Albion native will make 48-state, 26,000-mile trek in electric car

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Brian Kent begins gasoline-free trip on Monday

Provided photo – Brian Kent is pictured with his 2013 Nissan LEAF. He is planning a 100-day cross-country trip in the vehicle, planting a tree in 48 states along the way.

ALBION – Brian Kent will embark on a cross-country trip on Monday, the beginning of a 26,000-mile trip over 100 days. He plans to plant a tree in 48 states as part of a negative carbon road trip.

Kent, 44, wants to shatter myths about electric cars, that they are unreliable for a long journey. He will charge up along the way, using those stops to talk with people and share his mission for more earth-friendly transportation.

Kent lives in Batavia. He grew up in Albion and will start his trip from the home of his parents, Gary and Grace Kent, on Allens Bridge Road.

Kent bought his 2013 Nissan LEAF in December 2013. He has logged about 28,000 miles on it. The vehicle has a range of 84 miles before it needs a charge.

“People have such misconceptions about these cars,” Kent said today. “The vast majority of households could use them. You could be driving a very economical, efficient and reliable vehicle.”

He has sponsors for the trip, including Kampgrounds of America. He will plant a tree at a KOA site in 46 states. With no KOA in Rhode Island or Delaware, Kent is working with local governments in those two states to plant a tree.

The freelance writer believes his trip will more than double the world record for the longest trip in an electric car without solar power.

“These vehicles can accomplish long road trips,” he said.

A photo from the dashboard of Kent’s car.

Kent wants to educate and show the public what is possible with an electric vehicle, including the accessibility of plug-in vehicle charging. He plans to charge his Nissan LEAF in city centers and campgrounds.

He will blog along the way, highlighting successes and some inevitable challenges. (Click here to see his blog.)

Kent said his tree-planting will remove 10 times as much carbon dioxide as he put into the atmosphere as part of the 26,000-mile trip. He said one tree sequesters about one ton of CO2 in its first 40 years. Planting 48 trees will remove about 48 tons of C02 over 40 years.

The electricity needed to drive a Nissan LEAF 26,000 miles would account for about 4.8 tons of C02 emitted.

Besides Kampgrounds of America, Kent is partnering with Michelin, Plug in America, National Drive Electric Week, EV Charge Hub, Clean Technica, Inside EVs, and The Green Optimistic for the educational trip.

Kent is planning to touch all capital cities in the lower 48 states. He will average 262 miles each day until the trip concludes on Dec. 2.

“I believe it’s incumbent upon those of us familiar with plug-in vehicles to spread the word as best we can,” he said. “Not everyone can or needs to drive across the country, but most Americans drive less than 40 miles per day, and an electric vehicle costs the equivalent of less than a dollar-per-gallon of gasoline to drive, so these cars are ideal for most Americans and we need them for our environment and our children’s future.”

Kent set a $2,500 fund-raising goal for the trip, and already has exceeded that. Click here for more information.