Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, at least with car manufacturers. Most every major car manufacturer has or is working on an electric vehicle model. The problem, however, is establishing electric vehicles in the marketplace. Another hurdle is establishing charging stations to enable owning an electric vehicle to be more practical.
As the gas prices across the United States continue to soar, it seems a good time to shed some light on the benefits of hybrid and electric vehicles. Which makes the recent announcement of Men’s Health magazine to drive cross-country in an electric vehicle while never stopping at a gas station even more fitting. The planned 2012 Electric Car Challenge will go from New York to Los Angeles, approximately 3,000 miles.
This is not the first time an electric vehicle has gone cross-country, although the last time it was in 1967 and the Mars II Electric Car traveled between Detroit and Phoenix. The Men’s Health challenge is the longest attempt to date while also managing the task in less time than the 1967 attempt of fifteen days. This time the car of choice is the 2012 Ford Focus Electric.
The challenge is likely to require between 40 and 55 stops for recharging the vehicle. The Focus Electric is estimated to be able to go 76 miles per charge, with each charge lasting between two and four hours. The miles per gallon equivalent is considered approximately 105 miles per gallon. During the estimated ten to twelve day trip the participants will not be stopping at gas stations but will be relying on scattered charging stations, businesses and home owners with 240V charging ability.
In addition to the spotlight on electric vehicles, Men’s Health is also hoping to shed light on the charging stations popping up around the country while also pushing for more installations. A major obstacle to owning an electric vehicle is the lack of access to charging stations, which would potentially leave a motorist stranded if they attempted such a trip as the 2012 Electric Car Challenge. Electric vehicles are also seen as short-distance and commuter vehicles and unlikely to gain popularity to those doing otherwise.