Electric bikers stop in Sandusky as they charge to D.C.

SANDUSKY In November 2008, the CEOs of the Big Three automotive companies flew to Washington D.C. to ask Congress for
jasonsinger
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

In November 2008, the CEOs of the Big Three automotive companies flew to Washington D.C. to ask Congress for billions in bailout money.

Their trip cost an average of $20,000 per person.

An all-electric motorcycle tour, which stopped Thursday morning in Sandusky, is making the same trek from Detroit to D.C.

Their trip will cost an average of $4 per person.

"Shocking Barack," as the project is called, is an effort by Colorado-based Brammo to promote electric technologies in the United States. The motorcycle tour will take 11 days, with the crew recharging their bikes at houses and businesses along the way.

Dave Schiff, one of the creative directors handling the project, said the electric vehicle technology is "smart, innovative and game-changing."

"(The automotive CEOs) flew on a $36 million Gulfstream G4 private jet and eventually asked for billions in taxpayer money," Schiff said. "We won't ask for anything. We actually want to give. We'd like to give President Barack Obama our electric motorcycles when we get to the White House as a symbol of supporting EV technology."

"Shocking Barack" has become something of an Internet sensation since it began earlier this week.

Between e-mail, Twitter, news stories and its Web site, the group estimates it's reached more than two million people.

While stopping in Sandusky, the project also promoted other "green" technologies. The group recharged their bikes Wednesday morning at 1016 Third Street, known in the green world as The House on Third Street.

Built out of Styrofoam, the house costs only $300-400 per year to heat and cool, and has attracted the attention of sustainability buffs.

As soon as the bikers arrived, the crew filmed the proceedings with dozens of flip cameras, a movie camera and even an iPhone. Michael Gersten, the project's editor, was immediately uploading footage onto the project's Web site, ShockingBarack.com, where hundreds of fans followed along.

"Just treated to banana pancakes in the Styrofoam house of Sandusky luminary Mark Norman," the group tweeted at 8 a.m. on its Twitter page.

Alex Burnard, another creative director for the project, said the group has corresponded with fans from as far as Russia, Indonesia and Johannesburg, South Africa. One fan sent a GPS device, so those following the group on the Internet can track the electric motorcycles at every inch of their journey.

"It's amazing what can happen when people rally around a cause," Burnard said.

The bikes themselves will soon be available at Best Buy. They can reach 65 mph, and travel 40-45 miles before needing to be recharged. They plug into regular electrical outlets.

"When I started this ... I thought they'd need some big, weirdly-shaped adapter," Schiff said. "The fact that it plugs into the same thing as a hairdryer is pretty neat."

Brammo has already built electric motorcycles that can reach 90 miles per hour and travel 100 miles before needing recharging.

Schiff said as the technology becomes more widely accepted and more money is invested in research, electric vehicle technology will become better, cheaper and more practical.

He said promoting the sustainable technology, along with the support "Shocking Barack" has received from fans and other Americans letting them recharge in their houses and businesses, has made him "proud to be an American" at a time when America is often vilified.

"Brammo is making a product that's creating jobs and making the world a better place," he said. "It's really fun to be a part of this."

Comments

gergcrvy

 I hope this technology reaches to common people soon.