To the four corners of the USA on an electric motorcycle

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Seattle, Los Angeles, Florida, and Maine: the four corners of the continental U.S.

Those points are where I intend to ride my 2014 Zero SR electric motorcycle this summer. 

The summer road trip is a great tradition, and every year, electric vehicles shape up to be more road-trip-worthy than before.

DON'T MISS: 'Kick Gas' Movie: Driving Across U.S. In Electric Car & Motorcycles (Apr 2014)

For the past few summers, I've traveled across the country on a Zero electric motorcycle. 

In 2013, I rode my 2012 Zero S with the "Ride The Future Tour" from Charleston, South Carolina, to Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. From that, we made the movie Kick Gas.

In 2014, I took a personal road trip to Asheville, St. Louis, Chicago, and New Hampshire.  

2014 Zero SR electric motorcycle, photographed by owner Ben Rich

2014 Zero SR electric motorcycle, photographed by owner Ben Rich

Last summer, I covered 6,800 miles on a 2014 Zero SR during a Three-Country Tour that encompassed Mexico, the U.S., and Canada.  

In the past, I've used two Elcon 2.5-kilowatt chargers made by Hollywood Electrics that supplemented to my onboard charger, supplying 6.3 kw of charging power. This cut  charging times to 60 to 100 minutes.

The tour this year will be made even easier by a DigiNow Supercharger, which has the capability to charge up to 10 kw. 

ALSO SEE: Electric Motorcycle Tour: Three Countries, 6,800 Miles, 22 Days (Jul 2015)

This will let me recharge my motorcycle completely in 30 to 60 minutes, or half the time it took in 2015.


Finding charging stations near cities and large towns is easy using the Plugshare app. One feature allows you to plan a road trip with an origin & destination, and it will find charging stations within a certain radius of the fastest path.  

I raise the search radius to 100 miles so I can choose my own path.  That's partly because I’m independently minded, and partly because riding a motorcycle is more enjoyable on smaller roads than highways.

Electric motorcycle rider Ben Rich in Canada

Electric motorcycle rider Ben Rich in Canada

Charging stations in the woods or the big western states can be scarce, so I use the RVParky site to find RV parks with 50-amp connections to charge up. 

Even in the more densely populated Eastern U.S., I stop at several RV parks—while crossing Pennsylvania heading to Cleveland, for example.


Riding a motorcycle across the U.S. is one of the most peaceful and exciting things you can do.  Simultaneously you fly across the land and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding environment.

CHECK OUT: Electric Motorcycle Road Trip: What I Learned, What You Need To Know

This double enjoyment is particularly true on an electric motorcycle, because the awesome torque from 0 mph is always available.

But the peaceful quiet operation doesn’t disturb animals, so you can sometimes see their faces instead of their fleeing backsides, because often they don’t run away.

The electric vehicle community is fantastic, and I plan to meet other EV enthusiasts across the nation. 

Hollywood Electrics motorcycle shop

Hollywood Electrics motorcycle shop

Specifically I look forward to taking a ride with 1-2 dozen other electric bikers starting at Hollywood Electrics in July.


This year I'll use the brand new DigiNow Supercharger to cut the charging time of my previous journeys almost in half.

The higher charging rate let me to charge my 14.2-kWh battery at 8 to 10 kw, so I’ll be riding more than charging—whereas in the past I had to charge for a little longer than I actually rode.

READ THIS: Energica Electric Motorcycle road trip uses only DC fast-charging

To me, fast charging is the most important development in electric vehicles. Many people talk about batteries being the limiting factor for mass adoption, but I think charging is more important.

While lithium-ion batteries have become more energy dense, lighter, and cheaper, there have been important developments in charging as well.

Even if a vehicle can only take you 100 miles on a charge, it doesn't add much time to your trip if you can recharge quickly.

2014 Zero SR electric motorcycle, photographed by owner Ben Rich

2014 Zero SR electric motorcycle, photographed by owner Ben Rich

Why is this important?

Each year electric vehicles go farther and charge faster. Highlighting these developments are important to mass-market adoption, because many myths about electric cars and motorcycles persist.

Currently we send billions of dollars each day to the Middle East, Venezuela, Russia, and other countries antagonistic toward the U.S.  The oil industry is responsible for a huge amount of pollution that spoils drinking water, causes acid rain, and is the primary cause of global warming.  Electric vehicles reduce our dependence on oil specifically, and fossil fuels in general.

Electric Motorcycle Ride From Mexico To Canada: scenese from the road [photo: Ben Rich]

Electric Motorcycle Ride From Mexico To Canada: scenese from the road [photo: Ben Rich]

Equally important, they're simply awesome to drive and ride! Another reason I ride is to get the word out that electric cars and electric motorcycles can have 0-to-60-mph acceleration times below 4 seconds, which is a powerful persuader.

Share in my journey

You can ride along with me virtually, and experience the triumphs and trials of attempting to cross the country solo on an electric motorcycle.

My website is, you can find me on Facebook as Ben Rich - Electric Biker, and I'm also Youtube, Twitter & Instagram as @Benswing. 

Let’s go!


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