gold medalist and American "Top Gear USA" co-host Tanner Foust; IndyCar and American Le Mans racer Martin Plowman; Men’s Health "Girl Next Door" columnist Naomi Piercey; and Miss Indiana 2009 Nicole Pollard.
The road trip will raise money for Carry the Load, a nonprofit that supports families of U.S. service members killed in combat. Former Navy SEAL commander Coleman Ruiz, executive director of Carry the Load, will also be on the trip.
In a press release, Eric Adams, senior editor of Men’s Health and road tripper, said one of the most difficult aspects of planning the trip was persuading Ford to loan them the EV. “The Focus Electric is designed for urban commuting, so we’re asking the car to do something it wasn’t intended to do,” he said. “We commend Ford for their willingness to put their faith in our planning skills and efficient driving.”
And we commend the Blue Oval for being willing to show the Focus Electric’s limitations.
[Source: USA Today]
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