Remember when you were a kid, thumbing through the Guinness Book of World Records in your school library, marveling over how specific some of the records were? Apparently, someone at Volkswagen of America had the same memories — and decided it was time to act on them.
Volkswagen worked with long-distance driver Rainer Zietlow to get its electric ID.4 into the record books, and it paid off: Zietlow’s drive now holds the title of “longest continuous journey by electric vehicle (non-solar) in a single country,” more than doubling the mileage of the previous record holder.
The previous record was claimed in Romania, where a Renault Zoe traversed just under sixteen thousand miles. The ID.4 managed a 35,770-mile trip, starting and ending at Volkswagen’s American headquarters in Virginia. In fact, that mileage is enough to oust the current record-holder for “longest journey by electric vehicle (non-solar)“ outright — no “single country” stipulation attached.
Since Zietlow and the ID.4 (and photographer Derek Collins, who was along for the ride) never left the United States, it’s unlikely they can throw their hat in the ring for the full-fat longest journey crown. Despite the mileage, it’s unlikely VW would even want to take the title — the trip highlighted Volkswagen’s Electrify America charging network as much as it glorified the ID.4.
Now that the gauntlet’s been thrown down in the U.S., time will tell if other automakers start to join in. Will the Mustang Mach-E take the crown with a 36,000-mile journey? Will Elon Musk personally drive 50,000 miles in the first production Cybertruck? Both are unlikely (one more than the other, for a litany of reasons) but these records do stand as proof that battery-powered road trips are possible.
Next time you hear someone complain that electric cars don’t have the range of their ICE counterparts, ask them if 35,000 miles is a long enough trip. An EV may not win the Cannonball Run any time soon, but it’ll take you on that trip to the Grand Canyon with ease. After all, it’s all about the journey, right?