Last month I flew to New York City for the first time ever to compete in a cross-country electric car rally ending in Los Angeles. The goal wasn’t exactly speed, as it was scheduled to take ten days, and we weren’t allowed to exceed the speed limit. Instead, the goal was to test the current state of charging infrastructure for road trips like this one. And wouldn’t you know it, our friends at Tangent Vector were on hand to document the whole process and turn it into what they’re calling a “documentary” but is really more like a reality TV show.
It’s airing on Tuesday, December 21st at 10PM Eastern on NBC Sports Network, go set your TiVo or whatever to record it. You won’t want to miss it.
Obviously I can’t tell you yet who won, as that would spoil the show, but I can’t wait for everyone to watch this so I can finally tell stories from this trip. It was a grueling and difficult trip, not necessarily because of faulty chargers or difficult challenges, but because the other competitors are incredibly talented and smart people who made our strategic choices all the more stressful. Let’s just say the finish to this event was even more of a nailbiter than Lewis vs. Max. I don’t do well with intense competition, so I’m sure there will be some great “made for TV” moments.
For this event I borrowed a wonderful rear-wheel-drive Taycan with the big battery, and it could not have served as a better chariot. My wife and I were co-drivers on this trip, and we both fell in love with that amazing machine with extended exposure to its goodness. As luck would have it, one of the other teams, a mother and son duo, also brought a Taycan. We would also be up against a pair of EV experts in a Ford Mustang Mach-E, and two pairs of friends in a Volkswagen ID.4 and a Polestar 2.
Obviously that list doesn’t include any Teslas. The goal here was to have everyone on even footing using the same CCS plugs and charging stations. That’s clearly what every non-Tesla automaker is jumping to use in their machines, so that’s what we needed to investigate. Is the infrastructure ready for mass adoption yet? Is the court of public opinion shifting toward EV readiness? How easy or difficult is it to swap from gas to electric in 2021?
Hopefully you’ll find out all of that and more in the premier of the one-hour program following our progress and see who won. It’s a drama-filled television event, and you definitely won’t want to miss it.
Tune in to NBC Sports on Dec 21st at 10pm Eastern. There will be a replay at 2am on December 22nd as well. Obviously check your local listings to see what channel that is for you. After it has aired, I’ll tell a bit more of the behind-the-scenes from the event, and if you ever find me in a bar and buy me a drink, I’ll tell you some of the juicier stories not fit for publication.