- Category: Green Transportation
10 Jun 2013
- Published on Monday, 10 June 2013 07:19
- Hits (1842)
By Susan Jones
Susan Jones, founder of Xenon Motor Company and an electronic vehicle enthusiast, shares with EcoSeed her experiences as part of an attempt to traverse the United States on her electric scooter.
Less than 30 days and counting until I hit the road on my 100% electric scooter for the 2013 Ride The Future event. I will be joined by a group of electric vehicles aiming to set the Guinness Record for “The Longest Journey” across America. Our aim is to have a fun celebration in each city, getting to know all the locals and having an all American summer time party. I also promised our team members they will have a full-on fun vacation all along the way.
We will be hitting many national parks, big cities, tiny towns, the Grand Canyon, rivers, caves, woods, hiking trails, lakes, mountains, museums, zoos.... just to name a few. Our unique documentary will capture all of this: the sites, the local people, the challenges of the trek, the heat, the evening town parties, the local singers in our talent contest, tons of cyclist from all across America, and the camaraderie of 10 people making a journey together for 3000 miles over 44 days.
Am I concerned about my vehicle being able to make it? Of course I am! I think each of us is concerned about our electric vehicles having what it takes to make the journey. An even greater concern is finding the necessary charging stations in areas where there are not only NO charging stations; but there are not even gas stations! We will be in very remote areas for a good portion of this journey.
So, I just reflect on the past two and half years of riding day in and day out on my electric scooter everywhere I go around Nashville. I remind myself how it never fails me. It's such a simple machine. I just charge the batteries for one and a half hours and off I go for another 55 miles. The Zero motorcycle now has an adapter for the 220V charge up that will make the charging time around two hours for a full charge.
Since my batteries are removable, I also have the option to take them in anywhere to charge them. That's an incredible advancement in technology. Luckily, the A2B E Bike is the same as my scooter. All we do is slip out the battery pack and slip in a fresh new pack and off we go.
At night we just take the battery packs in our room and charge them in a regular electrical outlet in the wall. By the way, that costs about 40 cents to charge up to go 55 miles. It feels like it's free when you own an electric vehicle. Man! I really don't miss sinking all my hard earned money into a gas tank!
I think what I'm looking forward to the most is actually having a semi-normal vacation for the first time in maybe 18 years. Ever since my four daughters were young they were performing as a 4 sister band together and my third daughter, Jillian, was on Broadway at nine years old starring with Kenny Rogers. Their career took off very early and we got very busy with all of that fun and travel and excitement. So when other kids and their parents were playing on the beach, we were performing somewhere.
I wouldn't trade a minute of it. It was a blast. But as a result we missed a lot of the normal, American, summer activities. I'm looking forward to just spending the afternoon floating on a raft, hiking through the trails, white water rafting, boating, horseback riding, and all of those kind of things.
I think the highlight for me will be reaching the Grand Canyon and knowing that I got there on my scooter from South Carolina. It's mind-boggling to think that I will scooter from South Carolina to the Grand Canyon. Actually it sounds insane to even hear myself say it out loud.
The next piece of the trip that has me the most excited to get going is riding up the California coast along Route 1. Not because I know it's the homestretch and we're almost done, but rather because I've driven it in a car before and it is spectacular. It's breathtaking! I've driven along the French Riviera coast, and I have to say the California coast absolutely rivals it!
Looking back over the last year and a half of planning this excursion, it is clear to me that the greatest challenge has been the amount of rejection I've endure it definitely beat me up many days and left me feeling completely defeated. When you hear no from so many people, it makes you think that they just don't care about what you're doing. It makes you worry that they are not tuned into this moment in history when we need to be very aware of our environment and the health of our Earth.
There have been so many times that I just felt like giving up and simply doing the ride all by myself. The thought is always ...well at least I know I have control over ME. Trying to get companies to say yes to the things we need for the tour to be a success has been torture. This has been my least favorite part of planning the whole event. In the end, it has turned out to be a tour for the people, by the people.
I have to admit, however, that exactly at the moment when I was ready to throw in the towel, some really nice person from Big Bear Lake, CA would call and was so excited that we are coming and is so into making plans with us for a town party. And then my faith in humanity was instantly restored. This town is so awesome...they are inviting the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of Big Bear Lake to line up all along Main Street as our parade of EVs rolls into town to welcome our arrival. So cool!
With four weeks to go before the Launch in Charleston, it is crunch time. We are inviting anyone from the 44 cities on our trek to please contact us and let us know if they would like to be involved. We invite them to be one of our 15 cyclists who rides an A2B bike for 1 leg of the journey, or one of our 15 local singers who are competing for the nightly $500 best singer prize, or one of our vendors who sells their food or drinks or pies or whatever their specialty is at their local town party. We hope to have a fun crowd all the way across the U.S. – big or small – we want everyone to just come out for a fun night of food and music and celebration of a bright future.
If you live along our trek across America, we'd love to meet you! Come on out! See you on the road this summer. Listen for the sound of silence as we roll into town.
Susan Jones has a self professed obsession to stop greenhouse gas emissions. As part of this obsession, she founded Xenon Motor Company as a way to bring Electric Vehicles to the world. She then founded Nashville Scooter Tours as a way to introduce Americans to Electric Scooters
Currently residing in Bangkok, Thailand, she is working with a team of developers to create the new 2013 Xenon futuristic electric scooter. This unique electric scooter is projected to be ready for the launch of the Ride The Future Tour on July 4th, 2013.