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Who Made The First Coast-To-Coast EV Trip?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Mad Hungarian, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Mad Hungarian

    Mad Hungarian Member

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    After recently re-watching my favorite Ken Burns documentary "Horatio's Drive", the amazing story of two men who made the first coast-to-coast automobile drive on a $50 bet in 1903, I began wondering who was the first to ever do it in an EV.
    I found this post from 2012 that talks about several exploits, the earliest one referred to being this EV-1 run in '99. However the site says this was the "first time that such a cross-country trip has been attempted by a modern era, production electric car."
    But was it the first EV coast-to-coast trip ever?
    Apologies if this has already been discussed/answered elsewhere...
     
  2. Oba

    Oba Member

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    CE Raum, Greg Hanssen, and Bill Korthof (deceased)

    They drove two EV1s, both CE's and Greg's, from Los Angeles to Florida in their "EV Odyssey."

    November 1999.
     
  3. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    You post this despite the original post in the thread documenting a journey in June 1998?

    (edit: Looking more closely, I guess the 1998 trip may have ended at GM headquarters in Michigan -- they just call it "cross country".)
     
  4. Lanny

    Lanny @Lanny

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    I have a keen interest in the early history of electric vehicles and especially the long-distance endurance runs that manufacturers and dealers would do to publicize the “country running ability” of electric cars.

    In 1908, Oliver P. Fritchle drove an electric car that his company manufactured 2,140 miles from Lincoln, Nebraska to New York City and then to Washington, DC. Fritchle’s trip, while not coast-to-coast, was the longest early “cross-country” EV drive.

    The 1968 Great Transcontinental Electric Car Race between Caltech in Pasadena, CA and MIT in Boston (3,400 miles) is the earliest documented coast-to-coast EV trip that I can find. Wally Rippel of Caltech won that race in a converted VW bus that he built himself. Rippel later helped design the car that would become the GM EV-1 and worked for Tesla Motors between 2006 and 2008.

    If you are interested in the events held among EV drivers 100 years ago, you may enjoy this site: Electric Sociability Run Electric Vehicle History.

    Lanny
     
  5. Mad Hungarian

    Mad Hungarian Member

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    Aha... I figured the EV-1 crew couldn't have been the first. Many thanks for this. MIT's EV team site has a historical page here that has a number of links to coverage of the 1968 event you mention. Off now to feed the giant void that is my knowledge of EV history...
     
  6. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    I would imagine in 1908 there probably were large areas west of Nebraska where it would have been difficult to find electricity.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    And roads...
     
  8. wws

    wws Member

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