Man puts electric car to the test on 48-state, 26,000-mile road trip

Some might think taking an electric car on a road trip across the country is a crazy idea. Photo: maryamee/Twenty20

Some might think taking an electric car on a road trip across the country is a crazy idea. Photo: maryamee/Twenty20

Brian Kent wants the world to know that driving across country in your electric vehicle (EV) is totally viable — and he's putting himself in the drivers seat to prove it.

Kent launched his 26,000-mile journey from his home in Albion, New York, on Aug. 28, and is charging his Nissan LEAF in city centers and campgrounds. And he's planting a tree in each state to boot, for what he's calling his first annual Negative Carbon U.S. Road Trip.

EV car ambassador Brian Kent. Photo: Brian Kent

EV car ambassador Brian Kent. Photo: Brian Kent

"The only way to un-convince someone is to prove them wrong," Kent told GrindTV from New Hampshire, where he had just planted a tree. "When people ask, 'How did he go that far, with that car?' I want to give supporters of EV's some ammo," he continued. "People laude the benefits but they like to go on road trips, so they decide, 'That won't work for me.' I'm trying to suggest to people to be conscious of the misconceptions surrounding EV's."

Prior to his trip, Kent e-mailed details of his plan to green industry members, like Airbnb and EV supporters, like EV ChargeHub, hopeful for support and to offer dialog on how to improve the experience for others.

ChargeHub loved the idea and immediately set to work on a website.

"We rallied support to help generate the message — working overtime, for free, for the cause." said ChargeHub’s CEO, Simon Ouellette.

While ChargeHub jumped on the project, Kent never officially heard back from Airbnb.

"Ten days later they announced a partnership with Tesla," Kent stated matter-of-factly. "They’re donating charging stations to Airbnb hosts."

But, Kent did manage to secure an official project sponsor, the large network of family-friendly campgrounds, Kampgrounds of America (KOA), where he is planting his trees.

New charging stations are popping up all across the U.S. Photo: EV ChargeHub

New charging stations are popping up all across the U.S. Photo: EV ChargeHub

Another of Kent's goals is to demonstrate and educate campground owners about plug-in vehicle charging. So far in his adventure, he’s only had one mishap.

"On day one when my cell dropped and I made an 18-mile wrong turn … The car went exactly as far as it was supposed to get,” said Kent, who had to call AAA to tow his dead vehicle.

When AAA arrived, the driver shared that he had just picked up Mark Cuban in his Rolls Royce a few minutes earlier, "Don't tell me the problem is that the car is electric," Kent chuckled, "… it's operator error."

Follow the freelance writer as he blogs his way across the United States.

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