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July 02, 2013

Ride the Future Tour Aims to Electrify the Country

BRich Electric Moto5

On Independence Day, while most will be taking a day off work, Sierra Club member Ben Rich will be navigating one of ten plug-in vehicles on a cross-country trip. Named the "Ride the Future Tour," the journey will begin in Charleston, South Carolina, and end in the parking lot of Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California. The 3,000-mile adventure, which should finish in mid-August, will include stops in places not known for plug-in vehicles, such as Oklahoma and Tennessee, in an effort to increase the technology's exposure and introduce these vehicles to people.

"I talk about electric vehicles with people all the time," said Rich. "The conversation is very different when you have them there with your vehicle. If you talk about EVs and you don't have the actual EV there, they will just talk about their pre-conceived notions, which are usually wrong. That's one of the main reasons we're doing this."

The caravan, which will include an electric car, motorcycle, scooter, and electric-assisted bicycle, aims to break the Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled in an EV in one trip. The group plans to have fun during the ride.

"We're going to basically throw a town party every evening where people can gather and we'll talk about how great EVs are. We'll have singing contests and vendors and a fun atmosphere to highlight electric vehicles," he said.

Ben first went electric in 2007, when he got a Vectrix maxi-scooter.

"I got it because I don't own a home so I couldn't go solar. But I wanted to do something significant. Primarily it was to get off gasoline for environmental reasons. But since then, it's evolved to so my money stays in the United States. Money spent on electricity stays here. Money for oil goes to some countries that I don't want my money going to. Voting with my dollars has become very important to me."

Follow the Ride the Future Tour and join them for a party and a test ride near you! Click here for more details and follow them on Facebook.

Interested in rolling in a plug-in? Visit the Sierra Club's Electric Vehicle Guide.

-- Brian Foley

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