Two electric motorcycles will tackle the American Cannonball cross-country record of 178 hours and 17 minutes next week, in the inaugural Charging Across America Challenge (CAAC).
The cross-country electric motorcycle event, which will start on April 18 and finish on April 22, Earth Day, will see two riders challenge the Cannonball cross-country electric motorcycle record of 178 hours and 17 minutes.
The riders – Robert Swartz and Steven Day – will set out at the same time from opposite coasts and follow the original 2,906-mile route of the 1971 Cannonball Run, which will see them not only challenge the overall electric motorcycle record, but also compete against each other to see who finishes first.
Swartz, the founder of CAAC and owner of Rob’s Dyno Service and Energica of New England, will ride a 2022 Energica EVA EsseEsse9 on the westward route. Day, an air force veteran, will ride his 2021 Energica EVA Ribelle on the eastward route.
Following in the tradition of the first Cannonball Run in 1971, the CAAC will start at New York City’s Red Ball Garage, and finish at the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach in California (and vice versa) for both riders.
The race is being undertaken in an effort to promote a shift in America’s view of clean mobility and will include efforts to change American consumer perceptions around the viability of EVs and driving awareness of the nation’s expanding EV charging network.
“I look forward to the upcoming Charging Across America Challenge,” said Day. “Riding an electric motorcycle has many advantages, but I truly like the opportunity to chat up the locals at every charging station.”
“Henry Ford was a hero to me growing up,” added Swartz, who is combining in this race his obsession with high-performance electric motorcycles and clean energy and “driving green” advocacy.
“[Ford] co-sponsored 1909’s ‘Ocean-to-Ocean Automobile Endurance Contest,’ a race from Manhattan to Seattle. Growing up in the ‘70s, the Cannonball Run was extremely popular. We combined the two historic events to create the Charging Across America Challenge.”
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.