Many long-time riders haven’t shown much interest or confidence in the new wave of electric motorcycles. They can’t be blamed as many of these electric motorcycles have yet to match the distance a conventional motorcycle with an internal combustion engine can travel in a day. Electric motorcycles owners also have to plan out their trip carefully, ensuring there are charging stations along the way to prevent them from being stranded with no charge in the battery.
This didn’t scare Diego Cardenas, the first Harley-Davidson Livewire owner to travel from the US Mexico border to the US Canada border.
Cardenas, a California resident, was hoping to spend his 50th birthday, June 30, 2020, in Spain. Due to the pandemic and strict travel restrictions, he knew he was going to need a new plan. Nonetheless, he wanted it to be something he was passionate about – riding on a unique and memorable journey. With a long ride in the US, he could do that while still maintaining social distancing, and embark on a memorable and unique trip.
As such, his new plan was to ride his LiveWire motorcycle from the U.S. Mexican border to the U.S. Canadian. To ensure he always had a place to charge his motorcycle, he’d take the West Coast Green Highway (WCGH). The WCGH is a network of electric vehicle DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles (40-80 km) along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in Washington, Oregon, and California.
“I wanted to be a part of Harley-Davidson history and have my future grandkids be able to talk about how their grandfather was the first H-D electric motorcycle owner to do such a ride,” said Cardenas. “I wanted to show the world that electric charging infrastructure is growing and be an inspiration for others to try riding electric motorcycles like the LiveWire.”
On June 22, Diego started his epic trip from San Ysidro, CA. The Livewire has a highway range of around 95 miles (152-km) and takes about an hour to fully recharge its batteries on a DC fast charger. You don’t need to do the math to realize that’s going to amount to a lot of stops. He rode over 1,400 miles (2253-km) over 8 days to get from border to border.
On his 50th birthday, June 30, he reached his goal by making it to the U.S. Canadian border town of Blaine, WA. Along the way, he did live social media reports of his progress. Fans following along on his journey were able to meet him in person and cheer him on. He also made plenty of stops along the way to do a bit of sightseeing with his wife and eight-year old daughter who were along on the trip in a car.
“The trip was unbelievable, such a great journey,” said Cardenas. “The West Coast Green Highway is a really good idea, there are so many options that you can be confident you will get to where you need to go. Also, if you pull up and cannot use one charger, you have additional ones super close by. It’s darn awesome! Please spread the word, this is so doable. If you have an electric motorcycle, or any bike, just get out and ride during these challenging times. Do a road trip, it helps during these stressful times to free your mind and body to see new things.”
If you want more details on Cardenas’ journey, and want to possibly retrace his steps once travel is allowed to the US, visit his page HERE. It’s a Facebook group of Harley Davidson Livewire owners. His mission for the group is to bring together electric vehicle and non-EV riders to ask questions, get ideas and support the EV motorcycle riding community.