A former truck driver may become another record breaker for driving his electric vehicle from New York City to Miami and back.
“The criteria I set for myself was to drive from New York City to Miami solo in an electric car in the fastest time possible,” said Michael Fritts, from Herkimer, New York.
He added: “I left all my money behind, I left my wallet, credit card, everything behind. All I had with me was my driver’s license and a cooler full of food.”
Fritts, who feels “a little bit like Batman,” managed to make his solo trip in less than three days, in 58 hours and 15 minutes, actually. He drove early 2,600 miles in his Tesla Motors Model S, an electric car that uses no gas, and re-charged his vehicle for free at 10 charging stations along the way.
Tesla Model S owners can charge their cars at no cost at any of the 91 Supercharger stations in North America. A 20-to-60-minute charge provides enough energy to go 150 miles.
Fritts is sending in an application to the Guinness book of world records, but says even if he doesn’t become a record breaker, he says the journey was enough. He confessed, though, that he hoped his trip would bring greater attention to the capabilities of electric vehicles.
Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo created the Charge New York initiative to speed up the use and benefits of electric vehicles. The goal is to install 3,000 charging stations over the next five years.
“It’s going to take an enormous change in the industry. A lot more batteries are going to have to be built,” said Fritts.
Despite the high sticker price, he believes electric cars are more appealing than traditional vehicles. New York State anticipates there will be 40,000 plug-in cars on the road by 2018.
“There’s no oil in the vehicle, no gasoline, it’s a very easy to maintain vehicle. It requires less service,” Fritts told Time Warner Cable News.
He slept in his trunk during charging sessions – because he wanted to set a record on his trip, he used an egg timer as an alarm so he wouldn’t oversleep – and re-fuelled with the snacks he packed in a cooler.
In January, Model S owner John Glenney and his daughter Jill made a cross-country trip from New York to Los Angeles, racking up 3,619 miles on their electric car. They recharged their vehicle at 28 of Tesla’s Supercharger stations.
“People who know me they are no longer surprised by the things I do let’s put it that way,” Fritts, who drove across the country on a Harley 10 years ago, told WKTV. HE also shared that this trip is marks the 10-year anniversary of his mechanical heart valve surgery.
“It’s the ten year anniversary of when I had heart surgery at St. Elizabeth’s in Utica. And I wanted to celebrate the success of that by doing something special and fun and I also wanted to celebrate this wonderful vehicle,” said Fritts.