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Ride the Future rolls into city touting benefits of electric vehicles

A Nissan Leaf sits charging at the opening of a TVA and the Electric Power Research Institute solar-assisted electric vehicle charging station in Knoxville.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.


One block from Warehouse Row — a remnant of Chattanooga’s manufacturing heritage — four quiet, all-electric and eco-friendly vehicles sat on display Tuesday.

The vehicles belong to various parties of Ride the Future, a campaign for electric cars … and motorcycles and scooters.

“We’re doing this to make a point,” said Susan Jones, a world traveler and developer of the ride. After seeing the “scooter culture” in different parts of the globe like Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), across Europe and South America, Jones said she wanted to show the United States that being energy efficient isn’t merely for the poor or underdeveloped.

“You can’t just keep doing things the way they’ve been done because it’s comfortable and easy,” she said, speaking of the gas-powered American auto industry.

Jones actually doesn’t prefer traditional automobiles at all. She is riding a Xenon electric scooter across the country: a daunting 3,750-mile trek, not always sticking to the interstate.

She said she and her companions are out to prove it can be done.

“You can literally go all the way across the United States in an electric vehicle in 2013,” she said. “The infrastructure is there.”


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