Automotive history will tell you that the biggest factor in the death of the electric car 100 years ago was that using it for anything but around-town driving wasn’t feasible. For one thing, there were no provisions for replenishing its supply of electricity and for another, improved roads didn’t very far beyond America’s cities. To varying levels, that’s been part of the rap on EVs ever since, that they couldn’t function as realistic options for long-distance transportation. The auto industry has invested heavily in technology to correct that impression after all this time. Creating the need for electric power through marketing will be another part of that campaign. Here’s an example, from Volkswagen, which went on a coast-to-coast demonstration drive – another thing that automakers did 100 years ago – to demonstrate that electric cars are indeed workable.
The all-electric ID.4 EV began deliveries to dealers last month and reservations are still being accepted. Taking a mostly southerly route, Volkswagen engineers took 18 days to wheel an ID.4 from New York City to Sacramento, California, by way of Chicago and Orlando. The trip encompassed a total of 6,700 miles and also included stops in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C.; Cleveland, Nashville, Atlanta, Savannah, New Orleans, Dallas, Austin, Marfa, Texas; El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, Joshua Tree National Park, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco. The ID.4 was refueled, if you will, at 32 charging stations operated by Electrify America, plus a few overnight hotel recharges. Electrify America now operates more than 560 charging stations and more than 2,400 DC fast chargers, including dedicated cross-country routes from Washington, D.C. to LA and Jacksonville to San Diego. Those numbers are forecast to climb to 800 and 3,500, respectively, by December.