Three Country Tour on an Electric Motorcycle – New Jersey

JUL 8 2015 BY BEN RICH 12

The view of my motorcycle charging up at an RV Park.

The view of my motorcycle charging up at an RV Park.

The longest day of my journey takes me home through the wilds of central PA. I knew this would be a tricky day because there are very few charging stations along I-80 in Pennsylvania. My normal method of finding charging stations, Plugshare, showed me a vast expanse with little or no charging options. However the other app I use to find RV Parks, called RVParky, gave me hope.

Since it is the 4th of July weekend I knew the RV parks would be pretty full, so I called each one ahead of time to make sure there was a 50 amp connection available. It turns out this was a great idea, because I would have been stranded had I not done it.

My first stop was actually at a Service Plaza in Ohio that has 50 amp connections. This is unique to Ohio (and it would have made my ride significantly easier if there were more!). Of course, all of the posts were filled up with campers. However, several of them were using the 30 amp connection, which left the 50 amp connection open. So I just plugged in to the same post as a camper.

Some folks came out of their RV nearby, but the folks in the camper that shared the post I was connected to stayed inside. I wasn’t sure if they would be upset about my plugging in next to them or not. Thankfully I didn’t have to find out.

The rest of the day was filled with riding for an hour and a half, then charging at an RV park for an hour and a half. The owners were gracious and only one charged me for the electricity. It came to $1.50. The only tricky part of the day was when I arrived at the last RV Park of the day it was 9pm, so people were suspicious of me hanging out with my motorcycle in an “empty” lot. The owner was called 3 times so she came by and we exchanged pleasantries since we had already spoken on the phone. It may have been a bad scene if I had just shown up unannounced…

NJ greeted me with poor road conditions, lots of traffic and darkness.

NJ greeted me with poor road conditions, lots of traffic and darkness.

I started at 6:45am and arrived at my house in NJ at 11:45pm, so the entire journey took exactly 17 hours to travel 475 miles. But that also means that traveling 475 miles cost $1.50!

It is a little frustrating having to wait 1.5 hours for a charge. I don’t necessarily need to travel much farther and I like taking a break every 100 miles or so, but it would be significantly better if I could charge up in 30 minutes.

Arriving at home was a bit bittersweet because I have to wake up tomorrow at 5:30am to ride to CT for a work engagement. That will last a week, then I’ll ride up to Canada to complete my journey.

Pretty soon, I’ll need new tires.



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12 Comments on "Three Country Tour on an Electric Motorcycle – New Jersey"

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Awesome!! I have watched all your videos and was always looking forward to your new one. Where are you going in canada ? I would love to see your zero !

Super cool adventure and video, Ben!

+1, I’ve enjoyed every one of your videos and posts, ride safe always Ben!!

If you need some contacts for Montreal I can see if the French Chevy Volt owners group on FB can give you a hand. I’m sure there are a few that are bilingual. 😉

Was there an overwhelming need to use I-80 in Pennsylvania? As an FYI, there are chargers at the PA Turnpike rest stops. The Turnpike runs parallel to I-80, but in the southern half of the state. Worst case, you could take the Turnpike to the Northeast Extension, which could then take you back to 80. Or, take the PA Turnpike to the New Jersey Turnpike and go north from there.

But what do I know?